Mountain bike riders this time of year start hearing the call of the trails as the temps get warmer and the days get longer. Not quite dry yet, but soon to be, is one of the Front Range’s best trail system: Buffalo Creek.
Located an hour west of Denver, or about 45 minutes from our Peak Cycles Bike Shop in Golden, the Buffalo Creek trail system is a hands down favorite trail in the greater-Denver region. Why? With a diverse trail system consisting of 20 plus miles of sweet single track and 2,700 feet in elevation gain, you’ll enjoy mountain views, majestic rock formations, great downhills, smooth roller coasters, and almost ALL single track. Here’s what you need to know.
Where it’s located: Buffalo Creek Trails, Pine, Colorado
Directions: From the Denver foothills, drive west up Highway 285 past Conifer to Pine Junction. Take a left (southeast) onto County Road 126 (Pine Valley Road) and continue 5.5 miles toward the town of Pine. Take a right onto Crystal Lake Road and follow it to the parking lot.
Trail Map: There are literally dozens of trail combinations in the buffalo creek area. Meaning, you can make this a short or long ride covering 30 or 40 miles in an afternoon. The two long downhill trails are arguably the best in the Buffalo Creek trail system: Sandy Wash Trial and the Strawberry Jack Trial. Like most of the trails in the system, you will find a lot of gravel and sand under your tires, not too many rocks, not too bad of a killer technical ride, but your legs will most likely feel it on the climbs. Because there are many possible loops in this area, it is easy for it to be confusing. Be sure to stop by the shop to get a map of the system before heading out.
Trail Ratings: The trails are good for beginner, intermediate, and advanced riders. All of them fun and several can be challenging. Note, The Black Jack Trails are advanced trails and require advanced skills and bike control. Getting through this section of trail might call for a dropper seat post and maybe a full faced helmet.
Bike Parts and Components: As always, you are going to want to have your basic essentials: full fingered gloves, a hydration pack, sunscreen, and dialed in bike components. The last thing you want to be doing on this trail is fixing your bike. Wondering what type of bike is best suited for the Buffalo Creek Trail system? You have several options and you can’t go wrong with any of them. A full suspension bike, like the Specialized Stump Jumper 29er, might be best for longer or more casual rides; however, opt for a hardtail like the Specialized Carve Expert 29 for a good workout and speed. Singlespeed bikes are a good option as well.
When to Ride: The trail system is mostly isolated from storms and the trails tend to dry quick after Summer rains. Spring can be wet but Summer and Fall are a must.
There you have it! Make a point to get out and ride the Buffalo Creek Trail System – you won’t regret it!