Slaughterhouse Gulch

Bailey, Colorado (Park County)

Last Updated: 10/17/2020
4.6 / 5 ( 28 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
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: Pike National Forest
District: South Platte Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

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.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Slaughterhouse Gulch

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(MODERATE - DIFFICULT)

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
There is a yellow sign marking the trailhead.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.495580, -105.532265

Starting Point: Denver

Take 285 South approximately 48 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.

Camping

Designated

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.

Trail Reviews (48)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Calvary 4-Wheelers ran Slaughterhouse Gulch as part of our Fall Fiesta on Saturday, October 17. We had 4 rigs along for the day a stock TJ, a stock JK, a lifted XJ and a lifted TJ. We had not originally planned this trail as part of the day'a run but, when Wellington Lake and Stoney Pass turned out to be graded gravel and we finished before noon, we decided something slightly harder was in order. Slaughterhouse fit the bill perfectly as it was difficult enough to challege the stock rigs but not so hard as to be out of their league. We did bypass a couple of the hardest obstacles and took easier lines on a few more so, if you have a more built rig, you can make it harder. It was a beautiful day although a little cool and breezy and it balanced out the easy morning very well.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Awesome trail! I did the loop counter-clockwise as it is in the GPX file. Glad I did it in this direction. The steep hill at waypoint 5 caught me off guard; easy up until this point. I'm still learning how to off-road and this was by far the steepest I've done. A few other spots were a bit technical but I was able to make my way through it all. There are definitely a few more technical lines on the trail and all but a couple have an easier way around them. I will be back for more!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail. I had the trail to myself in the afternoon, passed 3 UTVs and one SUV. Since I was alone, I didn't tackle the hill at waypoint 5 after spinning my wheels on both the left and right approach (locker would come in handy there), which meant I ended up driving most of the trail both directions. I found it more challenging going backwards from the description on this website, but most of the optional obstacles were most fun following the directions. The only remaining big puddle has a pretty rutted out drop on one side, which is a bit deceptive. Wasn't too back driving up it though. Some serious stuff to play on here if you want to give your vehicle a test. Not for a beginner or someone with a stock vehicle in my opinion. Came out with no dings or scratches to speak of. 2018 Wrangler JL, 2.5" lift, 35" Duratracs

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
First time on this trail and we live a quarter mile away from it ... go figure . Anyhow we were both surprised by the diversity of this trail . Easy tree lined and meadow areas to some pretty challenging steep rutted climbs with flex potential. Conditions were dry and were still some mud holes . Overall I see the allure of this trail by the number of 4x4 vehicles we always see coming down 43 to jump into this fun trail .

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Very fun trail. Lots of different terrain and beautiful views from the top. Video is only for the first 20 minutes or so. To see all my videos go to: JSnowMoto on Youtube

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is such a fun trail and a great place to test out your rig. All of the difficult obstacles are avoidable, but at least give them a try to see what you are capable of.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran Slaughterhouse with Wranglers, Cherokees, and Renegades. Fun trail for all kinds of vehicles. We did all the optional obstacles. Used this TrailsOffRoad guide to help me film the video guide linked here.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Fun, not to many people there. There was one section (up hill) I had to put it into 4x4. Otherwise it was a nice cool day with family. Not much mud there, there was one puddle that looks super deep but it was only about 12" deep. Felt like sand under water wasn't very soft. I think it was about a 2 hour trip.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun trail. The right amount of cruising and obstacles. Definitely not as busy during the week, we only saw a few people. It took us a couple hours to finish.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Spent my 60th birthday social distancing with my buddy, did this loop. It's fun either direction you take it. During the week we only encountered one group of MX'rs, twice. Great day. Enough adventure to keep you busy.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Our club decided to do this trail on a Sunday knowing that this is a popular trail close to the Denver metro area hoping that it wouldn't be busy but I guess everyone else had the same idea! Overall this trail is easy and a great experience for a beginner but still allowing for some more challenging obstetrical for the more experienced drivers. Even though the trail was busy, it was a great day on the trail!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great day on the trail. Mostly pretty easy going with a few intense spots make for a very fun trail. Completed the loop in a stock 2019 Tacoma.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We took our Rzr out today to shake out the new suspension and tires. Gorgeous weather. Had a blast! The trail is very dusty. Stage 2 fire restrictions. FYI, the metal sign at the trailhead is knocked over. If there hadn't been a group of Jeeps there, we might have missed it.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This was my first trail in Colorado and it was perfect for getting my feet wet! Did the trail counter clockwise no problem in my '03 Forester with a 1.5" lift and highway tires. Definitely took some good line choices in a Subaru, but overall it was just challenging enough to be fun! Completed the supplied .gpx file in just under 2 hours which included getting out for video clips and smelling the roses. Great quick loop if you're looking to get out of the house.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Overall a fun trail that allows for picking which difficulty level you want. Lots of bypasses on the bigger obstacles and a few smaller obstacles with no bypasses. Took me 2 hours total.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Close to my house, offers multiple choices for varying difficulty.

Author:
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
The trail is not open! Just because the gate is open does not mean you can use the trail. They keep it closed due to mud season, otherwise the trail gets damaged. Please wait for it to open. This is how trails get closed permanently.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Unlike other reviews below, I officially reached out to the Forest Service rangers and asked about the mud season closures, as others have been lifted. FS responded that Slaughterhouse is indeed open for the season.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The trail is technically closed since it's a Platte District forest access trail (Blanket "mud season" closure till June due to C19); however due to private ranch land access, the gate is kept open except Jan - Mar (wildlife recovery time), and is fully accessible. Dozens of rigs, OHVs, etc. out today. Ran the full loop in an hour on a 2-up utility quad w/ over-sized tires. Definitely some rough areas due to grade in places, a few seasonal snowmelt stream crossings to splash watery mud all over you. As always, please stick to the trail, don't abuse the access especially when off-road areas are limited due to COVID currently. Note: USFS fire ban is in effect till May 31st, please keep that in mind if you camp out.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trail is open (see Ryan's review below with a note from the Forest Service.) We had a great time! We are fairly new to off-reading and our Wrangler is stock (no lift) with 33" tires - we definitely experienced some more "technical" parts of the trail but had a blast! We went early in the morning (started around 7:30 AM) and by the time we were heading out, the trail was filling up quickly.

Author:
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Forest Order PISCC-2020-07 seasonal closure for "mud season" runs from April 1 to June 15, 2020, or until rescinded. Here are links to the order (https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd712842.pdf) and to the map and list of roads/trails (https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd712843.pdf).

Author:
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
- Platte District has closed majority of their access roads until June 15th for "mud season" mitigation, most likely COVID19 measures to reduce traffic Went up end of February on a utility quad, can do about half the loop before it gets too treacherous for even built rigs. Ran into a SXS driver who snapped a 3500lb winch cable trying to get their RZR unstuck and gave them a ride down the mountain. Drifts are easily 1.5'+ in the shade, while sunny areas may be clear all the way down to mud and rock. Gated now to motor vehicles, should be 100% clear in June when it re-opens.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran the loop counter clockwise, snow pack and ice. Once you get to the bottom of the loop and start heading back up the hill is slick. Skinny pedal and good tires will get you through. There were downed trees on the way out but someone managed to get though and cut them all making it wide enough for a Jeep any bigger you might end up having to push some trees out of your way. Deeper snow on the east side of the loop about 8" plus or minus in areas. Made it out without a winch or lockers. Did not try some of the harder obstacles due to snow but great fun. Cant wait to get back at it.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran counter clockwise good amount of snow/ice in several spots but passable with winch, lockers or good running start. Downed trees mentioned by Erik appeared to have been very recently cleared. Overall trail mediocre but snow/ice made it better and challenging. Doubt I'd return to run it again on clear day.

Author:
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Trail impassable due to snow and downed trees. We went right at the loop. No trouble getting up the first hill. We went down the long hill and went maybe another mile or so before running into someone headed the other way. They said there were large trees blocking the trail that they weren't able to cut/winch off the trail and that the snow was very deep. We turned around and got stuck trying to get back up the long hill. There was a full locked jeep on 35 M/Ts that got stuck around the same point and had to winch out. I was able to make slow progress shoveling and using Maxtrax, but with only an LSD and without a winch, I had to call Colorado 4x4 Rescue and Recovery. I would not recommend going anywhere further than the top of the first hill without a winch or if you don't feel like using your winch.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Slaughterhouse always presents a new line that I didn’t notice the time before...Thanks to the dirt bikers who spotted me and saved my mirror from destruction

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Went up this trail with Matt from On Trail Training (https://www.ontrailtraining.com/) as part of a 4x4 101 course. Highly recommend, and this is trail he uses for instruction. Learned a helluva lot about my rig, trail, and 4x4'ing in general. Most of it was pretty normal going, although a few difficult patches that you need to have some good lines on to transverse. Can always sidestep the hard parts. Dirt bikes were in the vicinity, so be aware of those.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
What a blast!! Took a few friends who had never been off roading before and it was the perfect trail for showing off. I took all the hard lines and ended up being saved once by my sliders, but still managed to damage my rear bumper. You can go around the hard lines so this is a perfect trail for a mixed group with varying skills/rigs.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail! It was challenging enough to keep me interested but not so hard that I was stressed about breaking stuff, if you have a wide vehicle I would be concerned about damadge, also be prepared for pinstripes. I drive a xterra on a 2" lift and 265 tires with open diffs and never high centered or got stuck.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I went up to this trail to test out my new rear axle and locker setup. It's close to Denver, full of pretty scenery, and the "hard" lines will give you a chance to test out your equipment. It took about 2 hours for me, but I stopped a few times to let my dogs run around a bit. Have fun!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
First off, thanks to the Jeep club for maintaining this trail; it's in great shape and is very clean! My wife and I drove the trail today in lifted '18 Rubicon and had zero problems on all areas. Daryl's review below is absolutely spot on...I agree with everything he said. One addition -- for those who like to stop for scenic lunches, there's a great pull-out to the right at about 5.9 miles that is the best along the entire route. (assuming you start your mileage as soon as you turn off of CR43 onto Saddlestring Road and go RIGHT at the loop, or counterclockwise which is the recommended direction) Next review I'll add some photos if I can figure out how!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I ran this trail with Mile-Hi Jeep Club Patrol 14 on Saturday. The trail is snow free the entire route. The backside of the loop (if you start the loop by taking a right at the fork) is the best part of this trail, especially with a rocky, fun climb. The rest of the trail is mainly a dirt road. If I were rating portions of the trail, most of the trail is worthy of 2 stars, unless you're driving a stock vehicle; and, the rocky climb beginning with the 3 optional hill climbs is 4 stars. This is a great trail for those wanting to stretch their new (or new to them) 4x4 SUV or truck. There are bypasses around anything that will make you too uncomfortable.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Ran this last night, trail is in great shape and drier than I expected.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Awesome trail, my 2.5" lifted 4runner had no issues anywhere and my buddies and I were the only ones up there.

Author:
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Gate is still closed by the forest service. Hopefully things dry up and the closure can be lifted before 5/31! More info on mud season road closures in the area here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd611536.pdf

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trail always offers some fun obstacles combined with some pretty scenic views. At times, there can be a decent number of ATV and side-by-side runners, which makes for a decent amount of dust, but the trail never fails to impress. Watch your tire placement on a few of the downhill rock obstacles, near the early side of the loop. I smacked my rear bumper on a few spots, but nothing too scary. There are typically bypasses for most of the tough obstacles, but still, it's a fun trail to run. Enjoy!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Dry had a few stock tacoma that completed the trail. Recommend not having running boards when going through the obsticals. A few more obsticals than last year, 2 new areas to fully flex out your suspension.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
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.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Love this trail a few spots were a little interesting but overall a great time.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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:
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.

Author:
Status: Closed
Offroaded on:
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.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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).

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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).

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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:
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:
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.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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.

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: If this is a very popular location what would b the best time to do this trail?
–Shane Mattox (06/04/2020)

Writer Information

Chris Shaw

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Chris is stationed out of his home office in Denver, CO with his fiancée 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.
For individual use only, not to be shared.