Coulson Gulch Trail

MODERATE 32 reviews
#24 of 109 trails in

Coulson Gulch Trail is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lyons, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
941 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Great day hike near Boulder/Longmont/Lyons. Light usage, could be a bit confusing to arrive at trail head. See Getting There. The trail head is on the left-hand side of the parking area. There are MANY trail options here, so take care of which trails you take to ensure you end up where you mean to! This map will take you on just the out/back Coulson Gulch trail. Mostly downhill on the way out, so keep in mind the way back is where the "intermediate" comes into play. Approximately 1.8 miles into the trail lies an old abandoned cabin, nice place to stop for a snack/water/shade break.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful hike, some washed away areas near end and the connector and bridge at 2.4 miles are gone...

hiking
11 days ago

Great hike, good work out and not a lot of traffic. Perfect for dogs!

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is fantastic, beautiful scenery and just difficult enough to feel like a good work out. I hiked in mid October and it was perfect, nicely sheltered from the strong winds. I was the only person on the trail until I was almost back to the parking lot and passed a couple of hikers starting down the trail. Be aware that it may be a little unnerving to do as a solo hike, since there is definitely large wildlife out there! I was a little scared, but that added to the excitement of the hike.

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

Nice remote out-and-back trail. Beautiful and unique wildflowers. Waters and streams were absent on our hike at the end of July, except for a few stagnant pools of water. Fellow hikers returning back warned us of a large yellow-gray (non-rattling) snake on the trail about 1/2 mile in, but it was gone when we hiked. The hike commences with medium downhill terrain (so medium uphill returning) and continues with rolling hills until you reach the fork to continue about 1/2 mile to the end of the trail (right) or continue straight to Button Rock Reservoir (aka R.P. or Ralph Prince Reservior). We had a late start and light rain with more threatened by thunder and ominous clouds as we continued towards the reservior. We caught a coyote off guard about .7 miles from the split. It immediately ran to the top of the nearest hill and began BARKING at us. Not howling, but barking incessantly--as if I were wearing a postal or UPS uniform kind of bark. I shouted "you win" as we turned around and the coyote replied with incorrigible barking in response. Essentially, that coyote told us off for being on the trail. I suppose it could have been a momma protecting its young, but be aware of the barking, "ye shall not pass" coyote!

4 months ago

Getting in is easy getting out is all up hill. Seasonal stream runs through mid June making for a nice spot to cool the feet.

4 months ago

Very pretty hike with lots of wildflowers. Challenging return trip with lots of climb.

4 months ago

Awesome wildflowers today! And only saw one group during the whole hike, amazing for Boulder county hiking.

hiking
5 months ago

5 months ago

5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in Lyons! The first section is pretty well shaded, however, once you get to the meadow you're pretty exposed. We were hoping to make the loop to button rock and then on to north sheep mountain, but unfortunately due to the flood, we were unable to pass the St. Vrain, as the bridge has been washed out. It was still incredible hiking to the river at peak run off season though! A four wheel vehicle is definitely required if you're planning on parking at the trailhead. Overall, really enjoyable. The hike in is mostly downhill, so don't forget you'll have to climb your way out!

hiking
6 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. Good workout but doesn't kill you, views are spectacular and it is amazing to hear nothing but nature around you. Not crowded at all. We will definitely be back soon, probably my favorite trail in Colorado so far.

camping
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

Beautiful forest with a large Meadow. The trail follows a seasonal stream. I wasn't able to complete the loop around Sheep Mountain because the river was impassable. Beautiful though!

hiking
6 months ago

I loved this trail. Wife and I hiked it in the afternoon; mid-May. Several very small stream crossings, a large beautiful meadow. The majority of the hike follows a small stream. There are stretches where it feels as if the forest is collapsing on you. I think we only saw 6-8 people throughout the entire hike. Small climb at the end but nothing too taxing. I would definitely do this one again!

hiking
7 months ago