Herriman, Utah (SaltLake) Technical Rating: 1
Last Updated: 06-06-2016
Middle Canyon Road
Butterfield Canyon Highlights
The Butterfield Canyon off-road (well, 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 Canon 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!
Please note that Butterfield Canyon is open from June 1st to November 1st every year.
Technical rating: (1) Easy
Graded dirt road. Dry, or less than 3" water crossing depth. Gentle grades. 2WD under all conditions except snow. No width problems, two vehicles wide.
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Directions to Trailhead
If you are north of Herriman City 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.
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.
1: Trailhead (0.0mi)
The trailhead is a turnoff to the west off of Herriman Highway labeled as Butterfield Canyon Road.
3: Seasonal Stream Pullout (3.3mi)
Here is a little pullout with a small seasonal stream flowing down the mountain.
4: Rope Swing Pullout (4.1mi)
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 (6.9mi)
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 (7.1mi)
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 (8.5mi)
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 (9.4mi)
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!
Camping and Lodging
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.
Questions & Answers
Offroaded on 06-06-2016
Low Temperature: 80° F
High Temperature: 90° F
Took an afternoon ride on my bike up the canyon to make sure it was all open. It was a perfect day and there was hardly anybody on the road. It looks like they are going to be doing some small construction soon. There a few signs up, but no trucks or workers. I doubt its going to be anything major. The dirt road up towards the top was a little muddy due to the large snow drifts that were still melting on the side of the road. That only made it more fun though! Once at the top I met a man who was up there showing his friend the mine. He mainly wanted to ask about my bike. I saw a few more people as I headed back down the canyon. I even spotted a turkey on the road! It was cool to see and a fun trip!