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The Gulches

3 Reviews
Location Colorado Springs, CO
Rating Difficult,
Length 8mi
Time 5hrs

Vehicle Types


Hackett, Longwater and Metberry Gulches drop steeply to river.

In 2002, Hackett Gulch, Longwater Gulch and Metberry Gulch, three of the most popular trails in the Pikes Peak region, were closed due to the Hayman Fire. Fortunately, all three trails are now open, at least in part. Efforts are still underway to open one key section along the Platte River that connects Hackett to Longwater, which would once again make a loop. This section has several difficult obstacles, including three deep water crossings.


Trail Ratings Defined

All routes descend steeply into spectacular Wildcat Canyon. Trails have been tamed somewhat due to maintenance after the fire; however, natural erosion is slowly returning the trails to their former legendary hard-core status. Hackett Rock, unfortunately, has been permanently knocked down.






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Current Conditions

(719) 528-5790Best number for trail conditions is Predator 4 Wheel Drive

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Submitted by Michael
Metberry has changed drastically over the years—tons of side-by-sides on the trail, which has rutted some places up. The picture in the latest book shows what is now the hardest part of the trail. It is severely rutted out next to the rock on the right. You will hug that rock, any small mistake and the side of your vehicle will be smashed. I’ve heard there is an upper bypass but not sure where it is. The large rock is easier than in previous years however the very top middle is dug out and you can high center. I was in a stock Gen 3 Tacoma off-road. Used my locker when I was high-centered going up and had to back down the rock halfway.


Rate this trail on a scale of 1 to 5.


Bill Dawson says

All three Gulches end on the South Platte River and are very scenic.The view from the ridges as you begin the descent is spectacular as they are in the Hayman Fire burn area and the view is unobstructed by trees. Some areas are now starting to have new growth of aspen. Most obstacles are fairly tame. Longwater has a rock which traditionally had to be climbed but which now has a trail around it. Climbing the rock to get out is somewhat challenging. The Platte River is a great picnic destination.


May 1, 2020. We ran Longwater to Hackett loop. Both trails are in good condition. Read the review in the book, lift and lockers recommended. I have a CJ5 on 33's and used my lockers more than I ever have. Buddy has JK on 35's and he engaged lockers multiple times. Water crossings were not higher than top of diff. Look before you leap, take the wrong line and you could go in deep. Great trails, great views, very challenging . Not for the first time or unprepared 4x4er.

Jason says

Fun trails. Have done them many times on 33's and open diffs. Just need to have that driver mod.
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