Butler Gulch is a mountain trail that takes your breath away and is still covered in snow in March and April. It is a backcountry dream for skiers and hikers. We love this hike!

Stats and Map for Butler Gulch are Located at the Bottom

Butler Gulch, Backcountry skiing, Winter trails, Spring trails, Colorado trails, Mountain Trail, hikes near Denver, Colorado, Colorado hikes, day hikes,
Butler Gulch, Backcountry skiing, Winter trails, Spring trails, Colorado trails, Mountain Trail, hikes near Denver, Colorado, Colorado hikes, day hikes, Colorado vacation, day hikes in spring, where to hike in April in Colorado's mountains

Record snowfall makes hiking in the warm spring sun a treasure. Giddy with excitement, using only > microspikes, we headed into the snow-laden woods.

Butler Gulch, Backcountry skiing, Winter trails, Spring trails, Colorado trails, Mountain Trail, hikes near Denver, Colorado, Colorado hikes, day hikes,
Butler Gulch, Backcountry skiing, Winter trails, Spring trails, Colorado trails, Mountain Trail, hikes near Denver, Colorado, Colorado hikes, day hikes,

Hiking on snow can be more challenging than hiking in dirt. However, it’s an easy trek with a slight incline for the first mile. Views begin to appear in front of us and behind us. The forest opens up, and the trail gets steeper, and the views more incredible. 

Three popular brands of day hiking backpacks to consider: > Osprey (my personal favorite), > Deuter, and > Gregory backpacks.

Butler Gulch, Backcountry skiing, Winter trails, Spring trails, Colorado trails, Mountain Trail, hikes near Denver, Colorado, Colorado hikes, day hikes,
Butler Gulch, Backcountry skiing, Winter trails, Spring trails, Colorado trails, Mountain Trail, hikes near Denver, Colorado, Colorado hikes, day hikes,

Upon reaching below the basin, it’s hard to decide where the trail is. The snow has become deeper, but “wow,” so pretty up here. We turned around after going as far as we felt comfortable and gawking at the views.

Note: Weather is still a consideration in springtime at higher elevations! > What to know when hiking in winter and spring in Colorado 

This is a different hike in summer, much longer, with remnants of mines, wildflowers, stunning views, and access to the highest points. Read below!

Summer Hike at Butler Gulch

moderate hike, step it up, day hikes, best hikes in Colorado, Colorado trails,

Butler Gulch is an incredibly beautiful hike amid a sprinkling of wildflowers, old mining remnants, a waterfall, and snow-capped peaks. Take the loop hike and find unimaginable views that take your breath away while Marmots and Pikas check you out. Easily accessible from Denver. > READ MORE

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TIDBITS

5.5 miles out & back 

Rated: Moderate/strenuous

Arapaho National Forest

Nearest Towns: Empire, CO, Winter Park, CO

Dogs ok on leash

There is no restroom at the trailhead (at the turn on Hwy 40 to the trailhead, there is a restroom)

Elevation Start 10,500′ 

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Can't wait to see you on the trail!

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