Button Rock Preserve: Sleepy Lion Trail

MODERATE 340 reviews

Button Rock Preserve: Sleepy Lion Trail is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lyons, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
921 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

Great trail with a few steep sections and generally rocky. Well shaded in the morning. Dramatic views of Long's Peak, Mt. Meeker, and Twin Sisters beyond the reservoir. Word to the wise: Somewhere near the highest elevation of the loop, it is very easy to get onto another trail called the Button Rock Trail. It eventually (5+ miles) gets to another trailhead called Hall Ranch, at least 10 driving miles and a few ridges away from the parking lot at Longmont Dam.

hiking
4 days ago

Good view of the distant snow-strewn peaks and a reservoir. Wildflowers are starting to emerge now. Not a lot of scenery to look at unless you're at the very highest point of the trail, but besides that it was an easy trail with decent enough reward at the top. Very few people hiking on a Monday afternoon. Only passed two groups of people.

Once you get to the point on this trail where it turns into a road that heads back to the parking lot (clearly marked with a sign) and there's a building where the reservoir water flows out into a river, I'd also suggest heading up the 'Hummingbird Switchback Trail' that goes up to the Ralph Price Reservoir. It's short and you get a good view of the water, and can even follow a trail all the way around the lake if you want. From there you can take the road that goes around the reservoir a bit and also leads back to the parking lot.

hiking
5 days ago

Loved it!

hiking
9 days ago

Nice hike. Did this last September. Definitely on the easier side of Moderate. Nice and shady for most of the hike. The dam is awesome and a great place for lunch. Some nice views along the way as well.

9 days ago

Beautiful rugged hike. You start out the first half mile or so on a service road but it’s going along side the St Vrain creek, so the scenery is still beautiful. Also I’d say the last 1.5 miles of the loop are coming back down the service road, but again, still feels plenty secluded. We went on a Wednesday and hardly ran into anyone else and parking was not an issue. Once you take the trail (it’s on the left off the service road) it is pretty steadily inclining for a while. Gorgeous views of Longs Peak at the pinnacle. Would definitely do again!

hiking
12 days ago

Loved the scenery on Sleepy Lion Trail! Make sure to turn left onto the trail off the main road. I accidentally made a left turn into Hall Ranch and turned my 5 mile hike into over 10 miles, but a lovely mistake! I saw over 20 deer close-up and a huge mountain peak before returning to Sleepy Lion Trail. Also saw eagles, wildflowers, and a rabbit. Finally hit the dam and took Hummingbird Switchback Trail up to Ralph Price Reservoir. Absolutely beautiful around 430pm! Took the road back to the car and enjoyed walking by the river.

hiking
13 days ago

Quick morning hike with lots to look at. Trail was essentially dry on 4/7/18 which is always a plus.

hiking
14 days ago

Got to the lake right at daybreak and sat there listening to the ice melt under the surface. Was an awesome experience!

hiking
19 days ago

Great time with my new pup Misha, she did really well for her first time in the mountains!

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful versatile trail. Took the left off to sleepy lion at the start, great elevation gain to look over the reservoir.
Came down to the reservoir and sat near the water for lunch.
One of my favorite hikes, was crowded but not terribly so.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a lovely hike on a sunny, brisk day. I normally don't enjoy hiking up roads, but there was a lot to see in the first 3/4 mile - climbers, dam, creek...The turnoff on the single track trail was lovely and different rock out croppings provided awesome views of the reservoir. Easy afternoon hike. For more details and photos. https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/03/19/road-trip-to-the-rockies-button-rock-preserve/

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked early in the morning. Decided to go out and back on Sleepy Lion trail instead of taking the loop back which would have just followed the road. We also took Professor's Ranch trail which takes you to the top of the Dam instead of going to the bottom where the water outflow is. You will see the sign as you wind down near the Dam. Great hike with views of Long's Peak and the Res.

1 month ago

Hiked with family of 4. Great loop and views.

1 month ago

If you can end up at the reservoir around dusk this hike is magic.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an excellent hike. Took my 15 year old along, and she really got into the views. Most of the hike was only borderline "moderate", but as you approach the top there are a few sections that approach vertical. Made for a terrific day hike, and gave my boyfriend the urge to do a lot more of that.

1 month ago

Fun trail. Felt like it should be rated a little more closely to easy than moderate, but the ice today (3/4) made it a little more challenging on the non groomed road parts. a great hike to take friends who might be from out of state (flatlanders) without overexerting them but showing them the beautiful side of Colorado.

hiking
1 month ago

Great scenery! Creek, dam, and mountain views. About 1-2" of snow covered the trail on our hike today. Some areas of ice and snow slush. I used spikes but my wife and friend did not. Very doable even at this time year. Will def be back during the warmer season.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with amazing views of the twin peaks. The sleepy lion trail is actually off leash dog friendly! the dogs had a wonderful time romping around in the mountains. quick hike with amazing views. will definitely do more often

2 months ago

My daughter and I loved this trail, it was well kept, beautiful scenery and somewhat of a challenge for us since we don't hike often. We will be back soon!

hiking
2 months ago

Good, fairly easy hike. Some pretty views, but the 1st half of the hike is along a dirt road.

hiking
2 months ago

Really I want to give this hike a 3.5. The views are great and it’s a manageable hike for all levels BUT you are on a dirt road for good portion of the hike which is not really my jam.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike for the Family and dog. And the Dogs can be off the leash for a bit.!!

hiking
3 months ago

Wind was killer today. Trail was in great shape. A couple of icy patches in the shade otherwise all dry.

hiking
3 months ago

Incredible views from all directions. Trail was dry; no extra traction needed.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike even though we started a little late in the afternoon. The area of the hike seemed very mild compared with the surrounding area, which was great on a January afternoon.

4 months ago

wonderful weather and still lots of green for December

hiking
4 months ago

First half of the trail, if you go clockwise, is amazing. Really pretty views and dogs are allowed off-leash. Really enjoyed it! The second half you are just walking on a frontage road along a creek with not much to look at. Still a great hike, though.

hiking
4 months ago

It was a gorgeous day today hiking in short sleeves in December. My dog loved the off-leash areas. It was steep in a few places, but hey, I am 60 and not as fast as I used to be. Great local hike for all abilities.

hiking
4 months ago

Really nice hike with the pups and saw folks with different abilities manage well. The trail was well marked and easy to follow. There was lots of traffic in the afternoon and the lot was full. This was a very well managed trail with lots of great views to offer. It's been unseasonably warm so there wasn't any snow or ice to worry about to get to the trail.

4 months ago

The views were soo amazing today, will definitely do this hike again!

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