Coulson Gulch Trail


Image of the Coulson Gulch informational kiosk and trail with a meadow in the background

Coulson Gulch Trail drops south at a moderate grade, crossing back and forth across a mostly dry streambed. At the open meadow area of Higgins Park, it joins the Button Rock Road (a turn to the east leads into City of Longmont's Button Rock Preserve and Ralph Price Reservoir).

Coulson Gulch Trail follows the old road one mile south to the North Saint Vrain Creek. The old road connects to the Button Rock Trail near Higgins Park. The trail and bridge further south was severly damaged in the flood of 2013 and remains closed.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: The Coulson Gulch trail remains partially closed on the south end due to flood damage. A Forest Order also prohibits use of the North Sheep Mountain Trail.
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Motorized vehicles prohibited. Fishing and hunting are allowed in accordance with regulations established by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
Closest Towns: Lyons, Colorado
Water: North Saint Vrain Creek - treat water for drinking
Restroom: Practice Leave No Trace principles
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301, Phone 303-541-2500, Fax 303-541-2515; Contact Us

General Information


From Lyons, travel 9.5 miles west on U.S. Highway 36. Turn southwest onto Larimer County Road (CR) 47. Follow CR 47 for three miles and veer left onto National Forest System Road 118 as the paved road curves right to enter Big Elk Meadows subdivision. Coulson Gulch Trailhead is to the left immediately after NFSR 118 crosses the cattle guard.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Day Hiking

Difficulty Level: Intermediate


Fire Information Unless seasonal restrictions are in effect, campfires must be attended at all times and cold to the touch with the bare hand before being left unattended. Collection of dead and down wood is allowed; do not break branches from standing trees for firewood.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Horse Riding & Camping

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Areas & Activities

Campgrounds At-A-Glance


  Area/Length : 
Coulson Gulch Trailhead to: North St Vrain Creek - 2.8 miles; North Sheep Mountain Trail - 4.2 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
6,750' - 7,700'