Buffalo Pass - 13 Things to Know Before Visiting


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Mountain Passes

About Buffalo Pass

Buffalo Pass is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of north-central Colorado in the United States. It is located in the Park Range, within Routt National Forest. The pass provides a route between the headwaters of the North Fork of the Illinois River on the west side of the continental divide and the Middle Fork of the Williams Fork River on the east side. Buffalo Pass is traversed by State Highway 14 and Forest Road 50, both of which are popular scenic routes.

Hotels near Buffalo Pass

Hotels to stay near Buffalo Pass


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Things to Do at Buffalo Pass

Buffalo Pass is a great place to explore the outdoors in Routt County, Colorado. There are plenty of things to do in the area, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding. There are also several lakes and streams for fishing and canoeing. In addition, the area is home to several wildlife species, making it a great place for bird watching or wildlife photography. Buffalo Pass is a beautiful place to enjoy the scenery and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Activities Around

History of Buffalo Pass

Buffalo Pass is a high mountain pass in Routt County, Colorado. The pass is located in the southeastern part of the county, east of the town of Steamboat Springs. Buffalo Pass was originally used by Native Americans as a hunting and trading route. In the early 1800s, the pass was used by settlers moving westward into Colorado. In 1845, an explorer named John C. Fremont become the first person to map the pass. Buffalo Pass became an important transportation route in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad built a line through the pass in 1881, and the Denver, Northwestern & Pacific Railway built a line through the pass in 1909. The two railroads were later consolidated into the Denver & Salt Lake Railroad. Today, Buffalo Pass is primarily used for recreation, and it is a popular destination for hiking, biking, and skiing.

Best Time to Visit Buffalo Pass

 The best time to visit Buffalo Pass is during the summer months. From late June to early September, the weather is warm and dry, making it ideal for outdoor activities. During this time, the wildflowers are also in bloom, adding a splash of color to the landscape. However, visitors should be aware that Buffalo Pass can be crowded on weekends and holidays. 

Tips for Visiting Buffalo Pass

  1. Get an early start. The roads to Buffalo Pass open at sunrise, and the trailheads fill up quickly on summer weekends. By starting your hike early, you can avoid the crowds and enjoy the peace of the wilderness.
  2.  Pack for all weather conditions. Buffalo Pass is known for its unpredictable weather, so be sure to pack layers and rain gear. Even in the middle of summer, snow is not uncommon at higher elevations.
  3. Be prepared for wildlife encounters. Buffalo Pass is home to a variety of wildlife, including bears, elk, and mountain lions. Be sure to educate yourself on how to safely encounter these animals before heading into the wilderness.
  4. Stick to established trails. With over 36 miles of trails, Buffalo Pass has something for everyone. However, it is important to stay on established trails in order to minimize your impact on the environment and avoid getting lost in the wilderness.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings . With its steep cliffs and unstable talus slopes, Buffalo Pass is a dangerous place if you're not paying attention to where you are going . Use caution when hiking off-trail and always be aware of your surroundings .
  6. mosquitos can be a problem in summer, so bring insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants if possible.

  7. Remember that cell phone reception is often spotty in rural areas like Buffalo Pass. Don't rely on your phone for navigation or communication; make sure you have a paper map as well as a backup plan in case of an emergency .

  8. Remember to pack plenty of snacks and water, as there are no restaurants or stores in the area.

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Buffalo Pass

  1. The Buffalo Pass is home to a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, moose, and coyotes.The area is also popular with birdwatchers, as it is home to a variety of birds, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons.
  2. The Buffalo Pass is located in the Rocky Mountains and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  3. The area receives an average of 30 inches of snow each year, making it a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders.
  4. The Buffalo Pass is accessible via a number of trails, including the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
  5.  The Buffalo Pass area was designated as a National Forest in 1908 and now covers nearly 200,000 acres.
  6. In addition to its natural beauty, the Buffalo Pass is also home to a number of historical sites, including the Sinks Canyon petroglyphs.

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Buffalo Pass

Although it can be done in a day, it is recommended to allow two days to explore Buffalo Pass and the surrounding area. This will give you plenty of time to enjoy all that this scenic area has to offer.

How to Reach Buffalo Pass

Buffalo Pass is located in Routt County, Colorado. To reach the pass, take Highway 40 west from Steamboat Springs. The road will wind its way through the mountains and eventually come to a fork. Take the left fork, and continue on until you reach the pass. 

Entrance Fee of Buffalo Pass

There is no fee to explore Buffalo Pass, however there may be areas that require a permit for camping or parking.

Opening Hours of Buffalo Pass

The pass is open year-round, but the level of access varies depending on the season. In winter, the pass is generally only accessible to snowmobiles and other winter recreation vehicles. However, in summer and fall, the pass is open to all vehicles. 

Attractions Near Buffalo Pass

Routt National Forest

Routt National Forest

1.75km from Buffalo Pass

Routt National Forest lands are located in northwestern Colorado. The Steamboat Ski Resort is located in the forest, on Mount Werner. The forest is named after John Routt, the first Governor of Colorado.Routt National Forest contains seven wilderness areas entirely or partially within it. Entirely within Routt are the Mount Zirkel and the Sarvis Creek Wildernesses.

Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests

Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests

3.14km from Buffalo Pass

The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests encompass a huge area of land in Moffat County, Colorado. The forests are home to a variety of plant and animal life, and offer a wide range of recreation opportunities. The forests are also an important source of water for the region. The forests are popular with hikers, campers, and hunters, and offer a variety of trails and camping sites. In addition, the forests are home to several ski resorts, making them a popular destination in winter.

Teal Lake

Teal Lake

7.86km from Buffalo Pass

Teal Lake is a 50-acre lake surrounded by a rocky shoreline and pine-fir forest. The lake is popular for trout fishing and lies close to a wilderness area with a variety of hiking and off-highway vehicle trails. Outdoor recreation includes boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, hunting, horseback riding, picnicking and wildlife viewing. There’s also some nice OHV trails in the area.

Fish Creek Falls

Fish Creek Falls

10.02km from Buffalo Pass

Fish Creek Falls is a stunning natural waterfall formed by Fish Creek, which cascades down a rocky cliff face into a deep pool below. Visitors can view the falls from a variety of vantage points, including an overlook located just a short walk from the parking area. For those looking for a more immersive experience, there is also a hiking trail that winds its way down to the base of the falls. It provides visitors with an up-close look at the rushing water and towering cliffs.

Mount Werner

Mount Werner

10.79km from Buffalo Pass

Mount Werner is a mountain is the tallest mountain in the county, and it is a popular destination for hikers and climbers. The summit of Mount Werner offers stunning views of the surrounding area, and it is also home to a variety of wildlife. Mount Werner is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders, and it is also a popular spot for camping and picnicking. There are several trails that lead to the summit of Mount Werner, and the mountain is also home to a variety of ski resorts.

Steamboat Ski Resort

Steamboat Ski Resort

13.94km from Buffalo Pass

The Steamboat Ski Resort is located in Routt County, Colorado. The resort opened in 1963 and offers a variety of winter activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. The resort has 2,965 acres of skiable terrain and features over 30 lifts, including a gondola. In addition to the slopes, the resort also has a warm springs pool, an outdoor ice rink, and a number of restaurants and shops.The Steamboat Ski Resort is a great place to enjoy the winter months.

Discover More Attractions in Routt County, Home of Buffalo Pass

Routt County

Routt County

14 attractions

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of northwestern Colorado, Routt County is a place of natural beauty and rugged adventure. The county is home to Mount Zirkel, the state's highest peak north of the I-70 corridor, as well as the Sarvis Creek Wilderness, which offers miles of hiking and camping opportunities. In winter, the county's alpine slopes are a mecca for skiers and snowboarders, while its valleys offer cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter activities. Whether you're looking for

Location of Buffalo Pass


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