cloudhiking - maps and adventure guides

Site Links


Contact Us









Friends' Links

Appalachia & Beyond

Family Wilds


Marking My Territory

Outcast Hikers


436 Lions Gulch 2011-07-12

Homestead Meadow on the Lions Gulch Trail

Lions Gulch is located off Hwy 36 between Lyons and Estes Park. Every time we drove to Estes Park, we went by the trailhead and most of the time there were many vehicles in the parking area. It had to be a popular hike but we had never even stopped at the trailhead.

Then on a whim we said, why not hike the trail.

The trailhead is about six miles from Estes Park. It has a large parking area and kiosk. We grabbed our bags and were on the trail. It did not take us long to comment about the trail. We were no longer in Rocky Mountain National Park, this land was in Roosevelt National Forest. On Forest Service land the trails are not given the attention of those in the Park. After descending into the gulch we began a climb as the trail soared over Highway 36.

Rejoining a creek we followed it for the rest of the walk. The area was very scenic but the trails were poorly marked. Old homesteads were supposed to be along the trail but we walked by the first one and have no idea where it was. In a bit further, we found another trail but where it lead was uncertain.

We walked for 2.75 miles one way and never saw any of the homesteads as indicated on the Forest Service's map. Oh, it was still a good hike and the Homestead Meadow was absolutely wonderful. We were interested in the homestead; but, it was difficult to locate the individual homestead locations with the given information.

On our return hike two groups asked us about the homesteads and the distance to the meadow. We told them we enjoyed the hike and the meadow, but we didn't see any homesteads. We wished them luck.

A few Lions Gulch trail notes ...

Water was not available at the trailhead.

There was a privy at the trailhead.

There were several information kiosks near the trailhead. Too bad there were not more signs on the trail.

It seems that the biggest attraction for the trail was that it was a dog friendly trail. Dogs are not allowed on the Park's trails.

A water loving dog would think the hike was great. The trail follows a creek.

It was warmer in the gulch than in Estes.

Remember, a few hills will have to be climbed on the return.

Everyone was friendly on the trail and it was a good hike.

We might not ever return to Lions Gulch unless we had our pup, Jake, with us. He would dive into every stream to cool off. He would really enjoy the hike. Woof!

Happy Lions Gulch trails


Name (required):

Comment (required):

Please Introduce Secure Code: