Coulson Gulch Trail

MODERATE 28 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
1056 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
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

I only hiked a little past the old, run-down abandoned cabin (about 1.5 miles in), but it was a very nice hike. And yes...mostly uphill on the way back, required some effort as I hadn't been hiking for awhile. Small streams were mostly dry, saw TONS of butterflies and even a small snake. Many wildflowers, lots of shady areas on the portion I hiked. Saw one couple on my way in, one lady on my way out, and two more couples were heading out when I returned to the trailhead. Had no problem getting to trailhead parking in my Dodge Caravan with some creative maneuvering, but I can imagine it'd be pretty rough if it were muddy. Will definitely do this hike again! PS-Watch out for biting horse flies!

2 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!

2 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.

2 months ago

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

2 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 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
4 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
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

4 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
5 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
6 months ago

6 months ago

Great trail! Was the only one on the trail so almost was a little eerie feeling because definitely in bear / mountain lion country....so keep your eyes open! But very well groomed and a nice peaceful stream that runs along side it. The last 0.5 mile of the road to get up to the trailhead requires either a high clearance or a 4WD car. I parked at the bottom of the turnoff which was fine.

hiking
11 months ago

11 months ago

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Overall good hike. Trail is still closed, but the area is beautiful.