Explore the most popular horseback riding trails near Lyons with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This trail has a lot of people on it. It is great for bikers and runners.

backpacking
27 days ago

Nice hike.. Did a one night backpack, didn’t see any wildlife but there was plenty of sign surrounding meadow. Woke to a couple inches of fresh snow and fog around the peaks. Beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

Very moderate hike, fairly easy. No great views. The only plus was no bikers allowed. Took this to Nelson Loop and was about run down by bikers flying through. Predominant thought was meh, kind of boring.

hiking
1 month ago

Super muddy after yesterday's snow. Manageable with poles and extra time. Microspikes would have been helpful. Very few people out today, but the mule deer and hawks were active. And helicopters. Lots of helicopters toward Button Rock all day. Nice hike and looking forward to doing again when it dries up.

on Lion Gulch Trail

hiking
1 month ago

The upper part of the trail was icy today so I turned around. Otherwise it is a great trail

hiking
2 months ago

This was a beautiful hike! Very icy in some spots still, but still doable in just hiking boots. There aren’t any spectacular views, to be expected for a gulch hike, but the homestead meadows at the end are gorgeous. I will definitely be back in the spring/summer!

3/13/18: Did this trail today w/my 9 y-o & 17 y-o. We parked in the lower lot but the upper lot has the bathrooms. We took the Nighthawk trail. No bikers allowed on this trail. The only issue we had was when the trailed forked off with no sign. The fork off to the right is what looks like a vehicle made path (what the path had been up to that point for awhile) and the fork to the left is a thin foot trail. We went right because it seemed to be going in the right direction. It wasn't the path but still got us to the same point - where you can take Button Rock trail or Nelson Loop. They need to put a sign at that fork! We took Nelson Loop to the right (east), stopped at the settlement then took Bitterbush trail to the parking lot. Almost as soon as we got on Nelson Loop the mountain bikes started coming. With the exception of the mountain bikes, our favorite part of the hike was Bitterbrush & Nelson Loop. If we do this one again we'll skip Nighthawk. It took us just over 4 hours to hike this. I don't think I'd brave this one in the summer. Not much shade. Must be really hot in the summer. We didn't think it was difficult but the kids complained that it was too long.

At the start of trail it is a shooting range. Lots of gun fire and you don't know where they are shooting. If I know of all the gun fire would not of done this trail. It was a great hike slippery in spots and the old cabin was cool but too much gun fire at the start.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! If you're going in the winter, be aware some parts on the trail are super icy so be prepared! The trail isn't really marked throughout so be aware of where you are going, easy to get lost if there is snow on the ground! About a half miles to the start of homesteads, the first two are not intact. Free parking!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail, coming here early morning during the week is my favorite time because there are barely any people in the trail. After the first few miles the sound from the road disappears and it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere. Such a great feeling, just you, tons of deer, and the trail. Plus it connects to thr Button Rock trail near the Longmont damn, which is always a fun place.

hiking
3 months ago

Went on a snowy, but calm morning and it was beautiful. So quiet and peaceful. There is a couple of inches of snow on the trail, no a big deal. Just be careful because I came across multiple spots of ice hiding under the snow cover and wiped out once, almost a couple other times, because of it. Beautiful trail and not too strenuous. I saw nobody until I was almost done. Traction and walking pole would be helpful but not necessary.

Know when going to see homesteads that you still will need to hike a minimum of 2-4 miles MORE to actually see a homestead. Sarah Walker homestead is the closest, only 1/4 mile longer but is burned to the ground in the 2002 fires.

hiking
3 months ago

We took the dogs out Friday for a warm-up hike before snowshoeing. The trail isn't well marked in some places but is a fairly easy hike. The down side is the lazy hikers who leave their dog poop bags on the side of the trail. At the moment is has some beautiful tiny waterfalls and ice formations.

hiking
4 months ago

The trail is very easy to follow. There are some steep sections and there is a bit of ice in spots. We did it without traction, no problem. The creek is frozen enough to walk across, although most crossings have enough rocks that you don't have to walk on the ice. We only saw one other group today. It's a beautiful walk, sheltered from the wind.

hiking
4 months ago

This was a fun trail to get onto very mellow but fun with some options after getting through the canyon part .

hiking
5 months ago

This is the bike-free alternative to the other trails at Hall Ranch, which is a mecca for bikers. I ride too but sometimes it's nice to get away from that energy. It's also just generally less crowded than most of the trails in BoCo.
We hiked this trail a lot last early spring to get our legs and lungs ready for summer.
There are some nice views but imo it's not as pretty as bitterbrush, or antelope.
If you're hardcore enough you can connect to Buttonrock. We are not that hardcore.

Maybe my favorite Boulder County open space. There are a lot of places where it feels more like plateau country than Front Range. Bike traffic is a big detractor for hikers on the Bitterbrush but it's often worth it due to the awesomeness. Especially love the rock garden area and it's fun to watch the more skilled bikers who can really ride it. A lot of the summer, this trail is a bit too hot. The mule deer here are not particularly afraid of people and especially when they have fawns and will often stand their ground when you meet them on the trail.

hiking
5 months ago

We didn’t make it the whole length of the trail but it was a gorgeous day. The trail was in great shape. We saw some deer and a golden eagle. Lots of friendly folks along the trail and a couple on horseback too. Perfect hike if your looking to avoid a long drive into the mountains and winter hiking conditions.

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

No dog allowed. Hate figuring this out once I get to the trailhead.

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
6 months ago

We really enjoyed this as a late Fall hike. I imagine this is probably the best time of year to do this hike; the summer would probably be pretty hot because of the lack of shade. Hall Ranch is a very popular mountain biking spot, but you'd never know from this trail, as it's closed to bikes. It's a very quiet trail - far enough away from the highway and bikes on neighboring trails. Lots of deer. Good length, but not too hard. Nice views of Longs/Meeker/Twin Sisters at the end!

on Lion Gulch Trail

hiking
6 months ago

Great walk-in the forest. Maintenance and traffic make this trail straightforward to follow. Several water crossings, all minor. No views until the meadows, then nice forested hillsides. Homesteads are a must see for everyone. Good to have the trail open again.

hiking
6 months ago

nice trail, has had a lot of work rebuilding after flood, looks great, hikes easy and very pretty

hiking
6 months 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
7 months ago

Good front-country hike with lots of red sand and desert sage. Not much shade except for a brief jaunt through a pine grove. Beautiful sweeping views, wide open meadows, and a steady climb. Bikes are not permitted, but horses are.

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
7 months ago

This was a really pretty trail that was relatively easy - just one small stretch of rocky, steep trail. It was a great trail for the dogs. We were a little disappointed by the lack of any awesome views but the history of the old homesteads made up for it.

Windy & relaxed switchbacks, nice leaf coverage, great for dogs (which can be off-leash) and relatively few people. Overall very lovely!

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