Slaughterhouse Gulch

Bailey, Colorado (Park County)
Last Updated: 06/03/2018
4/5 (1 review)
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Difficulty: 4-5
Length: 8.2 miles
Highest Elevation: 9400 feet
Duration: About 1 hour
Shape of Trail: Loop
Best Direction to Travel: West
Nearest Town: Bailey
Nearest Town w/ Services: Bailey
Official Road Name: 101 & 105
Management Agency: Park
Showing 0 trails


Highlight: Slaughterhouse Gulch

If you like to get your truck dirty, Slaughterhouse has what you're looking for. You will find lots of mud holes and spots to flex your suspension along this trail. Located just outside of Bailey, CO, and open year round, Slaughterhouse makes for a good spot to come test new equipment. Leading into a forest in a lower elevation ravine, this route is not a scenic one, with the exception of the aspen groves. It tends to draw larger crowds because of its proximity to the Front Range. The mud holes located off of 101 have been permanently closed, but there are many other holes along 105 to dip in.


Route Information

Technical Rating: (4-5)

Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves. Rocks up to 12" and water crossings up to 12" with possible currents. Passable mud. Moderate grades to 15 degrees. 6" holes. Side hill to 20 degrees. 4WD required. No width problems.

Read more about our rating system


Slaughterhouse Gulch is an 8.2 mile loop that makes a good half day trip from Denver. This trail winds its way approximately 3 miles down a valley until reaching a fork in the road. This fork is a loop and can be run in either direction. Try both routes for different challenges. The segments of Slaughterhouse Gulch: (1) This first three mile section is the easiest part of the trail, an experienced driver in a stock SUV should be able to navigate this section. (2) From the fork the trail becomes more difficult with washed out areas, steep climbs and rocks in the trail. The rest of the trail from this point is more difficult and may require low range 4x4, larger tires, lifted suspension and an experienced driver. (3) From this parking lot the trail leads down a fairly steep hill into a ravine, beware in snowy conditions as this hill can be very slippery. (4) Beyond the parking area at waypoint four there are numerous mud holes and a few slightly tippy sections. You may want to inspect some of these muddy spots before proceeding. (5) From this parking area is the most difficult section of the trail, though you can choose an easier line by staying to the right side. You will go up a rutted washed out hill leading to an outcrop of rocks which make for a fun challenge. Eventually you will head back down a heavily shaded hill which can also get icy in the snowy seasons. (6) From waypoint six you are headed straight back to waypoint two. This section is pretty flat but can get icy in the winter because of the forest canopy. Turning right at waypoint two will lead you back to the trailhead and exit.


1. Trailhead

There is a yellow sign marking the trailhead.

2. Loop Fork

Turn right and proceed towards Slaughterhouse trail. To the left will take you to Crow Creek cut-off (Waypoint 6) This fork is the start of the loop. Either direction will lead back to this point.

3. Parking Area

You will come to a cattle guard and gate. Continue straight and to the left. There are many spots to park and a few fire rings here.

4. Parking Area

Continue straight. Primitive camping spots and parking at this location.

5. Rock hill

Turn left up the hill after the mud holes, to return back to the beginning of the loop. This is a good spot to have lunch, and enjoy the sun from the south. Going up the hill there are multiple lines ranging in difficulty.

6. Crow Creek cut-off

Turn to the left, and proceed towards waypoint two. There is a gate here that has been locked by the Forest Service for trail reclamation. This road leads to the Crooked Top Wildlife Area.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.495580, -105.532265

Coming from Denver: Take 285 South approximately 35 mi. Turn right at the sign for the Bible Camp "Id-Ra-Ha-Je" on to Park County Rd. 43. Continue straight on 43 6.5 mi. Turn left at Saddlestring Rd. Continue beyond a few residential streets until you see a metal sign on your right labeled Crow Creek 4x4 Trail. There is plenty of room for parking and airing down. This is the start of the trail.


There is a pay to camp area just a mile up 43 beyond Saddlestring Road. There are pit toilets, RV parking areas, picnic tables and fire rings here. Visitor Information: South Platte Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service, 19316 Goddard Ranch Ct. Morrison, CO, 80465, Phone: 303-275-5610 There are several primitive camping spots dispersed along 101 and 105. Use proper camping etiquette by packing out all your trash, and using established campsites.
Camping: Slaughterhouse Gulch

Land Use Issues

New signs installed late 2016 state no motor vehicles permitted Jan 01 - Apr 01. **Update on closure April 5, 2017, 3:00 PM: According to the South Platte Ranger District, this closure is in effect until May 15, 2017. The Gate at waypoint 6 has been closed by the forest service for reclamation of the area. The mud holes back there have been permanently closed.

Writer Information

Chris Shaw

Mapping Crew - Colorado
Read More

Chris is stationed out of his home office in Denver, CO with his girlfriend and two dogs. Two of his biggest motivations in life are off-roading and graphic design. How fortunate to be able to combine both interests while working for Trailsoffroad. When he is not on the trail or at the computer, you can find him enjoying all the local music or breweries Colorado has to offer.


Questions & Answers (0)

No questions have been submitted.

Trail Reviews (10)

Status: Open
Offroaded on: 07/28/2018
Pictures don't really do justice to some of the obstacles on this trail. I, for the most part, am a pick the easiest route kind of offroader(my trial rig is my daily driver), but you could put up some decent challenge on a couple of sections of this trail. We drove through in a Stock 2014 JKU Rubicon. One of the mud holes was steep enough that we scraped the rear bumper on the way in. There were a few rocks that we took careful lines over, and once the breakover angle of the longer wheelbase caused a small scrape on the skid plates inbetween the wheels. There was also one section on the way between waypoint 5 and 6 that was very steep and the main trail looked tougher than the bypass, but the bypass, getting back to the main trail was VERY tippy. In other words this is a pretty cool, varied trail, No shelf roads to freak you out, but challenges can be ramped up to test out your line selection and your rigs capability. There are some steep sections, that will be different depending which way you are running the trail, both directions will have some steep ups and downs. We choose to run it the counterclockwise direction which is how the waypoints are setup. Most of the trail is pretty narrow so keep watch for oncoming traffic to make sure you have room to pass. A fun half day Trip from Denver. We left around 9 and were back at 1:30.

Status: Open
Offroaded on: 06/02/2018
Trail is open, mud holes are pretty dry. I bought a new rig to build this year and took er out to try before the build actually begins... Made it both directions with stock xj suspension and a set of 28" (235/75/15) BFGs.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on: 05/20/2018
Trail is open per the South Platte ranger district. The mud season closure is not a set dates closure. If conditions allow, the road can be opened, like it is now.

Status: Closed
Offroaded on: 04/15/2018
Went up there today to test out some things. The forest service has posted a plain white sign that says trail closed April through May even though the gate is open. According to someone I met at the trailhead the Ranger was up the road about a mile handing out tickets. The sign has no official logo and no explanation as to why it's closed.

Status: Open
Offroaded on: 12/10/2017
Very little snow, with an emphasis on little. Mostly Rocky and dry. Where there is frozen precipitation it's less than an inch (other than one decent sized puddle).

Status: Open
Offroaded on: 12/10/2017
Very little snow, with an emphasis on little. Mostly Rocky and dry. Where there is frozen precipitation it's less than an inch (other than one decent sized puddle).

Status: Open
Offroaded on: 11/11/2017
A few of us from CVOT made a veterans day run through slaughter house at around 9 a.m. To our surprise there was zero snow. The trail conditions were very dry loose rock and dirt

Author: Official Crew
Status: Closed
Offroaded on: 01/30/2017
Due to the settlement for trail closures/usage for the PIke and San Isabel Forests, it looks like Slaughterhouse has been closed up for three months during the winter. This sign now exists at the trail.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on: 10/31/2016
This was a nighttime run on Halloween so we don't have any photos that will really do the trip justice or show anything about the trail. We encountered no snow and only one person got themselves high-centered but easily winched off. Trail is as reported with no significant changes that I can report.

Status: Open
Offroaded on: 02/27/2016
We started the morning with 8 Tacomas, and quickly went down to 6 after helping out a stuck vehicle and getting the first two trucks down the hill towards the loop. No one enjoyed this section. There is a lot of ice on this first section, so keep in 1st gear, 4 low, and stay off the brakes. The climbs between waypoints 2 and 3, as well as 5 and 6 were manageable and did not present a major challenge for any of the rigs, as there wasn't much snow in these spots. There was a mix of snow and mud on the rest of the trail, but no new obstacles since the write-up.