Northwest of Buena Vista, the 168,000 acre Collegiate Peak Wilderness has a diverse 22 mile loop which combines Pine Creek Trail, Frenchman Creek Trail and a stretch of the Colorado Trail. The circuit passes through secluded forest and alpine tundra in the shadow of several 14ers and ranges from 8,400 feet to 13,000. Note, avoid weekends on the popular Pine Creek Trail.
To reach the hiking trailhead from Buena Vista, head north on US24 for 10.5 miles. Turn left heading west on CR386 for 1.5 miles to trailhead.
Overall, Collegiate Peak Wilderness is the 18th most popular hiking trail of all 72 hikes in Colorado.