Sandy Wash Loop

Buffalo Creek

The quickest way to ride the classic Sandy Wash descent.

Mountain Biking Moderate

Distance
23 km
Ascent
483 m
Descent
483 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
2 km
High Point
2.4 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Sandy Wash Loop Map

Description

Most riders on Colorado’s Front Range consider Buffalo Creek the go-to destination for flowy, swoopy, buffed-out singletrack, hence the nickname “Buff Creek.” This classic trail system has long been popular with cross country-style mountain bikers, but just about anybody that rides a bike will have a great time on the trails at Buffalo Creek. The stunning singletrack and incredible trail quality found here have earned Buffalo Creek the coveted IMBA Epic designation.

The singletrack in this system is mostly smooth, punctuated by the occasional rock garden and slab of grippy granite. The “dirt” consists of stereotypical Colorado Front Range kitty litter, aka decomposed granite. This makes many of the corners very slippery and much more challenging than they may first appear.

The views from openings on the hillside can be expansive, displaying rolling hills giving way to mountains in the distance, and monolithic rock outcroppings peppering the hillside.

For a short ride through this massive network that skips the lung-busting climbs and the sphincter-clenching rock rolls, follow this short loop that finishes on the classic Sandy Wash descent. Sandy Wash is one of the original staples of the Buffalo Creek trail system, and to this day, many riders try to finish their rides by descending Sandy Wash back to the trailhead. In fact, two other routes in FATMAP finish on this trail: the Buffalo Creek IMBA Epic Loop and the Blackjack Loop.

The singletrack on Sandy Wash swoops up and down the sides of a… well, a sandy wash. The banked turns sweep up the low hillsides and swoop back down, over and over again, allowing you to fly down the mountainside. If you can ride Sandy Wash without your face splitting into an ear-to-ear grin, I don’t know if we can be friends anymore.

The route mapped here is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to get to the Sandy Wash goods. But if this mileage isn’t enough, consider one of the longer rides mentioned above or add in some of the other amazing trails in the area.

Difficulty

Moderate

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

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

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

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

Features

  • Flow
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area