Added by Amy Kesic
Bring the camera and get beautiful views of the untouched Colorado winter. This adventure is easily accessible from Denver
In fall, winter and spring, the trail is covered in snow, which makes it ideal for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. The trail becomes indistinguishable after the first mile or two, but usually you can follow previous skiers' tracks up the mountainside.
What you miss in wildflowers or mine sightings, you gain in pristine, untouched, classic blue and white Colorado winter beauty. I found the climb to be considerably more difficult in snowshoes, but it is worth it, both in the wooded areas and above the tree line. Skiers will love skiing down the bowl, along the creek bed to the bottom. A bonus for winter adventurers is that while you may or may not encounter other souls, the backcountry is blessedly quiet and solitary.
Directions: From I-70, take Exit 232 (US-40 West toward Empire and Winter Park). Soon after passing through Berthoud Falls (9 miles), turn left on Henderson Mine Rd/Jones Pass. As you approach the Henderson Mine (about 2 miles), keep right to remain on Henderson Mine Rd. In winter, park in the parking area on the left. In summer, continue to a fork in the road (about 1 mile). Jones Pass continues on the right; Butler Gulch is on the left. Park near the gate, or along the roadside nearby.
- No restrooms are available at this site. The closest public restroom is at the Big Bend Picnic Area, the first left you encounter upon entering Henderson Mine Rd.
- Never, ever, for any reason, approach a wild animal.
- Going on the weekend? Plan for heavy and delayed traffic on westbound I-70 due to construction and increased volume of traffic.
- Snowshoes or X-Country Skis
- Snow Pants
- Sunscreen - With the glare off the snow, I've been burned worse in winter than summer!
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Amazing Winter Wonderland
I just did this snowshoe hike last weekend and it was breathtaking! It can be hard to find at first when you get off at Henderson Mine. Venture right with your car past the sign that says Cross Country Skiers/Snowmobilers. There's a parking lot there that you will park at. As you start your hike, you will eventually go left to Butler Gulch. Beautiful scenery and lots of great spots for skiers and snowmobiles. Dogs are welcome.
Added by Amy Kesic
A mom who decided to get fit a few years ago, I took up running and hiking to keep myself moving. Since moving to the Front Range foothills a year ago, I've spent my free time discovering all the trails I possibly can. I'm in love with Colorado and the Rocky Mountains; I also like to take pictures, and I share my adventures here on The Outbound and on Instagram at @run2themountains.Follow
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