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Level: Intermediate
Length: 11 mi (17.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +572/ -483 ft
Total: 107 riders

Mountain Biking Buck Gulch

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#206 of 1,348 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#1,605 in the world

This is yet another awesome ride in the Buffalo Creek area with well groomed singletrack and
fantastic scenery. Take the Narrow Gauge Trail to the right for about 0.3 miles then turn left onto
Buck Gulch Trail (crossing the bridge). Ride Buck Gulch all the way up a fairly steep climb to the
intersection with the Skipper Trail. Take the Skipper to the left to a four way intersection with the
Homestead Trail. Go right on the doubletrack to the intersection with Charlie's Cutoff. Go left on
Charlie's cutoff, then left back onto the Homestead Trail. This will spit you out back at the four
way intersection, go right onto Strawberry Jack Trail for a nice downhill back to the Buck Gulch
Trail. Go right onto Buck Gulch and you're back at Pine Valley Ranch open space. This is one of
the top rides in the area once you get past the initial climb (about 1000 ft in 3 miles) and offers
some great singletrack, all completely rideable.

First added by Jeff Barber on Jun 13, 2004. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Take US 285 West from Denver to Pine Junction. Turn left onto County Road 126 and go about 6 miles to Pine Valley Ranch entrance on the right. Follow the road to the end at the trailhead.
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Buck Gulch Trail map

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Trail checkins

Maggy Mulhern (on Jul 21, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Mar 17, 2018)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Pine, Colorado

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Expert | 3 mi
Intermediate | 3 mi
Intermediate | 4 mi

Rider questions

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  • kaseytea

    This is one of my favorite trails. There are never any crowds, and usually you don't see any body. The aspens are incredible to ride through. The view on top is hard to beat. It feels as if you really don't have to climb that much and its not a hard climb at all. The downhill is awesome and entertaining. There is enough big rocks to keep you focused but never big enough where you couldn't clean it. Great fun ride that has something for everyone.

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  • John Fisch

    "It would have been more enjoyable if it wasn't such a sand pit. But there's not much that can be done about that."

    Sure there is--simply start from any of the many other access points to the Buff Creek system. :-)

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  • Jon Campbell

    For my first Buffalo Creek ride, the initial climb felt a little loose and long, but after that it was consistent flowy fun. I can't wait to explore the rest of the system.

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  • wigg006

    Rode this trail on 5/24/14. Due to all the rain we have had this last week the trail condition was a little sub par, lots and lots of deep gravel and deep rain ruts. The deep gravel was really difficult to pedal through. Other than that it was a great trail. Connected with Skipper, Strawberry, Homestead, Charlies cutoff, and Sandy Wash.

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  • stumpyfsr   ✓ supporter

    Rode this as a part of Buffalo Creek in 2011. Great trail, very well maintained and fun to ride.

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  • DanK_NoCo

    Buck Gulch is a fairly wide track, nearly a doubletrack, that climbs about 1000 feet in the 3 miles of trail - a pretty gradual climb for the front range. The surface is mostly the crushed gravel that's typical of buffalo creek. The sand/gravel gets deep enough to steal your momentum in many places, so you do spend a bit of energy even on the flatter sections. The trail winds thru the woods, keeping you in the shade more than half of the way so it's easy to stay cool. There are few technical challenges to grunt over on the climb, keeping the high effort pedal strokes to a minimum.

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  • headholio

    I disagree with those who say its not up to par with other rides in the area. To me, its one of the best. The ups and downs of this ride are broken up throughout the ride, as compared to the standard buff creek ride with is basically 7 miles up and 7 back down. Also, the views on this ride are better than what you get with Buff creek, green mtn, lunar, etc. The view coming down strawberry back to the park is really nice.
    I can't rate it easy, because of the initial climb, but its not technical.

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  • John Fisch

    I found this to be the least interesting trail in the Buff Creek area. It's a tough climb on wide, gravely singletrack. There's excellent scenery in some places, but very little of the great flow found in other parts of Buffalo Creek and none of the technical goodies sprinkled in along the way. It's a good way to connect to other area trails from the north, but I wouldn't make it my primary Buffalo Creek route of its own accord.

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  • zr140th

    Again, recommended to go up Buck and down Strawberry Jack. No if's, and's, or but's.....this is a climb. 3mi up of some decent trail. The payoff is well worth this entry into Buffalo Creek but don't be fooled, you'll be paying the mountain gods off right from the start.

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  • sspragu3

    Nice trail overall. Good climb to start out the ride, very steady. Some fun downhill singletrack, though by far the most sand of all the trails I've ridden in the area. Good trail for those looking to avoid technical areas, but still want an exciting ride.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    If you park at the open space parking lot, this trail is a long, steep climb up to the Buffalo creek area, with a speedy descent back down. The area got burned out several years ago, but the trail has since been repaired.

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  • RohoSombrero

    Great ride. Not technical or difficult in the least (I think you could probably ride this with a street bike with very few walk-arounds) so you would have to rate it easy. Some will no doubt think this detracts but personally I enjoy a pure "exploration" ride once in awhile, maybe as much as a good hard technical ride.

    The scenery is beautiful and the first 3 miles will give you plenty of excercise. After that the real fun starts as you get to actually go down hill as well as uphill for a bit.

    I rode the trail map on Single Tracks exactly and quite enjoyed it. It was nice to be able to know ahead of time where the elevation tops out and plan the decent/ascent and have a reasonable idea of time and effort.

    I ate lunch on the last summit so I could finish fast on a full stomach and not have to climb. It was kind of late in the afternoon with a rain storm rolling in and I found it a pretty intense, almost spiritual experience. Do it alone and I think you'll find it enhances the experience.

    Unlike others that have weighed in, I found the charred trees to be quite striking and beautiful. In places you could see for miles in all directions through the trees due to reduced vegetation (nothing but more forest on all sides) and it seemed revelatory of what it must have been like before the fire. It was also fascinating to see how many trees survived and are generating new growth. The ride also includes a few areas that the fire missed entirely which is interesting for comparison purposs.

    I loved the narrow single track with the tall wild flowers on both sides with the ghost trees as constant observers. It was strikingly beautiful IMO. Well worth the couple hours drive from Colorado Springs.

    - Mike

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  • plexus

    Uphill wasn't as strenuous as I feared, just a couple of steep hills. Still some treefalls you have to porter around.

    Found the downhill to be rather blah and actually enjoyed the climb better. Did go over the handlebars once because of cyclist stupidity (look at the trail, not the pretty rocks in the distance).

    Went on a Monday and saw one angler at the parking lot. Nice to be out with nobody around.

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  • Crash_Davis

    Starts out with a hard climb for about 3 miles. A few swtchbacks on this part but not enough to catch your breath. A couple of bridge crossings, some boulders that are great for slick-rocking around on, nice tight single track in places, well groomed and clean. A few technical areas and great dowhills. Seems to have it all. This is a 1997 burn area wich makes it unique. Trees still fall on the track and a few (2) were not passable without a carry. I got a spoke pinch flat on the last hardrock downhill section, while I was changing it, each rider passing asked if I had all the necessary gear. Very pleasant groups and I only encountered two groups on a beautiful mid-morning Sunday in September. I'd say this is a gem close to Denver.

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  • bonkedagain

    This is not a real exciting ride. The three mile uphill gets kind of monotonous. A few fun turns here and there, some nice coasting back to the bottom. Save this trail for after you have exhausted yourself on the Colorado Trail to the north and all its feeder trails. If you still have some gas left in your tank then do this quick loop.

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