Be aware there is very little parking and it fills up fast. From the Middle Saint Vrain Trailhead, the Buchanan Pass Trail runs west along the north side of Middle Saint Vrain Creek. It is a gradual climb for the next five miles to theIndian Peaks Wilderness boundary. Close to here, the Buchanan Pass Trail intersects the Saint Vrain Mountain Trail.
The Buchanan Pass Trail continues up-valley for just under one mile to intersect with Saint Vrain Glacier Trail. The Buchanan Pass Trail crosses the creek and hooks to the south. The half-mile spur trail to Red Deer Lake intersects after another 1.1 miles.
Another 0.8 miles beyond this spur, the Buchanan Pass trail meets Beaver Creek Trail. From this intersection, the Buchanan Pass Trail climbs steeply west to the Continental Divide at Buchanan Pass (elevation 11,837′). There have been years in which this pass is never clear of snow. From the pass, ten miles of trail continues west and connects with the Cascade Creek Trail.
- Hike Length: 1 to 10 Miles, multiple trails. From the Buchanan Pass Trailhead (TH) to Middle Saint Vrain – 3.8 miles; Red Deer Lake – 6.9 miles; Buchanan Pass – 9.1 miles.
- Dogs Allowed: Yes, on leash.
- Good For Dogs: Yes. There is access to water along the whole trail and the trail itself is easy on the paws.
- Good For Kids: Yes, this hike is not too difficult for the first 2 miles. After that, it does become more difficult and may not be good for kids.
- Water Access: Yes
- Cost: Free
Map & Driving Directions: