Butler Gulch Trail

HARD 209 reviews
#10 of 135 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
1502 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

snow

snowshoeing
18 days 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

2 months ago

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

snowshoeing
2 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
2 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 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
3 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.

4 months ago

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

4 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

This trail was fairly difficult. Steady incline all the way up. Water source for dogs, and lots of pretty flowers. Great views. At the top there is an old mine shaft that my dog and I are convinced is haunted. Enjoy!

hiking
5 months ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Good steep incline through the woods, and gorgeous views above treeline. Was able to trail run down about half of it without worrying about big rocks/tripping hazards.

5 months ago

Although short, it's a steep enough hike. The mines/historical relics are a bonus that bump this trail to a 5.

5 months ago

Great trail, I would rate this as easy personally but my hiking companion probably would have rated medium to difficult. Beautiful creek crossings and wildflowers still in bloom on 9/1. Final turnaround point was confusing and we almost ended up on Herman gulch trail. look for wooden post as end of trail marker.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike with legit incline going up. You will get an excellent workout and it's well worth it. This has it all: Forested section with flowing creeks, mini-waterfalls and wildflowers. And once above the tree line, you're met with incredible views. There's an abandoned mining area with an old vehicle there. If one wants, the trail continues past the mining area and goes up about half of a mile to great views at almost 13,000 ft.

5 months ago

Great trail. It's a bit of a climb, but not too crowded. Wild flowers were incredible. Parking was confusing. You have to go beyond the first parking lot and it's just down the road.

6 months ago

As many people note, there is a fairly steep incline for most of the trail. Until you get above the tree line, it is mostly shady. The water levels weren't too high so I was able to make all the river crossings without getting my shoes wet. The wildflowers were in full bloom. At different spots, you see different flowers, which makes the climb worthwhile.

What others haven't included in directions to reach the trail head: most of the trail itself is actually the continuation of the dirt road you drive up. You walk beyond the gate that blocks the road and has a "Motor Vehicles Prohibited" sign on it and just keep on the road, which at some point becomes more of a path. Nowhere on the gate or the trail/road/path are any signs. The last - and only - sign you'll see that says Butler's Gulch is a bit below the gate.

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