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Sleepy Lion Trail



2.0 mile 3.2 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 553' 169 m
Descent: -435' -132 m
High: 6,644' 2,025 m
Low: 6,115' 1,864 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)


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Trail shared by David Kider with improvements by Cy C

A shaded, quiet variation through the forest.

David Kider

Features River/Creek

Recent changes to trail rules require dogs to be on leash at all times and limit the number of dogs to one per hiker. This change pertains to Sleepy Lion and the whole Longmont Dam Road trail system.


Turn left off the dirt road to start the Sleepy Lion Trail. A sign will indicate where it begins.

The trail immediately starts climbing through pines. This area is called Deadman Gulch. Continue until reaching a really nice meadow, where you'll have views of RMNP. From there, keep on the trail as it continues gaining elevation. The trail will get a little bit rockier and then begin descending. You'll then see a sign for the Hall Ranch Open Space.

Instead, continue to the right to stay on the trail. You'll soon see the reservoir to your right in the distance. Stay on the trail as it ascends some more and then begins descending. This section of the trail has some pavement on it. Soon you'll reach the base of the Ralph Price Reservoir and Button Rock Dam. A huge amount of water was being released from the dam when we were there and was spraying into the river. You can get up very close to the spray.

Head back the way you came or head northeast on the Button Rock Dam Access and Longmont Dam Road for a nice loop.

Flora & Fauna

Several varieties of interesting plants are found along the trail. Wild raspberries and wax currants are the most prominent edible species, and a large number of wild roses are found particularly from the trail summit down towards the bottom of the dam. The meadow has a good number of different wildflowers that bloom from spring to mid-summer, including: several varieties of penstemon, bee balm/horsemint, Canadian thistles, alpine yarrow, mariposa lilies, some gaillardias and small daisies. Yucca and prickly pear cactus also scattered along leeward portions of the trail.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know


Land Manager: City of Longmont

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Aug 10, 2019
Austin Forte
Aug 3, 2019
Matthew Strunk
Aug 3, 2019
Brianna Rosales
6.5mi — 3h 00m
Jul 5, 2019
Sang Lintakoon
hiked with dana. dropped phone in river! 4.5mi — 3h 15m
May 26, 2019
Laurie B
Jan 13, 2019
Matt Stone
Jan 10, 2019
Haley Fischman
Nov 24, 2018
Jessica Lopez

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 11 votes


  4.2 from 11 votes
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in Colorado


327 Views Last Month
3,225 Since Jul 9, 2017



Reservoir and dam
Aug 24, 2017 near Lyons, CO
Sleepy Lion Trail branches off the road to the left.
Aug 24, 2017 near Lyons, CO
Trail has a few rocky parts
Aug 24, 2017 near Lyons, CO
A hiker inspects the dam outlet into North St. Vrain Creek.
May 15, 2017 near Lyons, CO
Heading up the steeper Switchback Trail on the side of the dam to the reservoir, keep your eyes peeled for lizards!
May 15, 2017 near Lyons, CO
Wildflowers on the trail. Photo taken 8/19/2017.
Aug 24, 2017 near Lyons, CO


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