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Level: Advanced
Length: 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface: Other
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +643/598 ft
Total: 22 riders

Mountain Biking Lion Gulch

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#325 of 1,346 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#3,080 in the world

Tricky, technical ride. Fairly short, only 6 miles or so, but lots of rocks making for tough climbing on the way up, which translates into a fun downhill on the way back. Some real rocky parts, a big baby-head field, then at the top a double-track fire-road that goes to a bunch of old homesteads from back in the day. More trails are accessible once you hit the first homestead. A fun ride all around.

First added by kuala_tahan on May 4, 2009. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Boulder, take 36 N/W past Lyons, the trailhead is about 20 minutes outside Lyons (roughly), just a small parking lot on the side of the road with a sign/map.
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Lion Gulch Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail conditions

Dry (on Jul 5, 2018)
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Lion Gulch Mountain Bike Trail, Estes…
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Rider questions

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  • zanger

    Per Jocdoc's recommendation - I rode this trail as one big loop. Starting in Pinewood Springs, I biked the 36 up to Estes Park, turned south along Fish Creek Road. Look for Little Valley Road and take it all the way to the top. Like Jocdoc states: the Homestead trail is clearly marked at the end of the Pierson Park Loop, but study the maps carefully because there are many off shoots along the way. Once on the Homestead Trail - prepare for a very sandy, rocky technical descent. Unfortunately, this trail sees more horse traffic than bike traffic, so the trail is pretty soft and chewed up. Continue to follow the trail into the old Homestead development - super fun area to explore. Then scream down the Lion Gulch Trail, and back to your car for a pretty epic ride. The loop was awesome, but overall, I found myself off my bike navigating some serious rock gardens than staying on my bike. I tend to enjoy more trails like Halls ranch where I can just point it, and fly down the hill!

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  • *****

    Everyone who has reviewed this trail seems to have ridden it out and back. I think the way to do it (and make it an epic for some), is it approach it from Estes Park. Ride or drive up Little Valley Rd off Fishcreek Rd in Estes, take the 4x4 road from the Forrest access gate and do the Pierson Park Loop. On the far end of this lollipop loop is a single track trail that drops into Homestead Meadows. Take the time to check out the Homestead area (extra ride time) and then do Lion Gulch from there. Down is the direction to do it! Also, you can rude highway 36 back to Estes but I recommend shuttling with a car parked at Lion Gulch trailhead.

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  • alskoj   ✓ supporter

    This is not a normal MTB trail. I guess that's why I'm only the third person to review it. But I live in the local area and there's only so many times that you can ride Hall Ranch, eh?
    Did a lot of hike-a-bike. I'm a 49 year old that's relatively new to the sport. I cleared a lot of technical sections - probably due to my bike and not me (Trek Superfly).
    Lots of shade, creek crossings and tons of rocks and roots. But there was quite a bit of smooth singletrack. Beautiful forest scenery and the temperature was a little cooler than the front range and even Lyons to the east.
    Bring plenty of water and be prepared to dismount quite a bit. Still, it was a very rewarding ride and the homesteads were cool.

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  • Rob   ✓ supporter

    Nice trail on the downhill. I'll definitely bring flats and shoes (plus armor) next time around. It's all ridable downhill, but you'd have to be an animal to ride this one uphill. The trail extends beyond the stated length. It's 10.5 miles to hit all(?) the homesteads.

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  • kuala_tahan

    Technical ride, but fun. Did a lot of hike-a-bike on the way up on the real rocky sections and the step-ups, plus the baby-head field. Made me feel like amateur. The way down was a lot of fun though

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