Looking to escape the crowds of RMNP? Sleep Lion is on the way from Lyons to Estes. The parking lot and approach road are newly constructed following the floods in 2013. The Hessie Trailhead in Nederland should take note. This is an fantastic approach and parking situation.

The trailhead is about eight tenths of a mile from the parking area. You pass some sport climbs, a man made waterfall, and some large boulders in the North St. Vrain Creek.

The trailhead is clearly marked on the left. There is some elevation gain at the beginning but nothing difficult. Once the elevation levels out you open up into this large meadow. I've made a mental note to visit it during a sunrise or sunset. Once you cross the meadow back into the trees, keep looking to the right. There are a number of overlooks that peer out over the Longmont reservation and dam. Longs Peak towers in the distance. There are many excellent views.

The trail will loop down a fire road to the dam. From there you can watch the bleed off from the dam into the creek. We simply followed the road back to the trailhead.

If you are looking to skip the crowds of the park and bring your favorite four legged hiking companion, Sleepy Lion is highly recommended. We didn't see a single person on the trail on a Sunday.

Pack List

  • Shoes
  • Camera
  • Four legged friend
Show More
RT Distance 4.7 Miles
Elevation Gain 712 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
River
Scenic

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Camp at Coulson Gulch

Coulson Gulch is a lightly used area of the Roosevelt National Forest which makes it perfect for a weekend getaway without the crowds.

484 Saves

Winter Camp Near Coulson Gulch

County Road 47 is between Lyons and Estes Park. It's an easy drive from Denver and is a great place to get away for the weekend. I have camped here in the summer, fall, and winter.

140 Saves

Hike or Trail Run on Rabbit Mountain, CO

This is a great hike/trail run in Boulder County. It is located between Longmont and Lyons and is part of Boulder County Open Space.

136 Saves