After only a few years of being open the rating of Metberry Gulch has increased in difficulty from a 4 to a 6. Chicken Scratch Hill is no longer the obstacle it used to be but is still considered the signature obstacle for the trail. The trip down the hill will probably not require 4 wheel drive but will test your brakes and can be easier handled by going into 4WD low. There is a small creek after a couple miles on the trail but most of the obstacles, including Chicken Scratch Hill, are in the last mile of the trail. You will want a capable high clearance 4WD vehicle for the climb back up the trail from the river.
From Colorado Springs take Highway 24 West for 24.5 miles to the town of Divide. Turn north at the second traffic light (CR51) go about .5 mile and stay to the left on the pavement on CR 51 or Teller County 51. Travel about another 3 miles and turn right again to stay on CR51. If you go to Golden Bell turn around because you missed the turn. Travel about 6 miles to a parking lot on the right that the club uses for airing down and preparing our vehicles for the trail. The road to FS360 (Cedar Mountain Rd) is the center road to the north in the intersection. Travel approximately 5 miles past the trailheads to Longwater and Hackett and look for the Metberry Gulch sign.
Metberry Gulch is part of the "Gulches" ( Hackett and Longwater are the other 2 ) Trail System that was closed after the Haymen fire in July, 2002 and was reopened in the summer of 2007. Several volunteers have spent many hours working with Teller County and Predator 4WD to make this trail available for our pleasure. The Hackett and Longwater trails were opened in the summer of 2009 but stop well before the South Platte River, which means the only obstacles of any significance are no longer part of the trails. The Forest Service likes to lump the Gulches ( Metberry, Hackett and Longwater ) into a area they call Wildcat Canyon.
Metberry Gulch is an out and back trail, meaning you return back on exactly the same road as you travel out. It's a trail that will take you down a long 5 mile descent to the South Platte River, where there is a large parking lot. In the past you could cross the river but some barriers have been put up at the parking lot that prevent a crossing.
In the past most vehicles struggled on an obstacle called Chicken Scratch Hill. It was a hill with loose dirt and lots of moguls that were created by vehicles that were not properly equipped to make it up the hill. A couple of the other obstacles on the trail are rocks that are positioned on downhill curves, while making the trip fun do create a little anxiety but are not very technically challenging. The max elevation on the trail is 9745 ft above sea level with the elevation at the river at 7187.
The scenery at the end of the trail is very spectacular with the South Platte River and some mammoth rocks that provide a stunning backdrop. The area around the parking lot at the river does not appear to be significantly damaged by the Hayman Fire except that Custer's cabin was destroyed.
GPS coordinates -N39 06.234 , W105 16.740