Butler Gulch Trail

HARD 164 reviews
#9 of 119 trails in

Butler Gulch Trail is a 4.8 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
4.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1591 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowboarding

snowshoeing

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

19 hours 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.

hiking
5 days ago

One of the best hiking ever with lots of water streams and beautiful flowers and wild life. It's a hard one so take plenty of water if the weather is hot.

7 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

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11 days ago

11 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

Absolutely amazing hike. Flowers are amazing and views incredible. We went to to the top of the ridge around 13k feet. Would highly recommend.

hiking
16 days ago

This is definitely peak for the wildflowers on this century hike (7/30)! Amazing meadows filled with flowers every color of the rainbow. It is still a wet hike with a couple big stream crossings and hiking alongside a stream, so sturdy or waterproof shoes will help. The views just explode after the climb into the meadow (around 1.5 mi). It's pretty buggy at the beginning in the trees but gets better as you approach tree line. A must do hike for wildflower viewing especially on a moderate (not hard) hike!

hiking
17 days ago

Awesome hike. The trail is steep, but not overly long. The flowers are awesome at the start of the hike and then again above treeline.

Took me about 90minutes to get to the top and about an hour to get down. My dog loved it too and everyone was so friendly on the trail.

Was a little confusing to know where to park (directions took me to the entrance to hendersen mine) but it's obvious to then take the little dirt road to the right of the mine gates...and then park at the lot 1/4 mile up the road and walk 1/4 mile to the trailhead. There is room for about 10 cars at the trailhead itself, along the side of the road (there is no formal lot at the trailhead).

Also, it's unclear when the trail ends! I went to the second set of mining ruins, near the remaining patches of snow and then turned around.

Arrived at parking lot at 8:30am and only saw a few people on the trail, when I returned at 11:15am the lot was pretty full, but the trail wasn't all that crowded.

Also, there was a lot of water on the trail, with some stretched taken over by running water as it was raining the night before. It wasn't a big deal, and I hiked it just fine in trail running shoes (not water proof).

hiking
17 days ago

Lovely rainy day hike. Mostly forest until you cross the tree line. The wildflowers are spectacular right now! As someone else mentioned, the access to the road where the trailhead is indicated on this map is closed because of mine access. You'll need to veer right to the side/dirt road to get to the trail. This is the more moderate side of hard - there is a steady uphill portion before the tree line that will get your heart up, especially at such high altitude. The old mine ruins are super cool at the top. Definitely bring bug spray and sturdy shoes - there are a couple of small river/stream crossings.

sea kayaking
19 days ago

Right now is definitely the time to go on this trail. I went on July 22 and it was spectacular. Go in the morning because everything is covered in dew and so pretty. The hike is pretty easy, I don't know why it's rated as hard. There is one very steep part coming up to and out of treeline, but it isn't terribly long. I continued through the gulch to the top of the 13k ridge up there and that was very worth it. There are two cool abandoned mines in the gulch that are worth exploring once you get up there. Only downside to this hike is the obnoxious Henderson mine near the trailhead. In fact, because of that, this map is inaccurate. You have to turn on to the Jones Pass Rd to get to the trailhead now. It wasn't terribly crowded like I expected for being peak wildflower season, but you can expect a decent crowd.

Video of some of the wildflower spectacularness:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE9cdGqezk0

hiking
20 days ago

20 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike! Lots of water and crossing. Unusually buggy bring spray.

hiking
25 days ago

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25 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful hike! The flowers are soon to be at their peak, but beautiful already.
Good amount of water on the trail.Wear bug spray; mosquitoes are very healthy here.
I would rate the trail moderate.

hiking
27 days ago

Excellent hike, lots of stream crossings and wildflowers. After a steep hike in the woods, the path breaks out at treeline with A LOT of flowers. The indian paintbrush are really great right now. There are some wildflowers that don't seem quite at peak, but things are looking really really great. I, like others, would not call this hike "hard." It is pretty steep in parts but it's not rocky or technical whatsoever, and it's not a long hike. There are indeed a lot of bugs. I had to edit them out of a lot of my photos because they were flying around in my shot lol.

hiking
29 days ago

Gorgeous wildflowers, lots of water and steam crossings for the dogs. Didn't make it up to the ridge line, just to the old mine, but just as satisfying, it was a beautiful day to just sit in that basin and admire the views and flowers. P.S. don't forget your bug stray, I did and it was slightly annoying.