Features: Birding — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Footing is generally good on the trail. Do not expect to find water on the trail. It is more or less a continuous climb the length of the trail. Not a lot of shade on the trail.
Park at the Hall Ranch parking area on highway 7 just outside of Lyons. Restrooms will be found here. The Nighthawk trail leaves the trailhead from the left about 100 ft from the entrance.
The trail will then wind its way uphill and around hillsides and drainages with fine views of the surroundings. As the trail gains elevation, several switchbacks will lead to the first of several meadows that were once used for grazing when this area was an active ranch.
Eventually, the trail traverses through a ponderosa stand leading to the highest meadows. These open meadows provide excellent views of Longs peak. As you continue, you'll pass the junction of the Button Rock Trail
(stay to the right).
The trail ends at the junction with the Nelson Loop
. Retrace your steps or continue onto Nelson to create a longer loop.
Birds will be about. Deer have been seen often in the upper meadow areas, where good grazing is found. Mountain lions are in the area according to the Boulder County kiosk at the trailhead.