Scenic USA - Colorado

Buffalo Peaks Wilderness

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Buffalo Peaks Wilderness - Buena Vista, Colorado

Photo by Marilyn Porter

   South of Fairplay, along U.S. Route 285, Colorado's CR 76 leads westward into the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness. Here, climbers and hikers will surely find solitude and a good chance to see a few members of the largest herd of bighorn sheep in the Rockies.
   Named for two volcanic mountains of the Mosquito Range, Buffalo Peaks Wilderness is a late entry to the state's preserve land. Established in 1993, wilderness trails are few, as well as human visitors. Viewed as moderate climb, the 13,000 foot East and West Buffalo Peaks lack the distinctive sharp lines of the nearby glacial carved Collegiate Peaks. Crossing the saddle, from east to west, spectacular views are offered, as well as an excellent opportunity to spot some of the area's wildlife. Below the tree line, elk and deer graze in grassy meadows found among the large stands of fir, spruce, aspen and bristlecone pines.
   Covered with a blanket of fresh fallen snow, this scene captures a view of the distant Buffalo Peaks. Here at the southern end of the Mosquito Range, the twin peaks rise as two distinct domes, protected by a tough layer of lava (basalt). Whether you’re mountain climbing, camping (Buffalo Springs Campground), hiking or just sightseeing, Forest Road 431 leads to some quite unique Rocky Mountain scenery.

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