Buff Pass Camping Report
Howdy folks! The 4th of July crowd has come and gone, and the perfect conditions for camping have arrived! At least at elevations below 9,200 feet or so. Here at Ski Haus, we get asked all the time about local trail conditions. Usually, someone is going to have some trail beta for you. But if we don’t know, we’ll go find out! So I’m here to tell you that the camping at Buff Pass is open for business!
All you locals are familiar with this little gem. If you’re from the area, there’s a good chance you’ve hiked or skied on Buff Pass. But have you ever treated yourself to sleeping under the stars in one of its many free dispersed camping areas? Over the past couple of months, there has been a lot of frustration with the weather. Once it seemed to be time to get out those tents and hit the trails, we would get reminded where we live and get a fresh couple of inches (if not feet) of snow and have to postpone our plans. Well I’ve scouted out the area and she’s ready for action.
My Experience Camping At Buff Pass
Camping at Buff Pass is super easy to get to, and best of all, it’s free! My boy, Blue and I went up the mountain this past week and did two days and a night on my days off. To be honest, it was a little more crowded than I like when I go into BLM land, but hey, it was the week of the 4th of July, so what’r ya gonna do? I just patiently scouted my way up the mountain, trying to be as respectful as I could to avoid setting up too close to others, while still trying to share the miraculous views of the place we call home.
Driving access is allowed all the way to the second gate, where I turned around and went back a couple hundred yards. Here I found a nice little secluded camp spot with a fire ring and just enough space for me to cowboy camp on the hillside. We spent the days hiking through the aspen groves, following creeks as well as fresh elk and mule deer tracks. So needless to say, Blue had a blast! Great spot to bring your furry friend. Just bring plenty of water if you don’t want to go on a long downhill hike to find some.
While I was out there, I took the time to test a few products. I keep a go-bag in my jeep for those “just in case” moments. Most of those products we sell here at Ski Haus. Two of which I would like to mention are the SOL Thermal Bivvy and Sport Utility Blanket. For the most part, they worked surprisingly well. When you’re use to curling up in an 850+ fill down mummy bag, it’s hard to look at something so light and thin and think it could keep you warm. It got down to about 40 degrees that night and I used the Sport Utility Blanket as my ground tarp and wrapped up in the Thermal Bivvy on top.
I wanted to simulate a situation where I wasn’t fully prepared, so I did not bring my sleeping pad with me. For the most part, I was fine. However, I did find out that without a proper insulated pad of some sort keeping me off the ground, I lost most of my warmth through direct contact. This was expected, but I was just curious how the night would go if I didn’t have a choice. I made it until about 5:00 a.m. before I switched into my down bag. I would have most definitely survived the night, but in my early morning mindset, I just wanted to be cozy. Plus I learned what I needed to know.
Come See Us At Ski Haus
All in all, it was a great time and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It finally feels like summer and it’s time to take advantage! So come on down to your friendly neighborhood Ski Haus and let us hook you up with all the gear you’ll need for your next adventure! As always, be smart, stay safe and get out there and crush it!