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A shaded, quiet variation through the forest.


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Map Key

2.0

Miles

3.2

KM

Point to Point

6,644' 2,025 m

High

6,115' 1,864 m

Low

553' 169 m

Up

435' 132 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek

As of May 15, 2023, no dogs allowed at Button Rock Preserve (more info here: longmontcolorado.gov/depart…).

Description

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.

Contacts

Land Manager: City of Longmont

Shared By:

David Kider with improvements by Cy C

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 20 votes

#381

Overall
  4.4 from 20 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
55%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#76

in Colorado

#381

Overall
37 Views Last Month
10,169 Since Jul 9, 2017
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
5%
79%
11%
5%
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Photos

Button Rock Dam, Ralph Price Reservoir
Oct 6, 2019 near Lyons, CO
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! (Photo taken when dogs were permitted, before 5/15/23).
May 15, 2017 near Lyons, CO

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Check-Ins

May 14, 2023
Private User
May 14, 2021
Gina G
May 1, 2021
Ethan Brown
Dec 30, 2020
Micki Balder
Quick peaceful trail. Took the service rd back, easy on the knees. Wed mid day end of dec, very quiet, packed snow. pretty 4.8mi — 1h 25m
Oct 16, 2020
Cynthia B.
Sep 21, 2020
RobM87
Sep 20, 2020
Carol Fullenkamp
Aug 28, 2020
Steve Na
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