Longwater Gulch

Divide, Colorado (Teller County)

Last Updated: 05/06/2021
4.1 / 5 ( 7 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 3.94 miles
Highest Elevation: 9009 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Divide
Nearest Town w/ Services: Divide
Official Road Name: 221
Management Agency: Pike National Forest
District: South Park Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Longwater Gulch
Sometimes the middle child gets left out, but even though Longwater is the middle of the three ‘gulch’ trails, it stands on its own as a destination. This trail offers a step up in terms of difficult obstacles and sweeping views of the valley. The scenic stop at waypoint 4 gives you views of Wildcat Canyon as a whole, and portions of Metberry Gulch Trail to the north, and Hackett Gulch Trail to the south. While you can spend plenty of time taking pictures along the way, the obstacle is the part that's likely to take your breath away. This rock face is similar to Metberry’s ‘Chicken Scratch’ obstacle, but a little larger. This rock has multiple lines to the top but no bypass. Traction is essential here, but in good conditions, this is really more of a mental obstacle. It looks and feels steep going down, and there are plenty of moments where all you see is the sky when climbing back up. Running this obstacle and enjoying the scenery can be an all-day adventure, or add Metberry or Hackett to your day for even more rocky views.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Longwater Gulch

Route Information

Technical Rating:
( DIFFICULT )

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trailhead is on the northwest side of Cedar Mountain Road and is accessible from either direction.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.098102, -105.275015

Starting Point: Divide, Colorado

Head north on N Road/N Manchester Creek Road toward N Hybrook Road for 0.5 miles and take a slight left on Cedar Moutain Road. Follow this pavement for 9.6 miles to where dirt starts on Cedar Mountain Road. Follow the trail for 8.6 miles to Waypoint 5, the trailhead for Longwater Gulch.

Camping

Dispersed

Land Use Issues

This area has been in dispute since the 2002 Hayman Fire and is actively under dispute beyond the Park County line in 2020. Please see the link for more information about the history of Metberry Gulch and Wildcat Canyon as a whole.

Trail Reviews (23)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun trail with some very nice view. Easy to get to from CS/Divide. A few minor obstacles, and one good challenge (steep rock that can require a sharp turn right before it. Saw several rigs get their rear tire a foot off the ground while making the turn/decent. Ran this the same day as Longwater Gulch (both out and back trails that can be done the same day).

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I love the views on these trails but man do they beat ya up. Longwater is pretty much as I remembered, and there was very little traffic to speak of today. Looks like most people hit Hackett today.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Awesome trail. I had to turn around at the main big rock about 3/4's of the way down to the river. Small bald tires and no winch.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Traversed the trail Sunday in a lifted 35" JKUR with no surprises. Some of the ascents/descents are a little slippery from the loose gravel, however if you're 4LO and/or watching your speed, you should not have any issues. The one large rock coming out of the turn going down towards the river can be a little tricky if you do not take your time finding the right line. Coming back up, this was the only time on the trail where I used my lockers. Nice trail, perfect for scenic views and a nice picnic by the water or on one of the pull-offs where you can reach the rocks.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Cut and removed a downed tree from recent high winds. For those unsure about the county line, my recommendation is to start searching for a turnaround spot after the power line towers (can’t miss them). Fun trail. Some caution on the rock slab is necessary but it’s otherwise a typical trail with small features here and there. No scrapes, running it on a Gladiator, 37s, 3-4” lift.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail for expansive views but as for obstacles, I prefer Hackett Gulch. Metberry is more fun as well

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran it May 1st and May 9th. May 1st, it was extremely busy, lots of Toyotas on it which was cool to see. May 9th, hardly anyone, was kinda surprising as they were both weekends. I essentially did a video review, but it’s fun, somewhat challenging (but you still need a capable vehicle), and extremely scenic! I’ll add, 0 your odometer if you don’t want to miss the county line. No signage at all. Also, I’d recommend this over Metberry if you’re newer to off roading. Metberry is rutted out and requires more driver skill as of right now (which may change with repairs).

Author: Official Crew
Status: Not Reported
Offroaded on:
NOTE: There have been reports of various people receiving tickets for traveling beyond the county line into the closed area and crossing the river. Authorities are actively patrolling the area. Please do your part to help us in getting the entire trail reopened by adhering to the partial closure and do not travel past the county line or cross the river.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We hit Longwater Gulch after staying the night at the end of Metberry Gulch. It was a great trail! Lots of loose rutted, rocky, dusty and steep accents and descents. No real issues but I did hit my rock slider and rear bumper HARD on a blind, washed out bolder. Just could not see that is was soooo deep. No damage, so all is well. Pretty happy I had a rear locker on parts of this one. It was pretty loose footing and my tires are in need of being replaced. Put a small slash in one side wall too, but like a say they are old, worn and dry. On the Rock Slab section someone has added a trail off to the left (if descending). It is not noted in the above description and is obviously not supposed to be there, as it crosses over two downed cables designed to keep people on trail. I have never done this trail and took that rout completely by accident. Took about 45-50 min in and 45 out, so the description was spot on for us.

Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Got ~1mile into the trail and the snow drifts were to large. Blowing wind covered the trail, not only was the drives large but the snow hard and made highcentering easy. We followed some other tracks and ended up turning around at the same location they did.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We ran the gulches and had a good day. Minimal ice and snow just saw LOTS of off trail usage.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
For anyone taking the drive out to Longwater, after seeing the post below where the guy got a ticket I did some digging. Apparently, the trail is closed after mile 3.8 where it falls into the next county. This means you can't go to the river or you can be ticketed. You have to turn around at the county line. Hacket and Metberry are both completely open, use Metberry if you want some river time. I've also been assured that Longwater and Metberry are fine for stock JKs, but Hackett needs lockers. That's good info to have for noobs like me.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Beautiful day and the trail was in good condition. No issues to report.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
The trail was quiet everything has dried out.

Author:
Status: Not Reported
Offroaded on:
I got a ticket from the DOW for having a motor vehicle on this trail. I stopped at the river and set up to go fishing when he put me through the ringer and wrote me up. I told him that everything I read said it was legal as long as I stopped at the river. He said I couldn't get within a half-mile of the water with ANY motorized vehicle.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We did Hackett and Longwater for an easy day on the trail. Longwater was nice all the way out and back with nothing to really note in the trail, change wise. Please remember, this trail is still closed at the county line, waypoint 5. A number of vehicles have violated that this year and paid dearly losing entire vehicles. Note, if you flood your vehicle here, it's not an authorized road and therefore insurance will not cover it. Someone lost 46K for trying to go through the river at the bottom this year.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
The trail was dusty, but had no issues going down and back up. Used a locker coming back up on Longwater Rock, but felt like it was doable without a locker with a little better approach and departure angles. The River was a lot deeper than 12" this time. It was closer to 2ft at the crossing, and that is next to the large hole that needs to be driven around. I was unable to see any signs or even markings that looked like a gate, and had followed a UTV down to the river. On the way up, another UTV group was headed down to the river also.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Besides Longwater Rock, this trail is fairly mellow with a number of steep climbs and descents. Longwater Rock is certainly a puckery obstacle. Line yourself up for a good straight approach and you should be fine, but don't be surprised if your back end slide a little towards the fall line against the hill where there is an old tree trunk sticking out. The cable where the trail is closed at the county line no longer exists.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Nice day on all three gulches, we ran this one second. There wasn't another soul on the trail and there's almost no snow or ice on the trail right now.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
It was a very windy and cold day up on Longwater. Some areas had a small amount of snow/ice, more in the trail in and out however. The majority of the trail itself was dry. The water crossings looked to be in the middle of their range with only some ice chunks.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Gate at entrance is still open. Reports of snow 12"-18" deep in most spots. There is also reports of a tree down across the trail, unsure of exact location, but appears to be just after one of the first big hill climbs.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
The weather was so nice out that we decided to take a quick trip up to Longwater Gulch for the day. You couldn't have asked for better weather in late September. The trail is in pretty good condition and not too many areas were washed out from all the rain we've been having. Tree growth in the burn areas seems to be coming along nicely. The views were spectacular as all the aspen trees were changing for the season and were mainly a beautiful golden color. The only traffic on the trail were two other Jeeps that had pulled over. The drivers were sitting out in their folding chairs soaking up the sun and admiring the views just as anyone else would do on such a lovely day. There were still some areas where burned trees fell near the road where you have to mind where your tires are. The rock slab is still the toughest part of this trail. It causes your vehicle to come down at such an awkward angle and the gravel all over it and a large stump right in your path doesn't make it any easier. But with a little navigation and some puckering from sliding sideways, we made it down successfully! A quick drive down some more steep gravel hills and we arrived at the river. It's such a beautiful setting. The water was crystal clear. I took the opportunity to fly my quadcopter around to get some amazing shots of the river. It was a very fun and relaxing day.

Questions & Answers (2)

Q: Looks like Hackett is open to the river, is longwater still closed past the county line?
–dwight (08/08/2018)
–Lauren Martin (08/09/2018)
Q: At one time, it appeared you could drive across the river. Is that not the case now?
–Todd (07/05/2017)
–Lauren Martin (07/06/2017)

Writer Information

JD Marshall

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Jen & JD moved to Colorado from Chicago in May of 2015 for work and brought with them a 2001 stock Jeep Wrangler that had been garage bound for two years. Within a month of arrival, all rusty 170,000 miles of it was shaking on Colorado trails and they've never stopped. As time as gone on, their 2001 TJ had to be traded and a 2015 Jeep JK has been added to the family. JD works as a Systems Engineer for a cable company and Jen runs a business from their home during the week to pay the bills. When the weekend hits, they're almost always hitting the trail. When Sunday night rolls around, the question turns to, 'so what's next week?!'.
For individual use only, not to be shared.