Darby's Favorite Reason's to Love This Hike:
- About 1 1/2 miles along the wide and scenic service road on the North St. Vrain Creek, you will reach the Ralph Price Reservoir and Button Rock Dam. An easy meander along the rushing water and part dam, and newly planted vegetation to replace the trees and grass destroyed by the 2013 flood. Boulders and pine trees flank each side of the trail-all you need are blue skies and a cool breeze to make your day better.
- The Sleepy Lion Trail junctions about 3/4 mile in, if you hike here you'll go into the woods for a moderately graded hike through the fir, pine trees,
and low cacti. A few switchbacks later and you will come upon an open meadow. Look for birds,sheep, deer and other wild critters migrating through. This part of the trail is off-leash for doggies, especially the ones that don't like to chase wild forest animals. A full loop, including the Sleepy Lion Trail is about 4.7 miles round trip. This trail also intersects with the far end of Hall Ranch Open Space (no doggies allowed on this trail).
- Once at the Ralph Price Reservoir and the Button Rock Dam, you can climb up the steep rocky staircase to view the reservoir and dam, or continue your hike onto the South Cove Trail or the North Shore Trail. Other trails are at the far end of the reservoir at the Inlet, accessible by Rattlesnake Gulch Rd. Contact the City of Longmont for a fishing permit.
- Views of Button Rock Mountain 8445', which sits behind the reservoir are incredible through the trees along the Sleepy Lion Trail.
- The reservoir is the primary water source for the City of Longmont, Colorado. You can see how the dam works in several spots along your walk; from the waterfalls at the start of the trail, the lazy river just before the drop, and the rushing, gushing water of the open dam about 2 miles in.
Location: near Lyons, but is considered under the City of Longmont
Round Trip Length: to the dam via the service road: 3 miles, via Sleepy Lion Trail: 4.7 miles
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: Starting 6020' to 6625'
Pet Regulations: On leash for most of the service trail, off leash Sleepy Lion
Bikes and Horses: No
Picnic Tables: No
Restrooms: Yes, 2
Directions: From Lyons, west on US36 3 miles. Left on County Road 80. Go 2.8 miles and you will dead end into the parking lot.