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.
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.
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.
Overall good hike. Trail is still closed, but the area is beautiful.
If you have a vehicle with decent clearance then bypass the road hike. The trail itself is mainly loose gravel but pretty easy going. The trail is still closed about 2 miles from the trailhead.
Beautiful trail. The way in is mostly down hill so conserve energy for way back. Beautiful meadows and wild raspberries are everywhere. My fingers are red. Recommend this hike to all. Careful on downhills its dry dirt with some wash out. Can be a little dangerous for small kids without proper shoes. Pack in water you will need it for way back. Great hike. Absolutely beautiful vistas. Others have bypassed the closure two miles in. Not recommended to go off trail but with good gps and some knowledge of trail hiking the closure can be bypassed and you can go through to button rock.
Part of the trail is closed due to flood damage but there is still plenty of awesome trail to be covered! The trail is closed 2 miles after the ACTUAL trailhead (this closure is about 200 yards past the trail that breaks off to the east towards North St. Vrain Lake). Also, the trail as shown on the map is slightly inaccurate. "Johnny Park Road" is an unmaintained dirt road with significant washout. In bad weather without a great vehicle you will have to start where Johnny Park and County Road 47 meet. However, the ACTUAL trailhead is where this road meets Coulson Gulch Trail (at the circle shape trail). I was able to make it most of the way up in in dry weather in a 2 wheel drive Escape (and some fancy driving). Even if conditions prevent you from driving up, you could still park at the bottom and walk the half mile to the top as shown on the AllTrails map. Just know the road and trail are not currently clearly marked until you reach the top of the hill and the true trailhead. Enjoy!!
This should read, "Big Elk Meadows." This is a beautiful hike. winding through wooded areas and runs along the St. Vrain Creek. I would rate this moderate because the elevation slopes upwards and downwards all throughout the hike. Take some time to take some pictures of North Sheep Mountain while you're on this trail. For more: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=874468 (sorry All Trails, but you kind of failed here).