One of the more recent hiking trips I took was to a location literally within about 20 minutes of where I have lived most of my life. Yet I have never been on a single trail in this area. This summer has been sort of a summer of hitting up trails that I've wanted to take for a while, but never have. This is one of the trails on my list.
Butterfield Canyon, which is alongside the famous Kennocott Copper Mines, is an area that not a lot of locals in Utah venture up to, and even less have been hiking in it, or even know there are awesome trails in it.
In fact I myself never thought the area would be as beautiful as it was. I was pleasantly surprised by the lush and gorgeous mountains and the stunning views.
One of the reason's these trails are less traveled is because you'll have a hard time finding any details or information on them. Seriously, I couldn't even find them in any Utah hiking guide. I found another local blog who had a little details about how to get there and which trail to take, but even at that it was a little vague.
So if you are a local, or visit Utah sometime and want to take one of these trails here is a little information on them.
We drove up to the top of Butterfield Canyon. You'll find a small parking lot at the top right where the pavement ends and the dirt road toward Middle Canyon begins.
We found 3 trails at the start, they all looked to go different directions. At first we took one trail and about 75 feet down the trail I realized that one had to be wrong ,because I knew for a fact I needed to be climbing up, not down. So we turned around and tried a different one.
We took the trail to the East, and a short ways down you'll see the trail splits. With no idea, just my good guess, we took the trail that split off on the left that started up a steep rocky climb.
I will mention, there is also another way up, but since none of the trails are marked I just took my best guess, and well as you'll see it worked out. If you are familiar with this area, you may want to take the other trail up? I really don't know. But this is the way we went.
Plan on a steady steep climb the entire way. Nothing technical. The other blogger described them as easy summits. I would agree, if what they meant was you don't need any technical skills or gear to make it to the top. As for the hike itself, I wouldn't categorize it as easy at all, it's definitely a hard trail climb up. At least the one we took.
I actually didn't take any pictures along the steep parts, sorry. But if you want an idea, it was very foresty and beautiful.
I should have wore the Garmin and tracked it, but plan on a steep climb the entire way, it won't flatten out or ease up until you get to the top. Round trip we only went about 5 miles. I believe the other trail is a different distance.
For the first half, the trail is very easy to follow and see. But eventually it becomes a little less easy to see. But if you're someone who can easily pick up trails or animal trails you'll find it fairly easy to see and stay on even when you get into the bushes and forest areas that hide it.
When you make it up on top of the first climb, if you plan to go back the same way. Take a look at your view out across Utah County so you will know where to find the trail again as you head back town. (I say that because it's very easy to miss.)
From there you can go east or west, since we were heading to the top of one of the peaks, we headed east a ways, and then south as we began the second part of the climb, which was not quite as steep as the first few miles.
It's gorgeous and beautiful, and you should definitely stop along the ways and enjoy the scenery. When you get to the top, (although there are 3 peaks you can climb to) the top of Butterfield Peak, We had views of Salt Lake County, even looking down into the coppermine, Utah County all the way across Utah Lake and then Tooele County all the way to the mountains islands of surrounded by the waters of the Great Salt Lake.
Best parts of this hike. We went on a Saturday, and if you are from Utah you know the trails on Saturdays are always packed with people. But not these. Once we started our climb, we didn't see anyone until near the top where we saw a group on their way down and that was it. The rest was just us and nature. It doesn't get any better than that!
Not quite as high in elevation as some of the other surrounding peaks, it tops out around 9,370 feet. As you can see from the pictures and views, this area is beautiful and I can't believe it took me all my life until now to finally get up and see it. Definitely will be back, I'd like to eventually do the surrounding peaks.
(You can see the copper mines below in the above shot.)
I will note after getting to the top, we did see another trail going up. I am not sure, but I think that one might have been the one you take from the dirt road just down from the trailhead. It might even be easier and more traveled and marked. But having not taken it myself, I can't say for sure. But I took the word a mouth from someone else later about it.
NOTE: No camera filter needed, the area is stunning so what you see in the pictures is the reality when you are on the hike. In fact all but 3 of the shots above were actually taken on my Samsung phone camera. The shots from up at the top, I used my better camera, but still no filter.