Buffalo Pass

Area Status: Open

The Buffalo Pass area has been an increasingly popular dispersed recreation hub, partly because of its proximity to Steamboat Springs. The area, however, was lacking in Forest Service trails for people to enjoy the area, and many user created trails were developed instead.

In response, in 2016, the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District conducted an analysis of the potential effects of taking three different alternative actions: no action; closing all user created trails in the area; or constructing new trails and improving the user created trails.

The resulting document, the Buffalo Pass Trails Project Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact, provided the necessary information for the District Ranger to make a decision on a course of action. The Final Decision Notice approved the alternative for the district to construct new trails and improve the user created trails in the area, for a total of approximately 43 miles of trail, as that supported the Forest Service management policy of providing for recreational opportunities while protecting resources. The decision also included the provision to prohibit bicycles and all other wheeled vehicles from riding off of designated trails and roads in the Buffalo Pass area.

Implementation of the project is now underway, with completion anticipated at the end of the 2018 summer season. Current trail status information is provided on this page and will be updated as more trails are completed.

The district is in the process of planning the next phase of trails in the Mad Creek, Rocky Peak, and Rabbit Ears areas. The tenative timeline is:

  • Winter 2017-2018: Informal scoping on potential alternatives.
  • Summer 2018: Field review of alternatives, as needed.
  • Early fall 2018: Draft environmetnal analysis available to the public for comments.
  • Late fall 2018: Final environmental analysis available.

If you are interested in being part of the process, please contact the district office.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 7/20/22 - Open for season.
Open Season: Mid-June - November
Closest Towns:  Steamboat Springs, CO
Water: No
Restroom: No
Information Center: Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District
(970) 870-2299
925 Weiss Drive
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487-9315


Mountain Biking

View trails map.

Day Hiking

Horse Riding

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities