Button Rock Dam has been recommended to me a few times and this weekend I finally had a chance to check it out! Just outside of Lyons on the way to Estes Park, this trail was beautiful.
The way it starts is along a service road, so it’s very flat at first and winds all along the St. Vrain – it reminds me a lot of Waterton Canyon. About a half mile up the road there’s a trail to turn on that brings you up to Sleepy Lion Trail.
I had read in the AllTrails comments to go clockwise, so that’s what we did! Once you’re on the trail it finally feels like an actual hike – climbing up through forests and meadows. There’s even some shade which was very appreciated on a hot day.
There is a good amount of climbing, about 850 ft of elevation gain so you’re going up for about two miles. Once you reach the top you get incredible views of the Reservoir.
After the views you make your way back down Sleepy Lion to the actual Dam itself. There is a little trail that you can take up the reservoir, it’s easily marked and it’ll take you up about 200 ft in a half mile. Then you’re on the road back down to the parking lot. Beautiful hike, not too long and we did this on a Saturday in the summer and it wasn’t too busy at all!
Also… My hiking beer was from Left Hand Brewing and it said on the can “brewed on the banks of the mighty St. Vrain” and that’s the river you’re hiking along!