North Slope via Buchanan Pass

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Trail Hiking
Time Required:
Most of a day
Class 2; 13.5 miles; 3,300 vertical

Route Quality: 5 Votes

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North Slope via Buchanan Pass
Created On: Jan 31, 2003
Last Edited On: Mar 7, 2003


From Colorado Highway 72 turn west onto Road 96 which is about a mile south of Peaceful Valley goto Beaver Reservoir. Half way around the reservoir there will be a marked road on the right this is the trailhead at 9,200 feet. If you have a four-wheel drive vehicle you can proceed an additional three more miles to the wilderness boundary.

Route Description

From Beaver Reservoir follow the four-wheel drive road after approximately a mile. There is a cut off or a short cut that is blocked to vehicles. Take this and after about mile or so you will meet up with the road again. If you would like a longer hike then follow the road. Once back on the road you will be near the wilderness boundary (9,800’). Cross Coney Creek and enter the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. There will be a sign calling out the Beaver Creek Trail #911 follow the arrow to Buchanan Pass. This is a well established trail I did it with snow over the trail and had no problem following it. You will be able to see Sawtooth Mtn the whole time staying to the north of the mountain.

At 11,500 feet the trail began to switchback up a steep slope ending at the ridge about a hundred feet above the saddle. We hiked south to the saddle (11,837) and made the final 450 foot hike up a large plateau looking ridge to the summit. Buchanan Pass is on the Continental Divide and Sawtooth Mtn’s summit is 200 feet east of the divide. Why do I say this? Because this is the easternmost point of the Continental Divide. So not only do you get to hike a beautiful peak but you also can claim that you have been to the eastern most point of the Continental Divide.

You can knock off 6 miles if you drive (4X4) to the wilderness boundary.

Essential Gear

Necessary item's :
Good Boots

Wind Gear.

Any other essential gear needed for a long day.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

North Slope via Buchanan Pass

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