Metberry Gulch

Divide, Colorado (Teller County)

Last Updated: 04/20/2019
4.7 /5 ( 6 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 4-4
(MODERATE )
Length: 4 miles
Highest Elevation: 8595 feet
Duration: About 1 hour 45 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Divide
Nearest Town w/ Services: Divide
Official Road Name: 205
Management Agency: Pike National Forest
District: South Park Ranger District
Distance:
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Metberry Gulch

Metberry Trail is the easiest of the three Gulch trails. The route provides great views of the surrounding mountains and valleys as it traverses along the ridges. There are only a few obstacles along the trail which makes for a pretty easy day. The end of the trail takes you to a spacious area by the South Platte River to hang out, each lunch, and enjoy nature.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Metberry Gulch

Route Information

Advanced Rating System (BETA)

Recommended Vehicle:
Stock SUV with High Clearance and 4 Low
Concerns:

Technical Rating: 4-4
(MODERATE )

Typically, more rock or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 18" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 18" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 36" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.

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Description

The easiest of the three Gulch trails. Metberry Gulch is a winding gravel road that travels along the side of the mountain. There aren't many obstacles on this trail. While not too difficult, there is one v-notch spot that gets tippy to your side onto a rock slab. There is also a long, steep gravel hill near the end that can give you a bit of a struggle coming back up if you don't get enough speed and you should probably have at least one locker to do it. If you do get stuck, there is a tree at the very top that you can use as a winch point with a tree saver. Unfortunately, the hill is so long that most people that get stuck don't have a long enough winch line to reach that far up so be sure you bring a tow strap too. Another obstacle is just below this hill, a large rock slab called Chicken Scratch Hill. There's three lines, one that goes over the majority of the slab, one a little more difficult that goes slightly around the slab, and a bypass. Shortly after this obstacle you will reach the end of the trail at the South Platte River. It's a very large open area that's great for a large group to hang out, kids to run around in, and to play in the creek. The trail can have a little added difficultly when wet as it can get a bit muddy in areas.
There are many dirt bikes, ATVs and UTVs on this trail. Can become difficult in wet or snowy conditions.

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0.00 mi)

Heading North on County Road 51 for 7.7 miles you'll find the trailhead on the left. The sign is pretty small and a little ways off the main road so it may be easy to miss. You can see the truck in this photo parked near the sign. This trail also has a gate that is closed seasonally. As with all trails, road conditions can change dramatically with the weather. While this first section is pretty straight forward when dry, it can get extremely muddy when wet. So proceed with caution.

2. Road Split

You will come across a few small road splits before this one, but they are minor. You can choose to go either way on this split but the path to the right is a steeper hill that is quite a bit rutted out. The right path is fun for vehicles with good articulation. To the left is a bypass. The first picture is taken heading Northwest. The other two pictures are of what is on the other side of the hill looking back Southeast, the left being the rutted hill and the right being the bypass.

3. Tippy V-Notch Rock

This obstacle can be a little deceiving. It consists of a relatively flat rock slab on the left and a V-notch on the right with loose gravel. The right line appears to be the easy route but it has a tendency to lean your vehicle over into the other rock which may damage your side. The route most people seem to take is hugging the edge on the left, usually backing up slightly once pulled forward to line up more straight, then come down the slab.

4. Steep Gravel Hill

This is a very long and steep pea-gravel covered hill. Ideally you'll want to stay to the left going down as it gets a bit rutted out on the right side. The hill can be difficult to get back up if you don't have a locker due to tire spin. There is a single tree at the top that you can use a tree saver on to winch yourself out but be sure you bring an extra strap or two in case your winch line doesn't reach all the way up to it.

5. Rock Slab

Known as Chicken Scratch Hill, this is a neat obstacle as it's a large smooth rock slab. There are three route options. Going the direction heading to the river, you can go far right which is a bit rutted out and goes around the slab, through the middle over the slab which is simpler but lower vehicles may scrape coming off at the bottom, or to the left which is the bypass for the obstacle.

6. South Platte River

The trail finishes off in a large flat area at the South Platte River. This a great area to hang out, grab some food, and play in the water.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.102597, -105.277056

Starting Point: Colorado Springs, Colorado

From Colorado Springs, on I-25 take exit 141 to Highway 24 and head West. Continue about 25 miles passing through Woodland Park until you reach Divide. Make a right onto County Road 5. A short ways down this road make a slight left onto County Road 51 (Cedar Mountain Road). About 3 miles down, the road will appear to fork, be sure to keep right onto County Road 51. Travel down this road, that will eventually turn to dirt, for 6.7 miles. The road will fork again with an additional (sharp turn) road on the left. Continue on the middle road (Still County Road 51). You are now entering the OHV area. Please be aware of ATVs and Dirt Bikes, and be considerate to campers alongside the road. The trail head is on the left after approximately 7.7 miles.

Camping

Dispersed

There are dispersed primitive camping areas available along County Road 51. Most areas are within the trees but you can get pretty decent sized campers to most spots. You can also camp at the end of the trail.

Camping: Metberry Gulch

Land Use Issues

This area is part of Pike-San Isabel National Forest, and as such is part of the 2011 Lawsuit where a coalition of conservation and recreation groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service over what they claim is the illegal addition of 500 miles of motorized roads and trails. A settlement was reached in late 2015 which requires the U.S. Forest Service to re-evaluate the roads and create a new travel management plan. It is imperative that the OHV community voices their interests on this issue. If we do nothing, those roads and trails may be shutdown. Contact the local ranger districts and let them know why the area is important to you.

Trail Reviews (16)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Good conditions. All the recent reviews are spot on. Ran this with friend in a Wrangler Sport 2.5" lift and 35s and myslef in a stock Tacoma OR. The rear locker on the Tacoma helped make this trail very easy, and even got to test out the crawl control features which made the uphill sections on the way back a breeze. Only scraped the skid plate once on the way back up chicken scratch hill. Follow the trail advice on taking the left line of the V notch (on the way down) if you want to avoid body damage. Jeeps and other well capable vehicles with a short wheel base can choose just about any line and not worry too much.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail was in good shape today as I ran this in my stock Chevy Avalanche. I tagged along with a group of Colorado FJs. I scrubbed the frame in a couple places that probably could've been avoided with a better line choice. I also scrubbed breaking over the top of Chicken Scratch hill going both up and down. I wish I had video of the climb up Tippy Notch as I got some pretty good air under the left front tire. Made it on the first try, though. I only backed up once all day and that was on a pretty steep undulating uphill that I tried an aggressive line originally.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We had a great time at Metberry Gulch with the WJ and a buddy's WK. The trail is pretty mild for the most part, but there are a few spots that can get tricky. The slab is pretty steep, but no problem as long as it is dry. There is a bypass if it starts raining while you are at the river. The v-notch rock was definitely the toughest part of the trail, and it took several attempts with the Grands to get back up. Wheels came off the ground, and very little clearance on the inside rock. With a gang of weekend traffic, and winches on standby, it was a lot of fun. Solo would have been stressful, bring a friend or two. Lockers would definitely help here. Under good conditions a stock 4x4 can run this trail with good line selection and have very little issue, but mud, ice or snow can turn this one into a beast. Good tires really help.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I drove my Suburban out from Michigan with my Dad. Being from the midwest, I really wanted to get my hands dirty on a real "Trail" For a first timer...boy this place was a blast. We did do it solo, which I was worried about, but I just kept telling myself *It's rated as easy, and I've seen videos of stockers complete this* Pictures on here do no justice to the inclines. If you've never been out west, or on rocks before...the 3 obstacles are a bit much to roll up to. Even the forest service road that gets you here...Cedar something or other road, was a trail for midwest standards. Trail was very dry, no puddles or logs in the first part. We had to move a couple trees out of the way but seems normal for the area. Honestly I was more afraid at tippy rock, and the long steep gravel hill than the slab. The slab was a breeze. I think longer wheelbase actually helps there, and the fresh grade a couple years back. There was a decent rocky drop that came after the slab, but before the end at the river that I feel should be noted. Suburbans are long, but i slammed by hitch worse here than anywhere else. I also tried the advise here of staying on the rocks for tippy rock, and not to closer into the apex of the turn, but it was a rough drop. I didn't have a spotter though. Coming back up, we rode the inside of the turn, and it should be noted the massive suburban didn't have any body clearance issues. All in all I made the whole trail seemingly without any wheelspin even. Didn't have to reset on any lines, or re try any hills. Vehicle is set up well though - 1988 1/2 ton suburban 2" spring lift, OD trans with 4.10. Truetrac rear and a locker up front with 33x10.5 BFG KO2 Did the best I could with pics. My dad is 68 and didn't quite figure out my phone lol and I was concentrated on making it through Colorado rules!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail is open and in good shape all the way though.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We ran this trail with a stock Xterra, my XJ, and a modified T100 pickup. With careful tire placement we probably could've taken my wife's stock Ford Explorer on this trail. Pretty views, there is a large area to park and picnic by the river at the end. I could see how this could be much more difficult if there were ice or snow on the ground. The large rock known as Chicken Scratch Hill is steep and would be much more difficult in slick conditions. Easy run for a family outing or to get beginners familiar with wheeling.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail is in very good shape. Most of the more difficult obstacles have been graded as mentioned before so it's a really fun and easy run for anyone with low range and decent ground clearance.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Nice little trail - went back there to do some fishing and found the trail to be fun. The easy path around chicken scratch hill is no longer usable and washed out. The secondary route is in good shape and bit more fun than going over the rock. There are several very steep sections hence the 4 rating. The V rock is no longer an obstacle - it has been repaired and I did not know that I passed it until I saw it in my rear view mirror.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Completed the run today with The Colorado Four Wheelers group. 20+ rigs ran the trail. Had a stock jeep and FJ Cruiser in the group with us and they handled the trail pretty well. No snow on the trail.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Had a great trip down Metberry Gulch with the Colorado Land Cruisers (Colorado Springs). 14 rigs in total including FJ40s, FJ60s, FZJ80s/LX450s, UZJ100/LX470s, and even a new 200-series Land Cruiser, plus Tacoma, and a couple of Jeeps. Road conditions are packed snow over 50%, and some areas are clear and dry. The rock slab (Chicken Scratch Hill) at Waypoint 5 has been "repaired" so there is no longer a deep rut present.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Went here with my stock 05 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK) and this trail almost ate my Jeep alive. I kind of wished that there was a more vivid description between Point 1 and Point 2 (A long part of the trail is missing in this trail analysis). The trail didn't seem that hard to me at first when viewing this page on the web, but not knowing what was in between that large gap missing in the trail description caused my Jeep and I to almost get stuck. There's actually some really nice, intense downhill, logs to crawl over, and rocky parts that should be noted in between this section. During our time on this trail, the trail was quite muddy and slippery with definitely lots of ruts and bumps (which my Jeep had no problem dealing with at first). My Jeep eventually bottomed out on a 9 inch rock in between Point 1 and Point 2 but luckily she was able to pull herself out with her traction control and that was when I decided we needed to turn around and get back up. We didn't know what else would lie ahead before we would reach Point 2 of this trail web page analysis so we decided not to risk it. Overall I'd say this trail was pretty fun while it lasted for my stock Jeep. I'll definitely come back here once my Jeep has more armor on her. The trail is truly like a log jamboree in between Points 1 and 2 that can easily stop some stock vehicles such as my Jeep, and also includes some steep downhill moments and some places where you might be a little tilted depending on how you take the obstacles.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail was mostly dry with a few patches of snow here and there from the most recent storm a few days prior. It drizzled off and on the entire time we were on the trail. The trail was in good shape and Chicken Scratch Hill is definitely getting a little washed out at the bottom making it a good spot to get some air under the back tires. We had a fairly stock JKU in our group that was on 33s, no lockers, no swaybar disconnects, and it handled everything just fine going down and coming back up.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Windy and colder as the day went on. Just a little ice and snow at the start of the trail. It starts to get icy around 4 right now with the sun starting to go down. No ice or snow on the tougher parts of the trail.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Visited Metberry Gulch with seven Toyota's from the Colorado Land Cruisers Club; we had two 4Runners, two Tacomas, one FJ80, one LX450, and one FJ60. Trail conditions were mixed, with snow and mud near the trailhead, and dry conditions from the midpoint to the end at the South Platte River. Weather was fantastic with temperatures in the 50's and low 60's by the afternoon. Despite snow and wet conditions on some segments, we experienced no problems with traction. Traffic on Metberry Gulch was very light; aside from our group of seven, we saw only two Jeeps and two motorcycles.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
A great trail to test yourself a little. My stock JK made quick work of the obstacles on this course. While I have never run this before, the trail report is accurate and the trail is open all the way through to the river when we went down.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
I visited Metberry Gulch on March 19th, 2016, as a scheduled trail ride with Colorado Land Cruisers (Colorado Springs). Temperatures were just below freezing, and it was snowing heavily when we approached the trailhead that morning. Snowfall tapered off by late morning, and there were breaks in the clouds by afternoon exposing soft blue skies. Trail conditions were better than expected, snow accumulation was greater at the trailhead, and appreciably less at the river. We had no significant issues with traction. The scenery was fantastic--contrasting reddish stones and soil, and dark green Ponderosa's with the fresh white snow. We saw two Rocky Mountain elk cross the trail before the lead vehicle. That was a treat for the drivers toward the front of our group. Video clip by Andrew F., courtesy of Colorado Land Cruisers.

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Can someone offer me an opinion on how easy/safe it would be to get an ATV (AWD foreman) down to the river and back via metberry gulch. I would likely be traveling solo with my fishing gear. Trip reports are mixed. Appreciate any opinions and insight.
–Jeff (09/16/2017)
A: As with all things it's still your responsibility to make that decision. I've seen ATV/UTV's down by the river pretty consistently. As long as you're an experienced driver I think you should be OK. I did edit to add a portion to waypoint 1. The first section of the trail can get quite muddy if it's been raining or snowing so take that into consideration as well and proceed with caution. I do always recommend at least traveling with a buddy on any trail.
–Lauren Martin (09/16/2017)

Writer Information

Lauren Martin

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Lauren Martin started offroading as a small child with her father in a 1996 Toyota Tacoma in the beautiful state of Colorado of which she now calls home. Like many, once they first made the trek to Moab, Utah, they were addicted. Still a lover of all things Toyota, especially Tacoma's, Lauren now has a Tacoma of her own that she enjoys on the trails of Colorado and makes the journey to Moab yearly. Rig: 1998 Toyota Tacoma 3.4L V6 TRD 33" BFG KM2s Siped, 16" TRD Ivan Stewart Wheels, ADS Racing Shocks 2.5" Extended Travel Coilovers with Reservoirs, Total Chaos Uniball Upper Control Arms, All-Pro 3" Rear Suspension Kit, Rear E-Locker, Tundra Brake Upgrade, Trail Gear Front Stinger Bumper and Sliders, CBI Offroad Rear Tube Bumper, Smittybilt XRC8 Winch, Skid Row Offroad Front and Transmission Skid Plates, Low Range Offroad E-Locker Guard, Rock Lights, Rigid DOT/SAE Fog Lights, CB/PA, Custom Satoshi Grille with 12" LED Light Bar
For individual use only, not to be shared.