Ben Tyler Trail is a 11.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Bailey, CO that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and snowshoeing and is accessible from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This popular trail is named for Ben Tyler, who lived with his family in the gulch that bears his name. The trail offers spectacular views to the north and south from its high point, and the changing colors in September, particularly in the large aspen groves in Ben Tyler Gulch, are outstanding. From the Ben Tyler trailhead, the trail rises 1.4 miles to the boundary of the Lost Creek Wilderness. The trail continues up to a high saddle above treeline, which offers some spectacular views. From here the trail descends to the south into the Rock Creek drainage, to the Rock Creek trailhead.
Just finished this hike today. Lots of snow on the trail but still can hike it with just hiking boots. The aspens have golden leaves at lower elevation but are blown off all the trees as you gain elevation. Continued on trail past the summit down the Rock Creek Drainage area for about 30 minutes. I wanted to see the old lumber camp. Didn't make it. Clouds started rolling in. I found the trail south of the summit was spotty in some areas but cairns do help. I have driven by this trail many times and never dreamed it would be so challenging.
A great trail. Arrived at TH 7:30am. Didn't see another human until 11.
The climb is constant, but mild. A few scraggly spots. The ambiance is from the trail. Not a lot of great vistas.
I never did get to the end of the trail. After 6.2 miles I was at the summit which is a nice mountain meadow. The trail continued, I did not. On the way down met more people. In all, saw maybe 10 people. No horses or bikes. And lots of varied terrain. Got a touch of altitude sickness. You get up to 12k feet. A great Sunday hike!
Didn't get to complete the whole trail due to time constraints but it was a nice gradual climb the whole way. I hiked up mid September and the foliage was absolutely beautiful. Definitely want to go back and finish the hike.
Hiked Ben Tyler this morning. Challenging yet rewarding, given the varied terrain and interesting switchbacks. I did see a very large bear cross the trail in front of me about half way back to 285. It did not concern itself for me, and once I saw it was alone, I continued my hike. The flat top was beautiful!
Wonderful trail. Starts off with an incline. Didn't make it past a couple miles due to lack of snow equipment. Can see this being a great snowshoe trail too! Can't wait till the snow melts more and I can do the whole thing
Great hike. Made it about 4 miles in before turning around due to snow drifts in the trail around 10k ft.
Hiked the trail because the Guanella Pass Rd was closed for construction. So we couldn't make it to Sq Top Mt. Nice mellow trail with enough 'UP' to keep the heart pumping. The stream was the trail in a couple of places. Few other hikers but LOTS of beautiful flowers. Haven't hiked this trail in a looong time.
Wet. Green! The trail is pretty well maintained for wilderness, I'd say. Considering the nature of the trail, it was arduous heading up. Just be ready, and you'll have a marvelous time. There is a good deal of melt occurring. Be sure to note how the afternoon heat can impact that runoff.
Beautiful hike with a nice steady climb that definitely worked us out! Another reviewer was totally right that the GPS is wrong as the trailhead was another 10ish minutes beyond what it said. About an hour in the trail became more of a running stream due to all the rain we've been having but we had fun navigating it. Beautiful Aspen groves and running rapids next to us. Great hike!
This is an awesome hiking trail if you're looking to break up the drive from Denver to the Collegiate Peaks/Buena Vista. Not necessarily a destination hike, due to limited parking, but still offering some great views and moderately challenging terrain.
An important note about this trail: the GPS coordinates on this site are off by about 5 minutes of driving. The trailhead is further west than the coordinates suggest. There is signage from 285, the trail is right off it, but it will jump out at you. The trailhead will be on your left about 3-5 minutes drive past the high school, after the Shawnee historic town. If you're in Fairplay, you've gone too far.
Hiked about half way up the Ben Tyler trial this last weekend with the family. The fall colors are almost completely gone, however, the trail is still worth the visit. We only came across 1 other hiker the entire day, such an enjoyable hike.
Again I love this trail system!! I have hit it once per week since March of this year and the views and wildlife are amazing! As of late the rain has been hitting this trail every evening for about the last 3 weeks and some areas are showing the results of the heavy water flow. Biting flies are killing it and the water crossings are sporting mosquito's that are resistant to 100% Deet. Bring a facial bug screen/net and prepare for a super treat of a climb once you get past the bugs. I have seen four bears on the trail, one small male and a mother with two cubs but no aggressive behavior. Deer, Elk and Moose are present so keep the dogs leashed up. For you survival peeps there is an abundance of areas to test your skills, the creek supports a "plethora" of tasty Brooke Trout ranging from 6-12 inches in the pocket pools, Yo-yo traps with bait are your best bet for harvest. There are loads of fallen trees to hone your shelter building/Bush-craft skills along with rock outcroppings that give you perfect areas for building. Lisa Just FYI there are 2 trail access points, one off of 285 just past Shawnee and one off County Road 64 which is the Payne Gulch/ Brooke-side access and the parking is just fine. If you enter the brooke-side access the biting flies are almost too much to deal with but the 32mi of trails are simply killer. The trail system in Lost Creek Wilderness over-all is moderate to difficult in spots for some and I will be posting pictures soon!!
I thoroughly enjoyed this hike, it has some hidden features that are worth the trip. Driving along 285 you would never guess there is a large aspen forest along this trail. I would recommend this hike to anyone that is up for 12 miles round trip with ~3,000 vertical in elevation. The diversity and view are worth the effort.
Couldn't find the trail head. Absolutely no convenient parking.
The majority of the trail is rocky river bed, but all in all a great hike. The only disappointing thing about the trail is the summit. It would be of benefit to leave a little earlier next time so that one might get to the top of Shawnee Peak. The summit of the Ben Tyler Trail is an open field, JUST above treeline.