I’ve been doing some mountain biking in the Buffalo Creek area. This is a new-to-me riding area and I’ve been having a lot of fun there. I’ve only hit a handful of trails and all of them have been marked intermediate, which I’ve felt pretty comfortable on. None of the trails I’ve been on have been very technical, but they all have had a technical spot here and there. Some more than others. Here’s a little rundown on some of the trails. Check out singletracks.com and mtbproject.com for more details.
Morrison Creek and Shinglemill. This is a nice loop and will get you about 6 miles total including the ride from the parking area. From what I gather, the most common direction for this is up Morrison Creek and down Shinglemill, which is what I did. Morrison Creek is the third trailhead on the left of the road (coming from the parking area in Pine) and is just a short ride after the Shinglemill trailhead. It is a nice trail with no technical moves at all. It’s a climb, though. Not steep, but fairly continuous. The views, like most of the area, are awesome. Morrison Creek eventually intersects Shinglemill at roughly the halfway point of Shinglemill’s length. Take a left to descend Shinglemill, which is slightly more techincal than Morrison Creek, but just barely. It’s a hoot downhill, though. I’m no speed freak, but it is still a lot of fun.
Nice Kitty and Chair Rocks. This is good longer ride. Doing an out and back will net you about 20 miles. I opted for the smooth 35mph highway ride on the return and ended up at around 16 miles. Nice Kitty is the first left off the road from the parking lot. It’s a fun trail and, to me, significantly more difficult than Morrison Creek or Shinglemill, though all three are rated as intermediate. I agree with that rating, they all fall into intermediate difficulty, but nice Kitty definitely has a few advanced moves. Nothing that will sneak up on you though, so it is easy to bail out and walk. Awesome views to the west off of Nice Kitty about halfway up.
Gashouse, Strawberry Jack, Homestead and Sandy Wash. This loop is on the north/northwest side of South Buffalo Creek Road and takes a wide loop around Baldy Peak. If you start at the parking area off of highway 126 on South Buffalo Creek Road, you’ll ride quite a ways down the road until you finally get off onto Gashouse. Then you’ll eventually intersect Strawberry Jack, then Homestead and finally Sandy Wash which will dump you onto the road again, just down from the parking area. Like a lot of the rides here, you could hop on other trails to extend or shorten the route. This was a good trail for me. It had a few spots that were a little too technical for me so I had to walk my bike. But, only for a few feet. There weren’t any extended hikes. My more experienced biking partner had no trouble at all, but still had a good time. This loop ended up at about 15.5 miles.
It’s hard not to have a good time here. The scenery is spectacular, the trails are well maintained and even when it’s crowded, you won’t be passing people all the time. There are enough trails to have something for everyone and plenty of space for everyone. There are enough trails and intersections to build a ride of just about any distance from any starting point. The locals who maintain the parking area do an awesome job. If you ride here, consider donating a few bucks at the donation station next to the pavilion with the snacks and drinks. Better yet, consider volunteering for some trail building/maintenance. Just read the information in the pavilion to get hooked up.
What do you think of Buffalo Creek? Or do you have a favorite trail network?