Hall Ranch, Bitterbrush and Nelson Loop Trail

MODERATE 90 reviews
#20 of 109 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.

DISTANCE
10.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1450 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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
21 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

If you just want to hike this is not the trail you want to be on. There were so many mountain bikes. Too many to count, very frustrating.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike on a beautiful Saturday. Arrived about 8:30 am to plenty of parking and didn't encounter much traffic on the way up, but friendly bikers thronged the trail both directions on the way down. Encountered a rattlesnake on the trail within sight of the parking lot, but it wouldn't budge, so I backtracked and took Nighthawk Trail the rest of the way. This is a good moderate hike for diversity in terrain and inclines, and it has some nice but not spectacular views. Take a brief detour to Sleepy Lion Trail at the top for some really beautiful views of Longs Peak and the Ralph Price Reservoir in Button Rock Preserve.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Great easy hike with kiddos. Did it early to avoid the heat of July.

mountain biking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

mountain biking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

5 months ago

trail running
6 months ago

Hall Ranch is fantastic for train running.

One error on the Wildlife section; the deer are mule deer, not whitetail.