Teller County, Colorado
Pike National Forest
South Park Ranger District
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map
Forest Service Road: 205
Trail Type: Out and Back
Nearby Towns: Deckers
Nearby Trails: Cedar Mountain Road, Longwater Gulch, Hackett Gulch
Trail Length: 4.41 miles
Elevation: 7,168 to 8,671 feet
Named Obstacles: Chicken Scratch Hill
This trail was closed after the Hayman Fire of 2002, and then it reopened in 2007.
Three major 4x4 trails were closed by the Hayman Fire of 2002 -- Hackett Gulch, Longwater Gulch, and Metberry Gulch. All three run parallel and near to each other. Metberry Gulch was the first one to be reopened after extensive work by volunteers, followed by Longwater Gulch and Hackett Gulch.
Metberry Gulch runs almost directly to the South Platte River where it dead ends at a very large parking area. More than the first half is fairly flat, and the last section is a very steep downhill. You must climb up this hill on the way back out.
You probably won't need 4-wheel drive on the way in, but you probably will need it on the way out. Note that the trail is usually only wide enough for one vehicle, and passing can be very difficult.
A lot of work has been done to reopen this trail. The trail is surrounded by burned trees and new aspen trees growing around the burned sections. Places where erosion could cause problems have been worked on to prevent as much damage as possible. As always, stay on the trail at all times.
The trail starts at a large parking area and a seasonal gate. Once you pass through the gate you cross some logs and a small bridge. The brush may get very close to your vehicle here.
It starts as a fairly easy trail as it works its way through the burned trees. Soon you come to a fun and challenging area of rocks where there may also be water to keep it interesting.
When you get to a "Y" in the road, take the leftmost trail. The rightmost trail goes to a support for power lines and a steep but brief downhill. This downhill section has been marked as closed with a sign at the bottom. The true trail meets this part at the bottom.
Soon the trail becomes a bit steeper as you descend, and some portions are very steep. There is a curve to a sharp descent, and you should be careful not to get sideways on this portion. It is marked with fencing.
The most challenging and probably the most fun area is Chicken Scratch Hill. You are already working your way down the steep hill and you come to a big drop-off. It is a steep and flat slab of rock that is often covered in sand. You may find your vehicle sliding down this slab of rock if you go too slowly. After Chicken Scratch Hill, it continues as a steep hill of dirt.
The trail ends at a very large, fenced-in parking area. This is a fantastic lunch spot. Many people park here and walk down to the South Platte River to fish. It is a fairly big and fast-moving river, but it is perfect for fly fishing.
Put it in 4-wheel drive to work your way back up the hill. Chicken Scratch Hill is challenging, but fun. The hill climb is much more difficult as a whole on the way out.
This is a fantastic trail, and it is a fun one to combine with Hackett Gulch and Longwater Gulch.
Information last updated on May 23rd, 2010.
- May 23rd, 2010: ran by Bill S. and Matt K.
- October 25th, 2009: ran by Matt K., Mike S., Roger and Walt
- May 28th, 2008: ran by Gary, Mark F., Roger and Walt
- September 22nd, 2007: ran by Chad S., Kendall, Monica and Todd
From Denver, take I-25 exit 187 to Happy Canyon Road. Follow this south to Highway 85 west to Sedalia. Turn south on Highway 67 and follow this all the way through Deckers and through Westcreek to turn west on County Road 68 (Stump Road) just west of Pine Lake. Follow the first half of Cedar Mountain Road to the trailhead for Metberry Gulch on the right after you turn south.
Meet at the side of the road just past Deckers.