Butterfield Canyon

Herriman, Utah (Salt Lake County)

Last Updated: 08/03/2018
3.7 / 5 ( 7 reviews )
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Status:
Seasonal Closure
Typically Open: 06/01 - 11/01
Difficulty: 1-1
( EASY )
Length: 9.31 miles
Highest Elevation: 7775 feet
Duration: About 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: West
Nearest Town: Herriman
Nearest Town w/ Services: Herriman
Official Road Name: Butterfield Canyon Road
Management Agency: State of Utah
District: N/A

Highlights

Highlight: Butterfield Canyon
The Butterfield Canyon off-road (well, somewhat paved) trail is a quick and fun way to get away from the bustle of the surrounding cities and is accessible both from the Salt Lake and Tooele sides of the Oquirrh (Oak-er) Mountain Range. The Oquirrh Mountain Range is a string of 10,000-foot peaks that divides the Salt Lake and Tooele valleys. Most known for its copper mining, the beauty of this range is usually overlooked. Butterfield Canyon is only open 5 months of the year so you can bet on running into plenty of other people along the way. This trail is perfect for anybody who wants to experience some beautiful forest and great views with the best being at the top where you can overlook the Salt Lake and Tooele Valley's, as well as looking down into the largest open-pit copper mine in the world - Kennecott Copper Mine!

Video

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
2WD Vehicle with High Clearance
Concerns:
Summary:
The trail is a maintained dirt road the entire way.

Technical Rating

MANDATORY
1
EASY
OPTIONAL
1
EASY
Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 5" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 5" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 6" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep, but with good traction.
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Community Consensus

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Description

From the trailhead, this is a very easy trail. It is a paved road that winds through the beautiful canyon with some sharp hairpin turns. The speed limit starts at 25mph but once you get about 2.5 miles into the canyon it changes to 10mph. Be very cautious on the hairpin turns as this trail can get pretty busy, especially on weekends and holidays. The paved road will take you 6.9 miles all the way up to the saddle where Butterfield Canyon connects with Middle Canyon on the west side of the Oquirrh Mountains.
This road is narrow and heavily trafficked. Please use caution around corners.

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trailhead is a turnoff to the west off of Herriman Highway labeled as Butterfield Canyon Road.
2. Seasonal Gate (0.3 mi)
This is the gate that is closed from November 1st to June 1st every year.
3. Seasonal Stream Pullout (3.3 mi)
Here is a little pullout with a small seasonal stream flowing down the mountain.
4. Rope Swing Pullout (4.1 mi)
At this pullout, there is a little spur trail that meets back up shortly, as well as a random rope swing. Sadly, there is no lake for jumping in.
5. Saddle (6.9 mi)
This is the saddle of the Oquirrh Mountains. Continue to the right to reach the Bingham Mine Overlook at the end of the trail.
6. Second Gate (7.1 mi)
This gate usually remains closed a week or two after the canyon opens up due to one very shaded spot that tends to hold snow. Continue up the trail.
7. Rough Road (8.5 mi)
Here is a rough patch in the road. Nothing that a vehicle with decent clearance should have any issues with, but lower cars will need to be careful.
8. End/Bingham Mine Overlook (9.4 mi)
At the overlook, you get views of both the Tooele Valley and the Salt Lake Valley. However, the main reason that this trail is run is for the overlook into Bingham Mine, also known as Kennecott Copper Mine; The largest open face copper mine in the world. You can even see it from space!

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Herriman, Utah

Travel west until you get to Bacchus Highway (Utah Highway 111). Once you come to Bacchus Highway head south until you reach Herriman Highway (13100 south) and turn right/west. You will know you are there because you will see fences on both sides of the road with no trespassing signs from Kennecott Copper. Don't let the signs scare you, the road is a Salt Lake County public road, Kennecott does not own the road up Butterfield Canyon! The land down Middle Canyon Road is all BLM land. If you are south of Herriman City travel north on Bangerter Highway and turn left/west at 12600 south. Follow 12600 southwest for 1.4 miles and turn left onto Herriman Main Street (5040 West). Stay on Herriman Main Street for approximately 4.6 miles until it intersects with Bacchus Highway. Turn left/west where they intersect. Once you have turned left you will be at the trailhead. You will know you have gone too far if you pass the Bingham Canyon Mine entrance roads on your left.

Camping

Not allowed
No camping is allowed in Butterfield Canyon. Once you reach the end, you can head west at the saddle down Middle Canyon where there are multiple campsites along the trail. Or you can head back into Herriman and find one of a number of hotels in the Salt Lake Valley.
Camping: Butterfield Canyon

Trail Reviews (12)

Questions & Answers (2)

Q: Are you allowed to ride dirt bikes up this canyon at all? One of the pictures shows dirt bikes in it. But another picture shows a sign saying no ohv's.
–Guy B (07/16/2018)
A: Sorry for the delayed response. Ohv’s are not allowed in Butterfield Canyon at all. They might have been street legal, or they could have come up from the tooele side. I am waiting to hear back from the sheriff about the legality of ohv’s to the mine overlook.
–TJ Bosworth (07/22/2018)
Q: Hi Thank you for the detailed review.. Just wanted to know are these roads good enough to be covered in a Chevrolet Suburban?
–Jacob Jees (03/22/2018)
A: Thank you for the question. With waypoint 7 being the roughest part of the road, I would not at all be concerned taking a suburban up there. You will have plenty of clearance and most likely not even engage 4wd (maybe only if the road is still wet).
–TJ Bosworth (03/22/2018)

Writer Information

TJ Bosworth

Mapping Crew - Utah

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, he's only been off-roading since he was 16 but fell in love immediately. He attended college in Denver for Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management and wheeled in Colorado for 4 years, but ended up moving back home to Salt Lake City. He currently works in an off-road shop and spends his free time doing anything he can to stay busy, which is usually working on his jeep or playing music. Outside of off-roading, he is an avid whitewater rafter and outdoor cook. Camping at least every other weekend in any season is a normal year. The further from civilization, the better. Bring on the memories!
For individual use only, not to be shared.