Butler Gulch Trail

HARD 246 reviews
#10 of 146 trails in

Butler Gulch Trail is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Berthoud Falls, Colorado that features a waterfall 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.

DISTANCE
4.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,502 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

snow

1 day ago

Beautiful scenery! Worth the effort - well maintained in the summer months, impossible to reach the top with snow on the ground - mid June - Sept would be the best time to go

1 day ago

Great trail. Waterfalls are amazing. A lot of uphill, but beautiful at the top!

hiking
2 days ago

Well maintained trail with beautiful views.

6 days ago

Definitely a challenge. BRING BUG SPRAY, you will get eaten alive if you don't.

9 days ago

This was one of my fave hikes near Denver! The wildflowers were amazing above tree line. We brought our dogs and they were very happy with the creek that we paralleled and crossed most of the way! We got a late start around 12 and were easily able to park by the trailhead.

hiking
10 days ago

I did this hike last Thursday (7/5) around 1 pm. It was overcast and cloudy, and I almost turned back near the end due to impending thunderstorms.

I got a late start on this one, as I usually try and start early to avoid the crowds and inclement weather. However, in this particular case I lucked out, as I only saw one other group on the trail and was able to complete the out-and-back before it got too dangerous in terms of weather.

This is a phenomenal hike. I can see why most reviewers give it a 5-star rating. The trek is overflowing with beautiful Colorado wildflowers (including Columbines) all the way to the top. There is also a number of waterfalls, with a magnificent view of their cascading effects near where the treeline ends.

As stated in a few of the previous reviews, the trail is somewhat muddy in a few spots and the stream does run through it in some parts. So sturdy, waterproof hiking boots are recommended.

I would love to return to do this hike early in the morning so that I could spend some more time at the top taking in some of the stupendous surrounding views.

It took me about 2 hours to complete this trek, but I was traveling at a pretty consistent pace and only stopped a few times along the way. Would definitely recommend to any/all hikers looking for a challenge!

Tip: If you're looking for great FREE camping in the area, Jones Pass has some phenomenal camp spots right up the road from the trail. 4x4 vehicle would be advantageous to make it to some of the grounds, but I made it in my Volvo that has an incredibly low clearance.

hiking
14 days ago

The views were amazing. It is steep most of the hike but it is so worth it.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked Butler Gulch today, 7/6. Excellent weather for a lovely hike! The wildflowers are amazing and plentiful all along the trail. Creek spills over in one spot and runs down the trial, but there is a nice, dry bypass you can use. Creek crossings are manageable. Very few hikers going up in the morning, but several, including small groups, heading up around noon. Agree with previous comment to be sure to wear sturdy hiking boots, poles, bug spray, and bring lots of water. Enjoy!

15 days ago

Beautiful trail. Went on 7/3. We started at 12:30, and got back to the car at 5:30.
The trail had about 40 people on it. You'll definitely need some hiking boots, we had to cross water on the trail about 3 or 4 times. At the top, by the 2 nickel mines, there was still snow. We saw lots of wild flowers around the trail, and above the tree line. (Dont forget to stop and smell a few)
Bug spray and a walking stick are recommended. Lots of skeeters by the top.
We tested the water, to drink, and the river at the top showed 25-37 ppm (cleaner than ANY tap water)

Great trail to experience at least once. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

27 days ago

Super muddy in certain parts due to the summer thaw, but great views at the top and pretty quiet overall for a Sunday morning. 10/10 would go again.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail up is very muddy and washed out in certain spots from all of the melting snow. Up top, there are still stretches of snow fields covering the path that need to be crossed. Nice hike though, not overly difficult or crowded. Would probably be a good idea to bring spikes if you're planning on going sometime in the next few weeks

1 month ago

It was beautiful with lots of snow on the mountains. Needed to pass many snow fields, flooded trail, and streams. Wearing spikes really helped. Not crowded.

hiking
1 month ago

Really beautiful hike. It was a bit wet due to the melting snow.

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike still 1-3 feet of snow. definitely need snowshoes. Beautiful at the top.

snowshoeing
3 months ago

Crushed fresh pow pow with my snowshoes on 3/23/18 up to the tree line where I turned around due to low visibility

snowshoeing
4 months ago

Beautiful hike that highly exceeded my expectations. Favorite aspect being that there is only a short (but steep) trek until you are above treeline in a tundra-like environment (the gulch). There are plenty of areas to explore, including the ridges that surround the area. The snow yesterday was the ideal texture for snowshoeing. Highly recommend.

off road driving
4 months ago

Butler gulch is named after my great grandfather, Henry Butler as he ran the mine on the top looking for nickel. The old blown down cabin is where my great grandparents stayed and where my grandma would spend her time as a kid. If you’re hiking up the road you’ll come across an old little bridge crossing the creek that my grandmother built as a kid. You can go through the blown down cabin and still find mason jars. Every year my family and I would drive to the top (we were allowed to and still are) camp and clear the entrance of the mine. I haven’t been there for years since I was a kid but what I can remember it’s a beautiful place with a bunch of history. We plan on returning this summer of 2018 to clear the road.

snowshoeing
5 months ago

Beautiful Winter Wonder Forest to Snowy Magical Peaks. Perfect Snowshoe hike. Stayed 5 hours exploring the beautiful terrain but was not sure if we were on the traditional summer trail as there were so many trails going every which-way. We followed a main one that seemed like a road but then it broke off to a few false summits followed by delightful views that kept urging us to go farther and farther. Multiple windy bursts at the top broken up by peaceful moments of calm. The snow was looking so cool the way the wind shapes it almost like another planet.

snowshoeing
6 months ago

Great strenuous hike. Very early start (7:45 am) in order to beat the crowds. Light snow falling and cold. Deeper snow higher up the trail. Parts of the trail are wide and other parts are very narrow. The trail is shared with skiers so pay attention - they descend pretty fast and you may have to step off the trail to give them room, especially if you are in a narrow area. If you go on a Saturday or Sunday expect crowds - so try to get an early start. Parking lot was totally full by 11am.

snowshoeing
6 months ago

Got a late start and finished with headlamps, but a great day. Things to note... this is a well traveled trail and snow is very packed, but not icy. It is well marked and easy to follow. The heavy forest protects you from wind. Probably don't need snowshoes for the bottom third of the trail but eventually you do begin to posthole. I think it would be a long day if you planned to only use microspikes. The last third is pretty steep and somewhat taxing. There are some tracks that shoot off from the main trail and run parallel to main trail. So you can play in your snowshoes if you enjoy a less packed trail and have sufficient float. This trail is popular with skiers so you do want to pay attention for those on their descent. Today everyone shared the trail well.

There are snowmobilers in the area, but motorized vehicles are not allowed on this specific trail and there is a bar preventing snowmobile entrance.

Special driving information - The road to the trail is well plowed except for the last mile, then it is packed snow and one lane. Park at lower end of the parking lot, there is deeper less packed snow at the far end and two trucks with four wheel drive were stuck in deep snow. Use common sense when driving and be aware that parts of the road/ parking lot, that aren't heavily packed from use, are hiding deep soft snow that could ruin your day.

snowshoeing
6 months ago

Snow is very deep. Wear snowshoes. Yaktraks didn’t cut it. Very pretty trail with great views.

7 months ago

Wildflows on this trail were prolific from mid July through the end of August....it was like wild flower carpet!!! Glorious!

snowshoeing
7 months ago

Just got back from this hike! It was absolutely gorgeous! The hike itself isn't too difficult. The last mile is the hardest part and it was intensified due to the heavy snow. The snow was pretty compact for the first mile, but the rest of the hike definitely required snowshoes. Once you get above tree line you're greeted with spectacular views. However, the area did seem avalanche prone under the right conditions so if you're planning on hiking this during winter, like us, I'd check out the avalanche conditions before hand. We actually decided not hike to the mining equipment at the end of the hike because the back bowl seemed avalanche prone. So we decided to call it early.

Overall this hike will go down as one of my top hikes ever! It's just full of spectacular scenery, breath-taking views, and a challenging enough hike to make you wanting to come back for more!

hiking
7 months ago

I hiked this in Mid-October, but it is by far my favorite so far. It was a bit snowy when I hiked it with my dog, and it was absolutely gorgeous. There is a beautiful waterfall halfway up, and eventually you get above tree line and come to an abandoned mine with old artifacts scattered around. Beautiful, amazing hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Season after season I️ can’t get enough of this trail.

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked 10/20/17. Snow on trail was manageable with boots/yaktrax. Once we got above the trees snowshoes were necessary (conditions were snowy, quite windy), which we didn't have so we had to turn back. Great views though! Definitely a good workout.

hiking
8 months ago

This hike was very nice and pretty, but the snow was very deep once you're up above the trees, which made it difficult and hard to find the trail. It was nice up til then.

9 months ago

Good hike. It said its hard but its mostly moderate. Great scenery on the way up.

9 months ago

Beautiful hike with water falls and amazing views. Quite steep, excellent workout!

hiking
10 months ago

Love this trail. We went there twice this year. The flowers, creeks, awesome view above the tree line.

Load More