Buffalo Pass

A scenic unpaved road to Buffalo Pass in Colorado

Buffalo Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.146m (10,321ft) above the sea level, located on the boundary between Routt and Grand counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is suitable for most SUVs and some passenger cars with careful tire placement in spots.

Can you drive to Buffalo Pass in Colorado?

Tucked away in in the Routt National Forest, the road to the summit is totally unpaved. It’s called Buffalo Pass Road (Routt County Road 38 and Forest Service Road 60). The pass is located between Steamboat Springs and Walden. Although this road is in good condition, and 2WD cars will do fine at lower elevations, towards the top and final few miles the conditions become rough for approximately four miles. High clearance vehicles are recommended.

Is Buffalo Pass open?

Set high in the Park Range of the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado, this road is usually closed from December 1 through June 30th or early July (depending on snow). The open and close dates all depend on snowmelt and snowfall each year.

Is the road to Buffalo Pass scenic?

The weather on this zone is harsh and highly unpredictable and it does not take much time for the bright sun shine to change over to moderate to heavy snow fall. This approximately 15-mile stretch of scenic dirt road crosses the diverse habitats within the Park Range of the Rocky Mountains. Be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions. Lightning storms often form in early afternoon, so be prepared for a quick departure, if necessary. Sunscreen is a good idea in the thin air at high elevation. The elevation itself can cause discomfort in some people. Be cautious of hazard trees on and outside of the road corridor. Dead trees can and do fall without warning and with little or no help from the wind. Ridiculous amount of mosquitos so make sure your anti-bug game is on point. This road offers spectacular views of the Yampa and North Park valleys below, multiple alpine lakes within walking distance, access to the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, multiple disperse camping sites and Summit Lake Campground with restroom facilities. Summit Lake is easily accessed from the top.
Pic&video: dc5grl

 

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