Bailey, Colorado (Park) Technical Rating: 4-5
Last Updated: 01-30-2017
Slaughterhouse Gulch Highlights
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.
Technical rating: (4-5) Easy-Moderate
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.
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Directions to Trailhead
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.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates:
39° 29' 44.09"N
105° 31' 56.15"W
GPS Exchange File:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Camping and Lodging
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.
Questions & AnswersNo questions have been submitted.
Jen & JD Marshall
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.
Jen & JD Marshall
Offroaded on 10-31-2016
Low Temperature: 57° F
High Temperature: 66° F
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.
Offroaded on 02-27-2016
Low Temperature: 42° F
High Temperature: 55° F
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.