Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Lion Gulch Trail

MODERATE 179 reviews
#24 of 140 trails in

Lion Gulch Trail is a 6.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lyons, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, nature trips, and horses and is best used from June until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,374 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

rocky

snow

historic site

Trail is open after being closed due to floods in early 2017. The trail has changed and is not well marked. More work will be done to improve the trail going forward. Please check with the park page for information and updates.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

Nice hike. went a couple of miles in with my wife and 3-year-old. pretty mountain stream and neat bridges. we will go again. one tip. when you get to the stream initially from the parking lot, turn right. we went left and saw what looked like the trail but only found dead ends, we were going to head home, but went the other way on our way out and found the main trail.

hiking
14 days ago

VERY easy to get lost off trail. Tip: to start, continue straight down to the river and cross the log bridge. After the second bridge, it looks like the trail continues along the river going in between two trees. INSTEAD, go to the right by the rock formations and snake up the hill away from the river (you’ll come back to it later). Nice trail that is never too exhausting - good mix of inclines, declines, and plateaus. Views aren’t all that exciting, but we did see a moose! Could be a 4-star trail if it was better marked.

hiking
bugs
14 days ago

recorded Recording - Aug 04, 02:32 PM

hiking
17 days ago

the trail goes on to the right past the homesteads. this map cuts it about .6 miles short.

hiking
bugs
25 days ago

Pro tip: shortly after starting the hike you will be presented with the option to take the trail to the right or continue straight. Take the trail to the right :) Also bring some bug spray. The trail isn't well marked in the beginning and it's easy to go the wrong way. We saw another couple who had also taken the wrong path, but saw them later on the right one. Just remember that you should be hiking upstream, not downstream. Beautiful trail, just wish it had a trail marker or two!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail! Beautiful mountain trail in the trees along the river, ending in various ruins. Caveats * many (6-7) sketchy river crossings—use a stick! * crazy number of flies! Deet didn’t help much :( * the first “homestead* I reached was virtually nothing (don’t know about further ones)

hiking
1 month ago

No problem w stream crossings, numerous wild flowers, plenty of shade. Nice info on homesteads at top. Well worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike with beautiful scenery. Definitely on the difficult side of moderate, trail is very rocky towards the second half and there are a lot of areas where you have to cross the stream. My dog did great though. The trail is not well marked towards to beginning. Got there around 10:30am and there was plenty of parking and not busy at all on the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike to the historic cabins. Bring your waterproof boots and your pup, as you get to cross the steam about a dozen times out and back. The cabins that are more intact are about a mile or so from the end of the trail, with lots of signs to keep you going in the right direction. You'll need sunscreen.

camping
1 month ago

I camped up in the high meadow on Saturday, July 6th and had an ideal spot. This is currently quite an adventurous hike as you have to cross at least six streams with swift and deep water. I loved it. Either prepare to turn back at the first or second crossing or commit to walking through them in your hiking shoes. The trail is very rocky from the 2013 flood and carrying a heavy backpack just added to the fun. Enjoy! (PS If you lost a black watch I found it and left it at the trailhead by the parking lot. I'll call the forest service on Monday so that they can pick it up so give them a call if it's yours.)

hiking
1 month ago

This trail offers a great workout. It is nice to hear the rushing river but at some points, you could also hear the traffic from the road. The river was the best part of the hike but it did lack of views.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is properly rated as moderate but the multiple stream crossings do add to the adventure. I counted 13 crossings of which we had to wade through 7. The homestead sites at the end were worth the trip but I wish I was up for another 2 miles to see some of the others. I clocked this at 7.4 miles round trip.

hiking
1 month ago

Not a great hike to be caught in a downpour. We needed to cross a swollen stream 6 times up to our knees and thighs in freezing water. Somewhat intimidating!

hiking
1 month ago

Enjoyed the hike! The water crossings were too high for us to get across this morning to make the whole way. My friend’s dog did well on it too.

hiking
1 month ago

I have wanted to do this trail for some time, and it didn't disappoint. Beautiful meadow at the top to relax and soak up the beauty. The water crossings were refreshing for us and our dogs.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

More on the difficult side of moderate. The second half of the trail is rocky and steep with multiple stream crossings. Probably not too bad later in the summer but early on it means wading across unless you can long jump 12 feet. It’s nice hearing the creek the whole way but it is definitely more than moderate in my opinion.

hiking
1 month ago

Strenuous, scenic, and a great end destination. 6.3 miles total taking 2 1/2 hours, plus anytime you spend exploring homesteads.

hiking
2 months ago

My husband and I arrived at the trailhead by 9 am. Plenty of parking and a great time to hike. We hit some weather, a bit of rain and some thunder. But the trail is a great one. There were lots of dogs and families. Definitely a destination hike. Seeing the old homestead sites at the end was nice.

2 months ago

This trail was more like 8 miles round trip from the Lion Gulch TH to the Walker & Griffin Homesteads. The first 2 miles were up & down in elevation. Most of the elevation gain occurs in the last 1.5 mile with a steep climb to the meadow. The first mile was not shaded & you could here the Hwy 36 noise. But, the remaining miles were mostly shaded & through forest. Walking alongside the river was nice for the sound, view & cooler temp. I saw two snakes on this hike.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was completely dry without snow or mud as of June 9, 2019. There are nine stream crossings, two with built bridges, one with logs and the rest with stepping stones. You follow the stream quite a bit which is great for dogs. The trail has decent shade coverage for the first three quarters and then empties into a field with scattered homesteads.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this trail yesterday for the first time and loved it! A bit more difficult than I'd anticipated, but lots of shade and the dogs had a great time playing in the river. We didn't make it all the way up this time as a thunderstorm rolled in so didn't get to see any of the homesteads. We'll definitely be coming back again to complete the entire trail soon!!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was awesome for the dogs. Lots of water for them to keep cool in. Plenty of shade to stop and take a break.

hiking
2 months ago

great trail with a good mix of climbing and wide meadows up top. We took our time and arrived around 10 and had now problem parking. Most of the hike we were alone. if you do have a dog with you keep in mind people use this trail for horse riding so don't let them wander too far.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorites! Great old homesteads. Historical trail. Beautiful area.

3 months ago

easy to moderate terrain. no trouble following trail. not particularly picturesque. nice history in the homestead meadow but not much left of the cabins

hiking
muddy
snow
4 months ago

Great trail but was poorly marked in places where the old trail washed out years ago. Tried it a little early in the season so could only go about 1.2miles before turning around due to icy trail conditions. A little seasonal river runs along most of the trail and is mostly shady. The pines were so refreshing on an early spring afternoon. Can't wait to try it later in the season.

Load More

Featured Trails