Butterfield Canyon Trail

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.45178°N / 112.2135°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Sign the Climber's Log


Forget everything you know about the Oquirrh Mountains. Kelsey, White Pine and Butterfield Peaks break all the rules. There is a nice trail which takes you up to the summits. Second, they are accessed from the Salt Lake County side of the Oquirrhs. The scenery is spectacular and unlike other Oquirrh peaks, you don't have to work very hard to reach it.
This trail should be in every Salt Lake hiking book but since it isn't, I was able to hike this area on a Saturday in July without seeing another person. It looks like the area is Kennecott Copper land but trail hiking almost seems encouraged, no signs and a nice parking area. I've included White Pine and Butterfield Peaks since this route passes by both of them.
White Pine PeakWhite Pine Peak

Kelsey PeakKelsey Peak

Getting There

From Bangerter Highway, take 12600 (Harriman Parkway) east. After a few lights, turn left on Main Street. Follow Main Street that eventually becomes the Harriman Highway. Eventually the road starts to turn north becoming U-111. At that point, Butterfield Canyon Road cuts off left. Follow it for 7 paved but narrow miles to Butterfield Pass. Lots of parking on the south side of the pass.

During the summer when it is open, Butterfield Pass is a major commuting link between Tooele and south Salt Lake County. Go sit at the pass at 6 a.m. and you'll be amazed at the volume of people driving over this narrow mountain road going to work.

Kelsey Peak MapKelsey Peak Map

Route Description

On the south side of the pass are 3 "trails". Find the most western one. Just behind the jersey barrier, a narrow hiking trail will shoot uphill from the old blocked roadway. Follow this trail as it climbs up through conifer forests. The trail may be brushy in places but the trail tread is in excellent shape. As you climb the ridge, soon the summit of Butterfield Peaks will come into view with it's antennas poking above the forest. The trail will traverse a few hundred feet below the summit. On the western ridge area, the trail will split. Left will take you up to the summit, right will take you to the saddle area west of the summit. Although there is a private road from the east up Butterfield Peaks, the views there are outstanding and worth a sunrise visit! It's a easy summit! Continuing on the trail west toward the Kelsey Peak, keep an eye out for an 8 foot cairn above the trail on the ridge. This cairn is one of the best constructed cairns I've ever seen. Very sturdy, includes a seat on the west side! From the cairn, the trail is going to drop 300 feet so many might stop there with the spectacular view of Lowe Peaks north face. For those wanting Kelsey and White Pine, the trail works up the east ridge of White Pine Peak. Although it's easy to loose in a few places, it is there if you keep looking. After White Pine Peak, just drop to Piney Pass and scramble up a climbers/game trail to the top of Kelsey. Kelsey is only 50 feet higher than White Pine Peak, views are about the same. There is also an old trail from Piney Pass back down to around 9,400 feet on the ridge you came up.
Copper MineCopper Mine
Sunrise over WasatchSunrise over the Wasatch

West Butterfield CanyonButterfield Canyon
Trail above Butterfield CanyonTrail up Butterfield Peaks

In route to Kelsey PeakKelsey Peak
Kelsey PeakKelsey Peak

Lowe PeakLowe Peak
Lowe Peak north sideLowe Peak

White Pine summitWhite Pine Summit
Kelsey and Piney PassKelsey and Piney Pass

Kelsey from White Pine Kelsey from White Pine
North from White PineNorth from White Pine

Last few feet up KelseyLast few feet up Kelsey
Kelsey from Piney PassKelsey Peak

Pano south from KelseyLooking south to Lowe and Rocky

Tooele from KelseyTooele from Kelsey
White Pine from KelseyWhite Pine from Kelsey

Stansbury Range from KelseyStansbury Range from Kelsey
Utah Lake from KelseyUtah Lake from Kelsey

Memorial on KelseyMemorial on the summit of Kelsey

The Cairn

A few feet off the trail is this huge cairn!
Big CairnHuge Cairn

External Links




Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.