Now that the gates have been opening in some of my favorite canyons, I suddenly have a number of new options for my weekly hike. Today, I headed up Butterfield and hiked to the Butterfield Peaks.
I drove up the canyon to the point where is starts down on the Tooele side and parked there. There is a trail that starts right behind the cement barricades, and there’s also a dirt road. In most cases, I recommend the trail when doing this hike. But I wanted to do something a bit different today.
I took the dirt road South until it came to a stream. I then cut up a steep trail towards the Butterfield Peaks.
This is a more difficult route. For starters, the road actually descends a few hundred feet or so before it finally reaches the trail, so there’s more distance to climb. Second, this route includes some very steep sections. Third, the trail varies from okay to nonexistent, and you’re almost certain to “bushwhack” sections of this climb.
I’ve done hike this once before. Last time, I actually hiked up the creek itself for much of the distance. Today, I wanted to try and stay on the trails. Also, there was quite a bit of water in the creek today.
I managed to stay on the trail for much of the climb. But, as I mentioned, there is no solid trail from beginning to end. And with the extra rainfall this Spring, there were many sections that had a good trail but the vegetation had overgrown to cover the trail.
After a pretty steep climb, I came on a green meadow (see photos). It seemed really cool. We saw several deer. And we came across a couple of other meadows as well, although none were as wide and flat as the first.
One concern I had was that the trail would take me too far South. I wanted to hit the final peak head on and get a really good workout. Well, I definitely felt like I got a good workout. Sections of the climb were on “all fours”. Surprisingly, I actually hit the ridge North of where I wanted. From there, I took the regular trail to the top.
This is a great hike if you want to explore the Oquirrhs. I recommend going the way that I came down (see map). However, if you want a little adventure and some super steep climbs, you can always take the route I took.
Butterfield Peaks: 9,335 Feet
Altitude Gain: 1,902 Feet
Distance Traveled: 3.86 Miles
Time on Mountain: 3 Hours
View Hike-2011-07-16 in a larger map