Colorado Trail: Denver to Buffalo Creek

Buffalo Creek

The beginning of the iconic Colorado Trail runs for miles before being interrupted by a Wilderness area.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
63 km
Ascent
2.3 km
Descent
1.5 km
Duration
6-7 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
2.5 km
Gradient
Colorado Trail: Denver to Buffalo Creek Map

The Colorado Trail (COT) is widely regarded as one of the very best long distance mountain bike trails in the world. Running for 535 miles between Denver and Durango, the trail crosses breathtaking high alpine mountain passes and drops into beautiful valleys as it traverses the most beautiful portions of the state of Colorado. The COT forms one third of the Triple Crown of Bikepacking, along with the Arizona Trail and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

Description

The Colorado Trail begins at Waterton Canyon in Denver on a dirt road, before switching to singletrack. From here, the singletrack climbs up the Colorado Front Range mountains on dry dirt and rocks as it slowly gains elevation.

The COT bisects the ultra-popular Buffalo Creek Trail System, offering plenty of side routes and options to extend the ride. The Colorado Trail here swoops and flows through the trees on Colorado’s classic decomposing granite kitty litter. For bikepackers looking for a more developed camping experience, the trail runs very close to the Buffalo Creek Campground.

The section mapped here actually encompasses Segment 1, Segment 2, and Segment 3, but it forms a relatively uninterrupted stretch of singletrack until it ends at Wellington Lake Road. There, the bike route has to follow dirt roads to detour around the Lost Creek Wilderness.

Sources: http://www.coloradotrail.org/bike.html http://www.coloradotrail.org/segments.html

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area