This high mountain pass, an alternative route between Walden and Steamboat Springs, passes through superb high mountain forest. Watch especially for Dusky Grouse on the North Park side; they can often be seen along the road in the spring not long after the pass opens. The spruce-fir forest at the top has a high density of American Three-toed Woodpeckers, as well as other species such as Olive-sided Flycatcher, Gray Jay, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Swainson’s Thrush. Elk, mule deer, If you feel up to some night birding, keep an ear out for Northern Saw-whet Owl, and at the higher elevations, Boreal Owl.
Habitat: Spruce-Fir Forest, Aspen Grove, Mountain Meadow
Directions: From Walden go a little over a mile south on CO 125 and take a right (west) onto CO 14. Go 11.5 miles to the intersection with CR 24 and take a right (west). The summit of Buffalo Pass is 17 miles west of CO 14 on CR 24. Be sure to bird the spectacular mountain habitat on the way up to the pass. From Steamboat Springs (Routt), go north on 6th Street, bear right at the first fork onto Laurel St., and right at the second fork onto Park Ave. Take Park Ave. to a 'T' and go left onto North Park Rd. Follow North Park Rd. as it becomes Routt CR 36 and go 1.7 miles north to the intersection with Routt CR 38. Go right onto CR 38 and follow it 11 miles to the summit of the pass.
Delorme: 17 D4
Roads of Colorado: 37 E3
Dates of Access: Closed in the winter
Ownership: US Forest Service
Lodging: Primitive camping
Handicapped Access: Some car birding