Looking toward the tailings from the Galena Trail. Review by Bruce on September 3, 2023.
Butterfield Park Trails
The Butterfield Trailhead Regional Park opened in 2023 as part of the
Southwest Canyons Trail Network of Salt Lake County. (Rose Canyon and
Yellow Fork are also included in this network.) There's around 14 miles of
new trail at Butterfield Park. Additional trails, including expert-level
rides, are planned.
The trails lie south of the Butterfield Canyon Road at the mouth of the canyon. Starting elevation is 5400 feet, with a high of around 6400 at the saddle between Butterfield and Yellow Fork on the Butterknife trail
(which is a new section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail). The expected riding season will be May through mid-November.
Looking northwest over the Salt Lake valley from the viewpoint on Goat Nose.
Eastbound on Copper Rise.
The trails are mostly on a north-facing slope. The terrain is a mix of gambel oak, cedar, juniper, maple and a rare stand of aspen. The system is machine-cut, highly engineered, and is mostly smooth easy riding. Turns are highly banked. There are occasional optional bumps that can be used as short jumps, but overall, the park is intended for beginner to early-intermediate riders.
Trailhead and Connections
Heading up Lucky Boy, around 100 feet from the access path.
At this time, there's a temporary trailhead off the Herriman Highway (13100 South) just east of the entry to the Butterfield Canyon Road. There's room for around 20 vehicles. (There's overflow parking along the road just uphill, and a couple of tiny parking spots where you can unofficially enter the system along Butterfield Canyon Road.) Go back to the parking entry, turn right past the gate and follow the doubletrack 0.2 miles to the trail area.
On the Butterknife BST in Yellow Fork.
From Yellow Fork
You can reach the trail system from the south via the Rose Canyon trail system. At the picnic area 1.5 miles up Yellow Fork Creek, you can fork hard right onto the Butterknife section of the BST and ride 3.9 miles to the top of Outa Gas. There are no trail connections from the north.
Heading west from the access trail on Galena Gulch.
The Galena Gulch trail is your access to the northern side of the trail system. It's 1.1 miles long, extending from the bottom of the Juniper trail to the base of the Copper Rise Loop. Galena Gulch is suitable for beginning riders. There's 200 vertical feet of climbing on Galena Gulch as you ride east to west. You'll drop around 50 as you descend from the old lake shoulder down to the Copper Rise intersection.
Most trail users will enter Galena Gulch from the the end of the parking lot access path. At the trail fork 100 feet later, Galena Gulch actually goes both directions. To the right, you're headed for Millie, then Copper Rise in 0.8 miles. To the left, Galena Gulch passes the bottom of Lucky Boy before ending on Juniper after 0.3 miles.
Galena Gulch curves around a drainage, looking south.
Descending from the Millie trail fork and heading for the Bingham trail fork.
When heading west uphill on Galena Gulch, you can fork onto Millie or Bingham, both of which will rejoin Galena Gulch at the fork for Copper Rise.
Much of Galena Gulch is sage and oak, providing good views of the copper tailings on the northern side of the canyon. While descending the north-facing slope, you'll be in tall maple forest.
View east in tall maple.
Straight ahead (right) is Galena Gulch. We'll keep left to ride Millie along the shoulder of the hill.
Millie is an alternate path to the western half of Galena Gulch, lying higher on the mountain. It's a slightly easier ride for beginning riders. It's 0.8 miles long, beginning and ending on the Galena Gulch trail.
Millie forks to the left from Galena Gulch at mile 0.3 from the trailhead access path. After 0.4 miles on Millie, The Drop forks away to the right. (The Drop goes down to rejoin Galena Gulch near the trail fork with Bingham.)
At 0.8 miles from its origin on Galena Gulch, Millie ends at the junction between Galena Gulch and the Copper Rise loop. This can be a confusing intersection for first-timers. On the downhill side are Bingham and Galena Gulch. Uphill is the fork for the two sides of Copper Rise.
Arriving at the end of Millie on Galena Gulch. To the right (out of the picture) Bingham has joined. Ahead is the beginning and the return from Copper Rise.
Bingham forks to the right from Galena Gulch as we cross an access road.
When headed west on Galena Gulch, the Bingham trail forks to the right just after The Drop joins on the left and Galena Gulch crosses an access road. It will rejoin Galena Gulch just before the Copper Rise loop trail fork.
The Bingham trail is 0.5 miles long, running parallel to the creek. There are a couple of trail forks where social trails cross the creek to alternate parking along Butterfield Canyon road. Keep straight.
Typical trail scene on Bingham as we ride just above the creek.
The Pipe trail forks away to the right as we ride Millie westbound.
"The Pipe" is a 0.2-mile trail that descends from Millie down to the Galena trail. It joins Galena from uphill at the spot where Galena crosses an access road (just uphill from where the eastern end of Bingham joins Galena).
Just a guy and his dog heading up for a counterclockwise ride on Copper Rise. Note that his dog is controlled with a leash!
The Copper Rise loop is a popular destination on the northern side of the Butterfield Park trail system. The loop is 2.4 miles around, with 300 vertical feet of climbing over the course of the loop.
At the bottom, the Copper Rise loop is reached via Galena Gulch, Millie, or Bingham (which rejoin just before Copper Rise). At the top, you can reach to Copper Rise at its highest point by descending Outta Gas.
On the way up (riding counterclockwise), you'll briefly cross the creek to a small parking area. This three-car space is used by hikers and will usually be occupied on weekends.
Cranking uphill along the creek.
A rare stand of aspen as we climb higher on Copper Rise.
When riding Copper Rise counterclockwise, you'll reach a 4-way trail intersection at the top of the loop. Copper Rise continues straight on doubletrack. To the right is Outta Gas, which climbs to the top of the Ridgeline trail and to Butterknife.
To the left is the 0.3-mile Goat Nose loop, which takes you to a viewpoint then returns to Copper Rise just 0.1 miles from where you're standing.
The descending side of a counterclockwise loop on Copper Rise is 350 vertical over 0.9 miles.
Approaching a banked turn while descending Copper Rise. Looking north.
Heading north on Goat Nose.
The Goat Nose loop starts on Copper Rise, makes a quick loop to a viewpoint over the copper tailings, then returns to Copper Rise about 100 yards from where it started. It's a two-way trail, 0.3 miles long with almost no elevation change.
At the westernmost corner of the loop, a 100-yard trail forks to the north, taking you to a viewpoint. This is a popular "we were there" photo op.
On the short spur to the viewpoint.
At the 4-way trail fork at the top of Copper Rise, looking south to Outta Gas.
Outta Gas extends from the highest point of the Copper Rise loop to a dirt and gravel access road on the ridgeline. Just before the road, the Ridgeline singletrack forks away to your left. As you cross the broad cindered area at the top of the doubletrack, you'll enter the Butterknife trail to Yellow Fork.
Outta Gas is 0.7 miles long, with a bit over 150 feet of elevation gain from Copper Rise to Butterknife.
Heading west on Outta Gas as we climb.
Butterknife Trail (Bonneville Shoreline)
Beginning the ride from Butterfield to Yellow Fork on the BST.
The Butterknife trail begins on the ridgeline at the top of the access road (Ridgeline doubletrack), as the continuation of the Outta Gas trail. The Butterknife section of the Bonneville Shoreline (BST) is 3.9 miles long. It ends where the Yellow Fork trail crosses the doubletrack (and there are a couple of picnic tables) around 1.5 miles up the canyon.
The trail begins at 6000 feet elevation. It will roll up and down, reaching a top elevation of 6400 feet on the ridgeline above Yellow Fork (2.9 miles from Outta Gas; 1 mile above the Yellow Fork trail). It descends 300 vertical feet into Yellow Fork.
Switchback turn near the ridgeline above Yellow Fork.
View south from the ridgeline above Yellow Fork.
An out-and-back ride to Yellow Fork from the Butterfield system will add 7.8 miles and around 1000 vertical feet of climbing to your ride.
The Butterknife section of the BST is discussed in detail on a separate page. See Butterknife trail
Entry to the singletrack option of Ridgeline, on the left. The doubletrack is a bit further uphill on Outta Gas -- at the sign.
Ridgeline seems to be a work in progress. Basically it's a rough dirt road from the top of the ridge down to the Juniper-Lucky Boy junction. The upper 0.2 miles has a hand-cut singletrack that you can use as an alternate. Overall the route is around 0.5 miles.
Most riders will want to ride the singletrack from the summit, join the doubletrack for a short distance when the singletrack ends, then divert left onto Sorta Shady to continue the descent.
Doubletrack section of Ridgeline, which is basically an access road.
Dropping toward the valley on Sorta Shady.
Sorta Shady is a singletrack joining the top of Juniper to the middle of the Ridgeline doubletrack. It's 0.7 miles long, with 150 feet of elevation change from west to east.
Sorta Shady is a bench-cut trail and will be preferred by most riders to the Ridgeline doubletrack for both uphill and down.
Sorta Shady would be your connecting route if you're riding a loop with Copper Rise on the north and Juniper or Lucky Boy on the southwest.
The trail is easy riding both uphill and down.
Rolling into a banked turn while descending Juniper.
The Juniper trail is a popular route for both climbing and descending, running along the eastern side of the riding area. There will be lots of hikers here.
Juniper is 1.8 miles long, running from the access path at the bottom of the hill to a junction with Sorta Shady, Ridgeline DT, and Lucky Boy at the top. There's 350 feet of elevation change.
Looking south as Juniper winds back and forth.
Another banked sidewall on the way into the valley.
At the top of Juniper, there's an unfortunate trail sign that's just plain wrong (September 2023). Go straight to descend Lucky Boy back to the base. Go left to climb Sorta Shady to the top. The doubletrack you cross (whichever way you went) is the official Ridgeline trail, which you should feel free to ignore.
Heading west while climbing Lucky Boy.
Lucky Boy is a two-way trail that begins as the continuation of Juniper when climbing uphill (if you keep right and straight at the trail fork). At the bottom it forks away from Galena Gulch between the bottom of Juniper and the entry trail.
Lucky Boy is 1.4 miles in length with 350 feet of elevation change. It's a highly-engineered bench-cut with tall banks on the turns.
A rider cruises the sage and cedar.
The trail surface is smooth and there's a long sight line.
Lucky Boy is also heavily used by hikers, who make a loop of Juniper and Lucky Boy.
A set of bridges on Copper Rise take you across the creek to a small parking area.
Nice trail system for beginners and intermediates. Riders who are looking for gnarly thrills won't find much -- except lots of miles close to home. Many trail users report that they're confused by the trail signs here, so it's best to bring your phone with a navigation app.
On Main Street in Herriman, continue west on 13100 South. Just as you're
arriving at the Butterfield Canyon Road, turn left into a primitive
temporary parking area. To get to the trails, go back to the parking entry
and turn right. Pass the gate and continue on a broad path, keeping left
and following the signs. As you arrive at a trail fork, you can turn right
for Galena, or keep straight to arrive at Juniper.
No services or bathroom at trailhead.
Map of the lower Butterfield area