Metberry Gulch

Divide, Colorado (Teller County)

Last Updated: 05/13/2021
4.7 / 5 ( 22 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 4.49 miles
Highest Elevation: 8597 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
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Metberry Gulch
Metberry Gulch and its neighboring trails are well-known in Colorado and often where experienced off-roaders will take newer ones to get some practice. Many consider this to be the easiest of the two trails, but it still has two obstacles of its own to tackle. The notch obstacle isn’t difficult, but Chicken Scratch Hill is an intimidating rock slab for first-timers, especially on the way back up the trail. Near Divide, Colorado, it is part of the ‘gulch trails’ in Wildcat Canyon just off Cedar Mountain Road. The Hayman Fire of 2002 scarred much of this area, opening up the landscape and scenery. The trail rides a ridge down the canyon wall with sweeping views of the canyon and nearby trails on nearly all sides. If you can stomach the obstacles, this trip through the burn area can make for a day of relaxing driving, lots of scenery, all while still throwing a couple of challenges at you along the way. Make sure to add Metberry Gulch to any list of must-do Colorado trails.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Metberry Gulch

Route Information

Technical Rating:
( MODERATE )

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trail begins at a large triangle-shaped intersection with Cedar Mountain Road.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.102573, -105.277053

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 7.7 miles to Waypoint 4, the trailhead for Metberry 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 (35)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This was my first time running Metberry. It is a scenic trail with only a couple challenging spots. The V notch was a little puckery, as it feels like you're about to slide down into the larger boulder, but none of our group had any issues. Also enjoyed chicken scratch, not too challenging, but enough to get the blood flowing. We ended up camping at the bottom of the trail. There is a good amount of space there, I'd imagine a larger group or two could camp there. First few minutes of the video below shows us running chicken scratch.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Very little snow, no ice. Great conditions all the way to the river. The new 35s made this trail pretty easy

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Metberry is a fun little run through the burn area. There are some aspens in the start but when you break out and start climbing the views really kick off. T

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great, relaxing drive. Seems to be a new obstacle forming that wasn't there 3 years ago. It's before the slab going into the trail. It's a bit snowy but very manageable with proper tires and some airing out. Slab was easy, though is getting a little washed out at the base, though nothing to worry about if you go straight for a bit. There's a bit of washout before the final hill, also manageable with high clearance 4x4. River isn't frozen over, could be a good fishing spot right now, no one was around fishing it. Minimal trash, thankfully. No I would not recommend this trail for a newbie going by themselves, nor would I suggest a Subaru, lifted or not, go down this, as the washout was enough to lift tire on a lifted 2000 4runner.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Portions of the trail that don't see much sun due to tree cover can be packed snow cover with some icy spots. Sections facing south that don't see much shade can be completely bare. From a snow & ice perspective, the road to the trail head (Cedar Mountain) probably requires more attention to traction. The obstacles (Tippy V Notch and Chicken Scratch) are completely bare, as are the two steep hills in the last sections of the trail. All-in-all, a fun trail. 2016 JKUR with 3.5" lift.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Did the trail with my lifted FJ on 35s 10psi. Most of the trail has some snow especially in the shady spots but it was much easier than I remembered. Earlier this summer some spots were very dug out, they are now filled in due to erosion. I think it’s very doable with a stock 4wd.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Tippy V-Notch has been filled in at the bottom so much less dramatic driver wheel drop and you can take a much farther left line to avoid sliding to the right, but better yet it also has a bypass. Steep hill but nothing unmanageable for stock vehicles. The bypass is right at the top of the hill before you go down to the right hand turn that leads to V-Notch - the trail forks right at the big steel tower, the bypass is to the right and links back with the trail about 20-30 yards from V-Notch. The ruts at the bottom and on the scrabbly downhill bit are a bit more challenging than anything else in my opinion. Take it slow, spot your line, and you'll be okay. In a stock 2011 Tacoma O-R with 2020 Tacoma O-R suspension up front. (adds about an inch lift in the front but you would be fine without it) Closest call was the chicken scratch hill, about a quarter inch from hitting underneath, but took it slow and did not high center down or up. Even seen a BMX X5 down at the bottom of the gulch totally stock and he said he just took it slow and made it down, so if you're nervous about taking this trail, take it easy, spot your line, get out if you need to, allow people to pass and go at your pace. Definitely worth the drive and will be going back. We made it late so we didn't get the best camp spot but still pretty. If you don't want to be around people at all though you should take advantage of one of the spots off the trail before you get to the bottom.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Dusty, but otherwise a great trail with absolutely stunning views. The only trouble we had was at tippy rock in my stock TJ on 31s. Other than that, the rest was a breeze, with no trouble coming up or down.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun and fairly easy trail! I agree that if there was rain, some of the loose gravel/slab rock would be a monster to get back up. I was probably over-prepared for "Tippy rock", but had no issues in a 35" JKUR or a K5 Blazer (stock with 33" BFGs) with the right line towards the inside rock. Going down chicken scratch hill, the K5 scratched the tow ball, but otherwise we had no issues getting down to the Platte river and doing some swimming - thanks to Steve for letting us use his grill after we forgot our hose! Going back up, we had significant trouble with the K5 due to the carb having trouble getting fuel on some of the steeper ascents. We ended up pulling the Blazer with tow ropes basically from the steep ascent right past chicken scratch hill, thanks to (2) very kind people helping us (Thanks, Joe (and family) and Christian and his partner) get the K5 back to level ground so it could drive home.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Beginning at Cedar Mountain Road, the adventure travels west on Metberry Gulch Road. The track ends at a large parking area next to the South Platte River. A beautiful drive and well worth exploring.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this trail with my 2 door JK lifted 35s, Ram Rebel lifted 35s, stock TRD Pro Tacoma and a stock 4 runner. Most of the trail is easy although my buddy did get a bunch of pin-stripping on his full size. Not a bad out and back trail. The V notch obstacle (Tippy V-Notch Rock) appears to have changed significantly since the pictures have been taken for the original trail review. You definitely go up on 3 wheels (atleast the lines we took) We ended up taking the bypass on the way up. The pucker factor is real! :)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The end of this trail at the river is a great spot, the trail itself has a few challenges, most vehicles will be 3-wheeling in a few spots.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail to test your vehicle. Note we had 2 open diff vehicles (jeeps) that needed help coming back up the hill. Nice spot by the river to hang out and maybe take a short hike into the canyon.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
First time out. Ran this trail with 6 other friends. No issues in my stock Tacoma TRD Offroad. Buddy's stock Land Rover Discovery had no issues as well. The V-Notch was a bit sketchy, going down. Let the right driver dip in and once the left driver tips in lift off and send her down.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
A vehicle flipped over this weekend on Metbury. This should serve as a reminder to everyone not to underestimate any trail.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Awesome trail as always alot more washed out then when I went in January it was dry the whole way and the only part my fj had any bit of difficulty was near the very bottom where part of the trail was really washed out and was very tippy so a little pucker factor was was great overall

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran all three gulches over two weekends in early May. Trails change and it appears Metberry has gotten worse than described lately. I’ve provided my video Guide and review created thanks to information provided by trails offroad. It’s probably an accurate representation of the trail’s current conditions. Just note, a Ford Explorer needed winching in late May, a 2wd 4Runner needed winching, a Lifted JKU rolled over Requiring air support, and a lifted JKU we encountered while filming wrecked his fenders. I’d recommend Longwater over Metberry if you’re new to off-roading based on current conditions. The end of my video discusses my opinions on the three gulches as a whole in case you wanted a stock off-roader’s perspective.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Open and BUSY. Lots of fun though. Ran the trail in a lifted Tundra, and it wasn't a problem at all. The only part that got tight was the Tippy V-Notch rock. It's been washed out significantly but nothing unmanageable. Definitely will run it again, but might not camp since it's so busy. Overall a good time.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Had a blast on this trail. The V-rock was pretty difficult, especially going back up. It is pretty rutted out on the driver side headed out and has been dug up enough that the dirt is soft and deep. Had to keep mt passenger tire on the V "ridge" which puts the driver side panels treacherously close to taking damage as you exit out. There are some pretty significant scrapes on the V rock where others have hit it with their undercarriage. I'm on well worn 35's and I was glad I had a spotter. I bumped my hitch tube exiting "chicken scratch" too but that was mainly because of a poor line. After reading other reviews, I assumed I could just pull of it straight, but should have taken a bit more angle to driver heading out the bottom. We camped over night at the end. The river was beautiful and there was only one other camper. Fire wood was a bit slim in close but there was plenty if you are willing to work for it. My kids loved it.

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:
Trail was open and fun. First timer from Michigan out here in Colorado. The V notch hairpin (tippy rock I believe) was much harder than that the famous rock slab. Wide line going down wasn't a problem. There's a decent drop that should be noted after the rock slab, just before the end of the trail. Slammed my hitch pretty good coming down, but that's how it goes with a Suburban. Fishing is good at the end of the trail. No issues, no slipping, good times. 88 burb, locked front & rear, 33s.

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 (2)

Q: Has anyone taken an off-road tear drop camper through Metberry Gulch down to the river? I would be pulling with a lifted 35" JKUR - for comparison sake, I made it a little over halfway up the Top of the World trail in Moab with the same setup and think I could have made it further if needed. Thanks
–Grant Applegate (08/04/2020)
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)
–Lauren Martin (09/16/2017)

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.