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Buchanan Pass Trail

  • Sep 27, 2012 · 8:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Round-Trip Length: 7.7 miles
Start-End Elevation: 8,755' - 9,630' (9,630' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +875' net elevation gain (+1,029' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: Yes

From the parking area at the west end of Camp Dick, head west on Middle St Vrain Road to the Buchanan Pass Trail junction and backcountry board (.1 mile). Bear right and cross Middle St Vrain Creek; once over the Buchanan Pass Trail bends west and closely parallels both for the next 3.7 miles. The trail is quickly absorbed by a tall, crowded forest filled by aspen, hanging mosses, thick ground vegetation, and large boulders. The creek is generally accessible throughout the hike.

Conditions, scenery and difficulty vary little over the first 1.5 miles; in 1.75 miles the trail climbs more assertively to Timberline Falls (2.2 miles : 9,223'), a deep, staged gorge capped by immense boulders accessible from the trail.

The trail continues past the falls, crosses a dilapidated foot bridge (2.85 miles : 9,335'), and rises to an abrupt opening on the edge of Coney Flats (3.35 miles : 9,530'). Coney Flats is a marshy area with lots of pine and aspen separating Mt.Audubon (south) and St Vrain Mountain (north).

The trail crests in a small talus field with views of Sawtooth Mountain (12,304'). This is where we'll turn around.

Here a long bridge connects back to the 4x4 road on which you initially began; the Buchanan Pass Trail continues west on a circuitous route through Coney Flats and over the Continental Divide with connections to St Vrain Glacier, St Vrain Mountain (12,162') and Red Deer Lake (10,372').

Directions to the Trailhead: Hiway 93 into Boulder and follow Broadway north to Canyon Blvd - turn west. Or US36 west to Boulder to the Baseline Exit. Follow Broadway to Canyon Blvdand go west through the Boulder Canyon into Nederland. At the roundabout, veer to the right onto hiway 72 (the Peak to Peak highway) and follow north about 17 miles to the Camp Dick Campground. The Buchanan Pass Trailhead is located on the far west end of the Camp Dick Campground parking lot. The parking lot is located 1.3 miles west of the turnoff from hiway 72.

Carpooling: Meet at 6:30am at the free parking lot located on the northeast corner of hiways 93 and 170 (not I-70) where we'll form carpools.

Optional lunch in Nederland at the Wild Mountain BBQ & Brewery.

See you there!

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  • Terry G.

    Great hike. Great people.

    September 28, 2012

  • Carolyn

    Weather was perfect- a bit grey, cool, moist. The sun even showed it's lovely face.

    September 27, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    anyone want to carpool from the Justice center at 6th and Canyon in Boulder?

    September 24, 2012

    • Carolyn

      See you there.

      September 26, 2012

    • Carolyn

      I have your pole and I left my sandwich at the restaurant... or on top of my car.

      September 27, 2012

  • Jim O.

    very nice trail. Usual good bunch of hikers.

    September 27, 2012

  • Debbie

    The sun came out just for us! Beautiful fall colors and a sneak peak at Sawtooth Mountain. It was an awesome hike with an awesome group. Lunch was fun too at Wild Mountain BBQ & Brewery (a first for some)!

    September 27, 2012

  • Randy

    It was a great hike. The weather was good until we finished. Great time

    September 27, 2012

  • Tricia

    Hi, Debbie,
    Marilyn and I will be meeting you and would like to carpool from
    the PnR at 6:30. Thanks

    September 25, 2012

  • Debbie

    Who will be meeting me at the parking lot on the northeast corner of hiways 93 and 170 (road to Eldorado Springs)? Please add to your RSVP:-) Thanks.

    September 25, 2012

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