The huge granite dome called Buffalo Mountain towers above Dillon Reservoir and the towns of Silverthorne, Dillon, and Frisco. Such an imposing mountain attracts climbers and over the years people scrambled up, creating “climbers ’trails” to the summit. Buffalo Mountain now boasts a new summit trail that, while still difficult, is much more hiker and environmentally friendly. “Still difficult” means a 23 percent grade for 0.6 mile through a boulder field. The climb is well worth the effort for the views, beautiful tundra flowers, and a chance to see the mountain goat family that grazes on the high slopes.
Buffalo Mountain has long been a landmark in Summit County. Called Buffalo by early settlers who thought it looked like a buffalo’s back, the peak towered over La Bonte’s Hole below, at the intersection of the Blue River, Snake River, and Tenmile Creek. Buffalo (bison) grazed in the lush valley during the summer, retreating over Hoosier Pass to South Park for the long winters. Ute Indians summered in the valleys, hunting the plentiful game.
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