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  1. #1
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    Buffalo Creek - what trails?

    I'm heading to buffalo creek tomorrow. This is my first time there. What are the standout trails I should be heading for and in what direction. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Up Baldy, down Miller to Charlie's. Charlie's to Homestead. Down Homestead to Shinglemill and out. That's 15 miles. Personally, I like the north side better than south of FR550.

  3. #3
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    Okay, I have all day so this is what I am thinking.....

    Park at the Buffalo Creek trail head.

    • Head up Nice Kitty
    • Right onto Buffalo Burn
    • Right onto Colorado Trail
    • Question: is it worth dropping down Shinglemill and then climbing Morrison Creek back up to the CT?
    • Right onto Redskin Creek
    • Right onto Gashouse
    • Left to climb Baldy
    • Right to Miller Gulch
    • Left on Homestead then Left to Charlies Cutoff
    • Right then Left to Skipper
    • Right to Buck Gulch
    • Right to Strawberry Jack
    • Left to Homestead
    • Left to Raspberry Ridge > Blackjack
    • Left to Sandy Wash

    and back to trail head.

    Good all day ride or masochistic?
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 04-28-2013 at 08:49 PM.

  4. #4
    zrm
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    Here's what I rode today:

    Parked at Pine Valley Open Space park.

    Climbed Buck Gulch > Skipper > Descend Homestead > (was going to do Raspberry/Blackjack but my technical mojo was elsewhere so I did Raspberry as an out and back, didn't feel like hurting myself) Charlie's cut off> Homestead > Sandy Wash > Climb Nice Kitty > Buff Burn >Roll up and down CT > Climb descend Redskin> Climb upper Gashouse > Descend Homestead > Descend Strawberry Jack.

    Great ride. Not sure on the milage since I don't have a computer on my bike but I'd put it in the 30ish mile range. All the mentioned trails are great fun, fast flowing single track with an occasional technical section, although BC - with the exception of Raspberry ridge and Blackjack - is not known for technical/chunk riding.

    The Charlie's & Sandy Wash descent is an all time classic.

  5. #5
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    I usually descend shinglemill or Morrison creek all the way to the road then head up and climb gashouse if I'm not doing the ct to redskin. Morrison creek is the left turn when descending shinglemill so climbing back up it would only take you to the upper part of shinglemill. Morrison creek is also pretty loose w decomposed granite and wouldn't be an especially fun climb. I've done it once.

    I'd say either do the redskin creek option or just descend shinglemill. I think it's a tad better than Morrison creek. Tramway is fun but has a pretty good baby head rock section that destroyed a schwalbe tire I was running so I stay away from that one. Other than that you have a great looking plan. I've never done the raspberry ridge to black jack because the Charlie's/homestead/sandy wash descent linked together are a great descent.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input. It seems like my option to descend Shinglemill and climb Morrison is not perhaps the best so I will skip that and continue on the CT to Redskin.

    Also looks like my original plan had me climbing Charlies and not descending it. As the Charlies > Homestead > Sandy Wash seems to be a classic descent I'm changing my plan to perhaps climb Miller Gulch after going Blackjack and then do the final descent. Sound good?

    • Head up Nice Kitty
    • Right onto Buffalo Burn
    • Right onto Colorado Trail
    • Right onto Redskin Creek
    • Right on Gashouse
    • Left to climb Baldy
    • Right to Miller Gulch (only for a short way)
    • Left on ? (not sure if this is Strawberry Jack) to head to Skipper
    • Left to Skipper
    • Right to Buck Gulch
    • Right to Strawberry Jack
    • Left to Homestead
    • Left to Raspberry Ridge > Blackjack
    • Left to Sandy Wash (only for a short way)
    • Right to climb Miller Gulch
    • Right on ? (not sure if this is Strawberry Jack) only for a short way
    • Right to descend Charlies cutoff > Homestead > Sandy Wash


    I don't think my GoPro is going to last all day...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    Thanks for the input. It seems like my option to descend Shinglemill and climb Morrison is not perhaps the best so I will skip that and continue on the CT to Redskin.

    Also looks like my original plan had me climbing Charlies and not descending it. As the Charlies > Homestead > Sandy Wash seems to be a classic descent I'm changing my plan to perhaps climb Miller Gulch after going Blackjack and then do the final descent. Sound good?

    • Head up Nice Kitty
    • Right onto Buffalo Burn
    • Right onto Colorado Trail
    • Right onto Redskin Creek
    • Right on Gashouse
    • Left to climb Baldy
    • Right to Miller Gulch (only for a short way)
    • Left on ? (not sure if this is Strawberry Jack) to head to Skipper
    • Left to Skipper
    • Right to Buck Gulch
    • Right to Strawberry Jack
    • Left to Homestead
    • Left to Raspberry Ridge > Blackjack
    • Left to Sandy Wash (only for a short way)
    • Right to climb Miller Gulch
    • Right on ? (not sure if this is Strawberry Jack) only for a short way
    • Right to descend Charlies cutoff > Homestead > Sandy Wash


    I don't think my GoPro is going to last all day...
    Just go pro raspberry ridge and blackjack, not sure what type of rider you are but blackjack is one of the badest trails you will prob ever ride or walk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richccc View Post
    Just go pro raspberry ridge and blackjack, not sure what type of rider you are but blackjack is one of the badest trails you will prob ever ride or walk.
    Well probably walk then as I would only rank myself as a moderate to good technical rider - certainly no expert. But at least I've got to try it once and I need something technical to challenge my Tallboy LTc! The bike is far more capable that me

    From the XC description of much of Buffalo Creek I fear my 140mm 29er with burly (heavy) Hans Dampf tires my be overkill, but hey, that's what I've got so I'll roll with it
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 04-28-2013 at 10:28 PM. Reason: fixed typo

  9. #9
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    If you have all day, then you could start out on the easy stuff over on the CT, ride around Green Mt and then back up the CT to Shinglemill to Morrison Creek and then up Baldy, from there hitting up all the cool stuff. I tend to think of the south side as your basic Buff Creek fast rolling xc trails. They'd be good for a warm up, but you definitely want to concentrate on the newer trails on the northern end.

  10. #10
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    Buffalo Creek - what trails?

    Good idea Guyechka. I could do 2-3 hours on the South Side then head back to the car for lunch before heading to the North Side.

    I'll think about that as I head down.

    By the way is there Verizon cell service at BC?

  11. #11
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    Just remember that, if you park by the CT off FR550, you have to pay a fee. If you park by the ranger station or off Buff Creek Rd, then you don't have to pay.

  12. #12
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka View Post
    Just remember that, if you park by the CT off FR550, you have to pay a fee. If you park by the ranger station or off Buff Creek Rd, then you don't have to pay.
    There is a donation tube there that I usually put a few bucks in to support the cause.

  13. #13
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    Thanks for the input. It seems like my option to descend Shinglemill and climb Morrison is not perhaps the best so I will skip that and continue on the CT to Redskin.

    Also looks like my original plan had me climbing Charlies and not descending it. As the Charlies > Homestead > Sandy Wash seems to be a classic descent I'm changing my plan to perhaps climb Miller Gulch after going Blackjack and then do the final descent. Sound good?

    • Head up Nice Kitty
    • Right onto Buffalo Burn
    • Right onto Colorado Trail
    • Right onto Redskin Creek
    • Right on Gashouse
    • Left to climb Baldy
    • Right to Miller Gulch (only for a short way)
    • Left on ? (not sure if this is Strawberry Jack) to head to Skipper
    • Left to Skipper
    • Right to Buck Gulch
    • Right to Strawberry Jack
    • Left to Homestead
    • Left to Raspberry Ridge > Blackjack
    • Left to Sandy Wash (only for a short way)
    • Right to climb Miller Gulch
    • Right on ? (not sure if this is Strawberry Jack) only for a short way
    • Right to descend Charlies cutoff > Homestead > Sandy Wash


    I don't think my GoPro is going to last all day...
    That's a long ride with a lot of climbing, probably 40ish miles and 5-6000' vertical.

    For me Raspberry/Blackjack is worth doing just to check it out but for me, who's a solid but not spectacular technical rider it's not that much fun. It's more oriented to the folks who will spend a lot of time sessioning technical problems with their friends till they either get them or loose a lot of skin and bruise a bone or two. I've done it a couple times, walked a few of the sections that had me saying "you've got to be kidding" and called it an experience. I'm glad it's there for those how want and like that kind of stuff, but it's not the reason I go to BC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    That's a long ride with a lot of climbing, probably 40ish miles and 5-6000' vertical.

    For me Raspberry/Blackjack is worth doing just to check it out but for me, who's a solid but not spectacular technical rider it's not that much fun. It's more oriented to the folks who will spend a lot of time sessioning technical problems with their friends till they either get them or loose a lot of skin and bruise a bone or two. I've done it a couple times, walked a few of the sections that had me saying "you've got to be kidding" and called it an experience. I'm glad it's there for those how want and like that kind of stuff, but it's not the reason I go to BC.
    Agree 100%, if there was a shuttle up to top of blackjack would be great, but i definitely don't head to that trail every time i go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    Good idea Guyechka. I could do 2-3 hours on the South Side then head back to the car for lunch before heading to the North Side.

    I'll think about that as I head down.

    By the way is there Verizon cell service at BC?
    In some spots you will get service but i would not rely on it, just make sure someone knows your going. If you get up to black jack and its over your head turn around and ride raspberry ridge down for a pretty good ride.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    There is a donation tube there that I usually put a few bucks in to support the cause.
    Very proud of you...I usually spend my weekends donating my time and money to the homeless.

  17. #17
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by hungryhead View Post
    Very proud of you...I usually spend my weekends donating my time and money to the homeless.
    Awesome. That's a very worthy and compassionate thing to do!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by richccc View Post
    In some spots you will get service but i would not rely on it, just make sure someone knows your going. If you get up to black jack and its over your head turn around and ride raspberry ridge down for a pretty good ride.
    I have a 2-way satellite communicator with me that tracks me which I rely on when in the backcountry.

    Noting the feedback on Backjack I may now skip this as I think I will be pretty tired by the time I get to it. That'll be one I decide on based on my energy reserves at the time.

    Anyway, I'm heading off now....

  19. #19
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    So thanks for the suggestions. I had a good if somewhat exhausting ride. I'm just not as fit as these young whipper snappers!

    I trimmed the ending as I had a motivation dump while climbing Baldy - that's an evil climb, it just goes on and on and it feels as if you're climbing on marbles. The climb up Nice Kitty, Buffalo Burn and the Colorado trail where actually my favorite part of the ride. The trail is nice and firm on those sections and it was refreshing. Once I got to the North side the decomposed granite reared its ugly head and I started to sag somewhat until the descent down Buck Gulch. That was blistering - looking forward to seeing what my video looks like later.

    By then my legs were screaming at me and beginning to cramp - I was always a crap climber and going up Strawberry Jack did not help. I'm not too proud to admit that I walked sections of this as my legs just needed a change.

    I then changed my route and headed to Charlies for the final descent back down Charlies cut off to Homestead to Sandy Wash. Having the climb on Sandy Wash killed me. My legs were beat and I was expecting one continuous descent based on it's "classic" status.

    Still it was a good day. Final tally was 33 miles with 3,750ft of climbing/descending and I did not meet another sole until I got to Baldy.

  20. #20
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    I used to climb Sandy Wash and Charlie's to ride down Baldy. Looking back, I must have been stupid not to have figured out I should reverse it! At least now you get a sense of what it's like up there. Just DO NOT try to climb Buck Gulch!!!

  21. #21
    zrm
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    I think Buck Gulch is the toughest climb at BC, at least from an effort/heart rate point of view, but then I like that sort of thing. (even though I'm not a great climber)

    Baldy is a mean one too and Nice Kitty, especially with those couple of steep little rock sections will pin your heart rate too.

    I hardly ever climb Sandy any more just because you'll get run over.

    If your going east to west on the CT the longesh climb between Shinglemill and Tramway always seems to kick my ass although I know it's not as long or hard as the others mentioned, it's just something mental.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    Okay, I have all day so this is what I am thinking.....

    Park at the Buffalo Creek trail head.

    • Head up Nice Kitty
    • Right onto Buffalo Burn
    • Right onto Colorado Trail
    • Question: is it worth dropping down Shinglemill and then climbing Morrison Creek back up to the CT?
    • Right onto Redskin Creek
    • Right onto Gashouse
    • Left to climb Baldy
    • Right to Miller Gulch
    • Left on Homestead then Left to Charlies Cutoff
    • Right then Left to Skipper
    • Right to Buck Gulch
    • Right to Strawberry Jack
    • Left to Homestead
    • Left to Raspberry Ridge > Blackjack
    • Left to Sandy Wash

    and back to trail head.

    Good all day ride or masochistic?
    That is exactly (minus raspberry/blackjack) the ride I did on Sunday... it was AWESOME!!!!
    here is the Strava for the ride

  23. #23
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    This was my final ride.

    Buffalo Creek near Jefferson, CO

  24. #24
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    Park at Pine Valley - do Raspberry/Blackjack early. That leaves you with hordes of options depending on how quickly you get knackered.

    Oh, wait. This advice is too late.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Park at Pine Valley - do Raspberry/Blackjack early. That leaves you with hordes of options depending on how quickly you get knackered.

    Oh, wait. This advice is too late.
    Not too late I plan to go back on Friday and do more of it starting with the north end this time so I can hit those trails fresh. Hoping that this snow will be gone by then.

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