Note: this is a hiking trail but is open to adaptive users since ORHCs are considered off-road wheelchairs by Boulder County (I spoke with the local ranger, Jamie, while on this trail and got the OK to access it on an ORHC). This being noted, be respectful of the road and your accompanyment should be on foot, not on a bicycle. Bikes are formally prohibited on this road/trail. Dogs are ok, a leash is required on most of the road.
Button Rock Trail is a dirt road, that is wide and well maintained. The road gently climbs for about 2 miles along the North Saint Vrain Creek (fishing is allowed but requires a special permit from the city of Longmont since this is a municipal water source). You will pass the lower Sleepy Lion Trail on the left (do not take this end of the trail, it becomes impassible), continue up the road. At the fork (by restrooms), stay to the left. The right fork continues up to the reservoir on a steep gravel road. Continue up the left fork to the reservoir spillway, where a large tube releases water from the dam into the creek. Enjoy the cool spray, and continue to the upper entrance to the Sleepy Lion trail. The trail becomes gravel, loose at times, and climbs up several switchbacks, offering nice views of the reservoir and spillway below, as well as great views of Mt Meeker and Longs Peak. At several points along the trail you can see where is used to be paved, and it sometimes has some fairly deep ruts between sections of old pavement. You will eventually come to a gate, which connects over to Hall Ranch (over an additional 5 miles, not included in this trail review). You can see the marker for the other portion of the Sleepy Lion trail, which becomes narrow, rocky, and steep (does not look passable on an ORHC). At the point you have climbed 740 vertical feet over about 3 miles. At the gate, turn around and ride back down the trail to where you started.
Note: There are several handicapped spots at the trailhead.
Trail Name: Button Rock Rd to upper Sleepy Lion Trail
Location: Lyons, Colorado |
Type: Wide trail (≥ 30″), Start and end at the same point (Out-and-Back)
Rating: Adaptive Level 05
Length: 6 miles (round trip)
Steepest Section: Moderate – between 10-30º
Most Off-Camber Section: Mild – under 10º
Terrain: Mostly hardpack, lengthy loose sections
Obstacles: Deep ruts and erosion
Help Needed? Nope
Even more info: City of Longmont Button Rock Preserve
Directions to Trailhead
From Lyons, take Hwy 36 West towards Estes Park, travel about 4 miles. Turn left on Longmont Dam Road (Co Hwy 80). Follow the road 2.3 miles to the gate, park at the trailhead.