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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests > Sulphur Ranger District

Quick Facts

Buchanan Pass Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,820 Feet (2749.4 Meters) at jct. with Cascade Creek Trail
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 3,017 Feet (940.5 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,837 Feet (3689.8 Meters) at Buchanan Pass
Length, One-way: 5.9 Days from Cascade Creek to Buchanan Pass
Other Maps: Arapaho National Forest Map
TI Topo Maps: #102 Indian Peaks, Gold Hill; #200 Rocky Mountain National Park
Trail Number: 2
Usage: Moderate to Heavy
USGS Maps: Monarch Lake; Isolation Lake

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Buchanan Pass Trail, #2, leads from the Cascade Creek Trail, northeast to Buchanan Pass. It begins in lodgepole pine forest along Cascade Creek and travels through a variety of ecotypes to emerge above timberline in the alpine tundra. The trail travels through a beautiful, glacier cut valley and Fox Park. Gourd Lake can be reached on a 2.7 mile spur trail. Camp fires are not permitted at Gourd Lake. Buchanan Pass offers an excellent view of the surrounding mountains, and out to the Great Plains on a clear day. Travelers can continue to the east side of the divide to the Middle St. Varian drainage.

This trail is located within the Indian Peaks Wilderness - regulations apply. A permit is required for overnight users between June 1 and September 15.

Directions from Granby: Follow Highway 40 west to Highway 34. Go north on Hwy 34 to Forest Road 125, on the south end of Lake Granby. Follow 125 east to the Monarch Lake Trailhead. Hike the Cascade Creek Trail #1, to the Buchanan Pass Trail, just past Shelter Rock.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall (NOTE: Snow often covers portions of the trail until Early July.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Buchanan Pass and connecting trails
ICON Hiking & Walking Buchanan Pass and connecting trails
ICON Horseback Riding Buchanan Pass and connecting trails
ICON Viewing Scenery Fox Park and Buchanan Pass

Related Activities
Cascade Creek Trail - The Cascade Creek Trail, #1, is located east of Granby and Monarch Lake. It is one of the most heavily used trails in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Sulphur Ranger District, 62429 US Hwy 40, P.O. Box 10 , Granby, CO, 80446, Phone: 970-887-4100, Fax: 970-887-4102, TTY: 970-887-4101


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