Is there anything better than mountain biking in the fall, with a blue sky and cool, crisp air, rushing past the yellow aspens? Not really. There are many great trails to enjoy fall riding near Evergreen, Colorado, and one of my favorites is Buffalo Creek. It’s easy to meet friends in town at Outbound Mountain Gear, and carpool for the easy 40-minute drive to these amazing trails.
Riding at Buff Creek is a great way to spend a fall day. Since many of the trails are what I like to call “desert style,” with little shade and some sections of sandy dirt, a cool fall day is the best time to be out on our favorite trails. There are two routes I typically take, but so many more options to explore this trail system.
My “old faithful” route is a 9ish mile ride starting at the trailhead on Buffalo Creek Rd. Ride up the dirt road just a bit until you get to the Nice Kitty trail on the left. Don’t let the name fool you, this trail wants to challenge your stamina with just over 1,000 feet of elevation gain in 5 miles. It’s a fun singletrack trail that can be ridden up or down, and there are a few fun rocks along the way to test your technical riding skills. Enjoy the view at the top, and then continue on to a nice flowy break on CT segment 3. Keep your eyes out for Shinglemill on the right, it’s your downhill reward! Enjoy the flow down this trail, especially the little section through the aspen grove. At the end of the trial, another mile down the dirt road brings you right back to the trailhead for some snacks and aprés.
The second route I frequent is the loved-by-many Little Scraggy. Weighing in at 12+ miles, you get a little bit of everything on this trail. It starts off with some fun flow, and after the first few miles you’re rewarded with the first flowy downhill segment. My favorite thing about this trail is that there are many options to test your technical riding going up and over black-rated obstacles, but there’s always an option to ride around and stay on the blue-rated dirt trails. While there’s a good bit of climbing to reach the top, it’s all very rideable and you just have to keep pedaling. Little Scraggy is one of the trails that does have a good amount of shade, and 5 or 6 miles in you can pause to take in the gorgeous view of the mountains beyond the meadow. After the view, keep pedaling up the not-so-shady section and commit to the technical roots and rocks after that, knowing that you’re almost at the top. Your reward for all of that pedaling? A fun, fast, flowy, 3-mile downhill that will keep you smiling the whole way down. If only that was the end of the trail - just 2 more miles to test your mental grit and pedal back up to the trailhead. Biking Little Scraggy always makes me feel strong and accomplished, and it’s a great loop to do with a group of friends.
I’ve enjoyed Buff Creek on both my hardtail and my full suspension bikes, and have already had a few good summer rides on these trails. After a great ride, it’s back to the bike shop so that my guys at Outbound Mountain Gear can keep my bike in tip-top shape for the next adventure!