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Mountain Biking: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > South Platte Ranger District

Quick Facts

Colorado Trail (Buffalo Creek to Wellington Lake Road)

Beginning Elevation: 7,920 Feet (2468.8 Meters) Colorado Trail Access - Buffalo Creek Area
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,320 Feet (411.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 8,360 Feet (2606.0 Meters) Rolling Creek Trailhead
Handicapped Accessible: No
High Point: 8,360 Feet (2606.0 Meters) Rolling Creek Trailhead
Length, One-way: 13.5 Miles (22.5 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Pike National Forest; Trails Illustrated 135, 105
Recommended Season: Summer to Fall
Trail Number: 1776
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: Green Mountain, Deckers




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

The third segment of the Colorado Trail leads 13.5 miles west from the Buffalo Creek Area to the Rolling Creek Trailhead, which is immediately east of the Lost Creek Wilderness. The trail begins in the eastern section of the Buffalo Creek Mountain Bike Area. Approximately 10 miles of the trail leads through, and is part of, the mountain bike area, which means heavy mountain bike traffic during the weekends. So you may want to plan your trip accordingly.

The eastern access to this segment of the trail lies at approximately 7920'. The terrain remain relatively level as you travel through the Buffalo Creek Area. The trail leads across 2 stream crossings, the second being Buffalo Creek. The entrance to the Meadows Group Campground will be immediately after the first crossing. This is where mountain bikers should leave the trail so as not to enter the Lost Creek Wilderness.

The terrain gets somewhat steeper after Buffalo Creek. After Buffalo Creek the trail ascends from 7,400' to 8,200' before it descends to cross Wellington Lake Road (543). The Rolling Creek Trailhead is located about .25 miles beyond the road crossing.

Directions from Denver: Eastern Access: Drive south on Highway 285 past Conifer. Turn left on Foxton Road (County Road 97). Approximately 1.5 miles past Reynolds Park turn right on County Road 96 traveling toward Foxton. The next T road will be the junction with County Road 126. Turn left at the T and drive through Buffalo Creek. Continue approximately 5 miles to Forest Road 550. Turn right and the trailhead will be on your immediate right.

Directions from Colorado Springs: Eastern Access: Drive west on Highway 24 to Woodland Park. Turn right on Highway 67 toward Deckers. When you reach Deckers turn left on County Road 126. Follow 126 past Wigwam and Kelsey Campgrounds to Forest Road 550. Turn left on to 550 and the trailhead will be on your immediate right.

Directions from Denver: Western Access: Drive south on 285 to Bailey. In Bailey turn right on to County Road 68. This eventually turns into Forest Road 560. Pass Estabrook and continue traveling on 560 for approximately a mile to a fork in the road. Take the right for which is Wellington Lake Road #543. Drive about 3 miles to the Rolling Creek Trailhead on the western side of the road.

Directions from Colorado Springs: Western Access: Drive west on Highway 24 to Woodland Park. Turn right on Highway 67 toward Deckers. When you reach Deckers turn left on County Road 126. Follow 126 past Wigwam and Kelsey Campgrounds to Forest Road 550. Turn left on to 550 and follow it for to the second junction of with 543 (Wellington Lake Road). At the second junction of 550 and 543 turn left and travel 1.25 miles to the trailhead.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: May through October .



Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Time of Day: mid-moring start
Length of Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: We started on the western side of the trail at Wellington Lake Road. This section contains many steep hills and really isn't "easy". There was one part of the trail that was somewhat level and made for a nice ride, but the rest was downhills and uphills. Not a trail for a novice or someone in poor physical condition.
Conditions: Soft dirt and tight turns on the downhills.
Water Availability: No water sources except a few creek crossings. Take lots of water.
Recommended Clothing: As always, wear your helmet.



Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Colorado Trail (Buffalo Creek to Wellington Lake Road)
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Animal Identification Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Bird Identification Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Mushroom Identification Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Wildflower Identification Colorado Trail
Yes
ICON Mountain Biking Colorado Trail - non-wilderness areas only
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Colorado Trail
Yes



Related Activities
Buffalo Creek General Forest Area - The Buffalo Creek General Forest Area is located along Forest Developed Road 543 southwest of the town of Buffalo Creek. Recreation opportunities include, but are not limited to hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, mountain biking and fishing.

Colorado Trail (South Platte to Buffalo Creek) - The second section of the Colorado Trail leads 9.5 miles west from the old South Platte town site to the Buffalo Creek Mountain Bike area.

Colorado Trail (Wellington Lake Road to Long Gulch - Long Gulch Trailhead is located approximately 11 miles east of Highway 285 on Lost Park Road. Hikers and Horseback riders may gain access to the Lost Creek Wilderness via the Colorado Trail from this site.



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