- 8 miles
- 5 - 6 hours
- Trailhead Elevation:
- 10000 feet
- Elevation Range:
- 10000 feet to 12000 feet
- Elevation Change:
- 2000 feet
- Summer to Winter
Rich Creek Trail provides access into the Buffalo Creek Wilderness Area. Mountain bikes and mechanized equipment are not allowed.
This is a great trail for planning a backpacking outing. Following Rich Creek to Buffalo Meadows, and returning via the Rough and Tumbling Creek Trail is an excellent 11 mile loop. Side trips to Buffalo Peaks and nearby fishing becomes a single track (trail 618, Salt Creek Trail) to its intersection with the Tumbling Creek Trail (617).
In general, the terrain around Buffalo Peaks is only moderately rugged. Cross-country travel off the trails is not difficult, even to the tops of the peaks.
Potable water is available at the Weston Pass Campground. Backcountry water is available along Rich Creek.
The easiest access to Rich Creek Trail is off of County Road 22 (Weston Pass Road). The Rich Creek Trailhead is located at the forest boundary. Parking is available here. Cross stream (South fork of the South Platte River) on a footbridge, turn right, follow trail leading upstream.
Another access point is from FDR 431. Drive to the end of this road. Begin following old jeep road. Follow 617 upstream (left). This segment of the trail is steep (switchbacks) but provides quick access into Buffalo Meadows and the Rich Creek Trail (approximately 4 miles). The Lynch Creek Trailhead is located here.