Hall Ranch, Bitterbrush and Nelson Loop Trail

MODERATE 56 reviews
#16 of 112 trails in

Hall Ranch, Bitterbrush and Nelson Loop Trail is a 10 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lyons, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

10.0 miles 1620 feet Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

The Bitterbrush and Nelson Loop Trails are fairly difficult mountain bike routes that form a lasso trail near Lyons, CO. Unlike many of my other trail guides, this one is definitely a little more strenuous and technical. If you are riding a bike, prepare for steep climbs and rapid descents. There are some tricky corners and numerous rocks and roots in the trail. There is also great scenery, lots of wildlife, and a heck of a roller-coaster ride. Although this trail is good for hiking, many hikers choose Nighthawk Trail, which runs off of this trail and takes a similar route. HISTORY: In 1885, Edward Lyon settled the land that later became Hall Ranch. The sandstone quarries just to the east of Hall Ranch are made up of 52 smaller quarry pits, and these were also established by Edward Lyon. Electricity was first introduced to the region around 1912 when the Longmont Aqueduct, which supplied water from Longmont Reservoir to the power plant, can still be viewed on the north side of Hall Ranch. The name Hall Ranch was first applied to the land in the early 1940s when Hallyn and June Hall purchased a chunk of the surrounding land. WILDLIFE: Hall Ranch is rich in wildlife. It is considered a crucial nesting habitat for numerous birds. Predatory birds such as golden eagles hunt here and are always on the lookout for a feast of prairie dog or squirrel. White tailed deer and rabbit are also commonly seen from the trail. One of the better places for observing wildlife at Hall Ranch is in the meadow at the junction of Bitterbrush and Nelson Loop. In addition to the cute and cuddly critters, don't forget that rattlesnakes love sunning themselves on the trail. Leave them alone, and they're usually pretty docile. GEOLOGY: The oldest rock in the area is about 1.7 billion years old and the youngest is approximately 62 million years old. The rocks are a mix of sandstone and granite.

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

horseback riding
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Definitely a moderate hike but a great workout. Good views here and there. Deer everywhere. Lots of bikers on Nelson. Overall though great hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Overall good hike on Nighthawk Trail. Sunny and very hot when I was there, but there was a few shady spots to escape the sun here and there. Great views of Long's Peak.

hiking
4 months ago

enjoyed nighthawk trail. no bikes or dogs... a few horses and not crowded. nice view. not strenuous. then had a well earned lunch in Lyons

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike but a lot of bikes

4 months ago

Obnoxious mountain bikers allowed. Don't bother hiking here. Same for most Boulder County open space. The bikers control it all. Sucks for hikers.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Great for mountain biking. Not as good for hiking. I prefer going hiking in this area at Heil Valley Ranch on US 36 close to Lyons.

5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

Did the big 10 mile loop yesterday. It was so hot and there was no shade. The trail it's self was nice though:) next time I'll just go when it's cooler outside.

6 months ago

mountain biking
7 months ago

Very nice trail to work on biking over rock features.

7 months ago