Saturday, July 18, 2009

Butterfield Canyon

Back in the spring I was hunting for new climbing rides and came across Butterfield Canyon, which is near Herriman and the Kennecott Copper Mine. I attempted the climb but ran into snow on the road about halfway up. Since then, I've wanted to try again as I was curious whether the top half of the climb is as tough as rumored.

From the turnoff of HWY 111 to the top, it's about 6.9 miles and approximately 2,300 vertical feet with the summit at 7,786 ft. (per my Garmin). The first 3-1/2 miles are uneventful but then it really gets steep for the next mile. It was so steep that I was in my 30t front ring (yes I have a triple and on this day very glad to have it) and 25t rear cog and either standing up to keep my momentum going until my heart rate redlined or sitting in the saddle grinding it out until my heart rate came back down. After this brutal stretch, the road flattened out a bit for a half mile and then ticked up to 8 or 9% for the last 2 miles.

It definitely was a very challenging climb. I was disappointed that the road had quite a bit of rocky debris on the last 2 miles (see my picture below) as it made the descent pretty sketchy. The thing I like about it though is the approach ride from Utah county is pretty nice, the view at the top is great and it's a nice change of scenery to keep things fresh.

Kennecott Copper Mine (Butterfield Canyon is on the left of the mine in this picture):

Lots of rocks on the road in some sections near the summit:

View from the top looking NE down the canyon road:

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