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Sleepy Lion Trail

Intermediate

Trail

2.0 mile 3.2 kilometer point to point
79% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

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

Grade

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

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

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.

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.

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Contacts

Land Manager: City of Longmont

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Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 11 votes

#5129

Overall
  4.2 from 11 votes
5 Star
27%
4 Star
64%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#413

in Colorado

#5,129

Overall
286 Views Last Month
3,481 Since Jul 9, 2017
Intermediate

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10%
90%
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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
Trail has a few rocky parts
Aug 24, 2017 near Lyons, CO
Wildflowers on the trail. Photo taken 8/19/2017.
Aug 24, 2017 near Lyons, CO
Mountain, reservoir, and dam view from trail
Aug 24, 2017 near Lyons, CO
Sleepy Lion Trail branches off the road to the left.
Aug 24, 2017 near Lyons, CO

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