Ben Tyler Trail

HARD 80 reviews
#26 of 170 trails in

Ben Tyler Trail is a 11.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Shawnee, Colorado that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

11.8 miles
3,402 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips






wild flowers


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.

1 month ago

Great hike. For doing only part of the trail it seemed like a moderate hike but we only went 3 miles out and 3 back. Uphill mostly out, winds through the woods and can hear the creek (see it a bit too). Nice aspens as well. Will go back and do the entire hike. Hoping it’s the length that is making it hard. We hiked on the weekend and only saw a few hikers.

2 months ago

It was a hot day...went about halfway up the trail (~3 miles) from 285. Shade started about the 1.5 miles mark. Took me a little over 3 hours RT, but I took lots of great photos. Wildflowers are popping up everywhere and the aspens are looking so lush and green. Trail is in good condition, just goes up and up. One day, I'll be back to do the trail to the saddle.

7 months ago

Quite a few spots on the trail are slippery with solid ice layers under snow. Recommend using Yaks and/or extreme caution during your hikes. Enjoy!

8 months ago

The signs say no bikes and there is a sign that states no bike but there was a moron on a bike. I did direct him off the trail.
It is a hard quick up hill climb that will wear you out fast. There is a nice creek to stop at and take pictures if you want. Just take your time for there is lots to look but only few squirrels and birds for wild life.

11 months ago

After the first bit you'll end up in beautiful aspens. Great hike!

11 months ago

We are in moderate to good shape
And it took us 6hrs round trip with a few stops to snack, potty and water breaks. Made it to the top which flattened out and was beautiful. Steady climbing to the top that is mostly shade...absolutely gorgeous. Creek crossings for dogs to get water so that was nice. Still go early. It started to rain the last 20min back down around 12:20pm.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

beautiful hike

Friday, July 14, 2017

Been driving by this trail for years. Finally hiked it today. Didn't realize how steep and rocky it was until the way down. Recent rain made it absolutely beautiful, highly recommend this trail.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

We camped in a huge aspen grove, saw a black bear and tons of wildflowers. The view if you hike the trail through the meadow is spectacular! I found it a difficult climb, especially with all of my camping gear but it was worth it. The whole weekend we only saw around 15 people. This would be an incredible autumn hike.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Always a fun hike. Snow stopped our progress at 5 miles, just around 10,200 ft. Still, a strenuous 10 mile hike with very few people around.

Monday, June 05, 2017

I would definitely classify this trail as moderate to hard. The first 2-3 miles you are climbing pretty steadily. After about a mile you have hit your first water crossing (small). There was plenty of water stops for dogs. Most of the trail is in the trees so this hike is lacking your typical vista views, but is worth the hike simply because of how few people you encounter. We went on a Saturday and only ran into 3 other groups during our 5 hour or so hike.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ben Tyler Trail has heavy snow above 10,500 feet, as of May 28, 2017. Still a fun hike!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

we did less than half but had a great time. challenging but enjoyable

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Great winter hike. I got a late start so I didn't finish the hike, but what I saw was wonderful! I think the trail is a little easer than the rating suggests. The trail was pretty visible even in the snow. This is a great hike that is worth another visit in the spring/summer.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

It's a beautiful trail. It's quite enclosed with many trees. Perfect for tree/forest lovers. Had gorgeous sites/veiws. I think it was the perfect difficulty for all levels of hiking experience. It is kind of a "hidden gem"

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

People with dogs are some of the most disrespectful jerks. Clearly dogs must be kept on a leash but we are living in an era where people feel entitled to ignore this simple request as pictures on this trail would indicate.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

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.

Monday, October 03, 2016

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!

Monday, September 19, 2016

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.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

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!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

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

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Great hike. Made it about 4 miles in before turning around due to snow drifts in the trail around 10k ft.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Aspen Colors

Thursday, July 16, 2015

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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

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.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

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!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

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.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

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.

Friday, July 18, 2014

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!!

Monday, July 01, 2013

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.

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