Hall Ranch Destination Guide
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Hall Ranch: Destination Guide

Hall Ranch is an open space located in the foothills of Boulder County, just outside of Lyons, CO. Managed as part of the Boulder County Park and Open Space system, Hall Ranch is a  favorite among local hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Less than one hour away from Denver, and even closer to Boulder, this area sees considerable use. Weekends during the spring and summer are often very crowded. But, with five trails ranging from one to approximately five miles, visitors have ample space to share across 3,899 acres. For another great Boulder County Open Space park, check out our destination guide on Walker Ranch!

Destination Guide Series: Hall Ranch

Where is Hall Ranch?

Hall Ranch is located in Boulder County, just west of downtown Lyons, CO. From downtown Lyons, turn on to 5th Ave., which turns into South St. Vrain Dr. The Hall Ranch parking area is a short drive down South St. Vrain Dr. The turnoff into the parking lot can easily be missed if not paying close attention.

Why Should You Visit Hall Ranch?

Hall Ranch seems to have it all: meadows, canyons, forests, and amazing mountain vistas. With an array of outdoor activity options, Hall Ranch is a wonderful foothills destination that is a quick drive from the Denver/Boulder metropolitan area.

When the trails aren’t too crowded, visitors may encounter a number of animals. In particular, it is common to spot black-tailed prairie dogs, mountain cottontail rabbits, and mule deer. Also, depending upon the time of year, you may see a spectacular array of wildflowers, such as harebell, goldenrod, sunflowers, and more. Hall Ranch encompasses an incredible ecosystem and is a truly stunning place that should be on everyone’s “must-visit” list.

Things to Do

Hiking and Trail Running

Hall Ranch’s trail system has five trails spanning nearly 4,000 acres, which range between one to approximately five miles in length. In addition, hikers and trail runners can easily combine sections of these trails into longer loop hikes that cover much of the open space property. Note that three of the five trails (Antelope, Bitterbrush, and Nelson Loop) are multi-use; thus, hikers/trail runners will share the trails with mountain bikers and equestrians. Mountain biking is very popular at Hall Ranch, so if you wish to avoid bike traffic, consider using the Nighthawk Trail or Button Rock Trail, which prohibit mountain bikes.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is an extremely popular activity within Hall Ranch’s trail system. All of the trails that permit mountain biking (Antelope, Bitterbrush, and Nelson Loop) are also open to hikers and equestrians, so plan to share the heavily-trafficked trails during busy times. Note that the Nighthawk Trail and Button Rock Trail do not permit mountain bikes. In addition, all of the Hall Ranch open space prohibits the use of E-Bikes.

The trails are mostly considered “intermediate,” with the exception of the lower section of the Bitterbrush Trail, which becomes fairly technical and is considered “difficult.” Check out MTB Project for more details on Hall Ranch’s mountain bike trail system.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is permitted on multi-use trails throughout Hall Ranch’s trail network, which includes Antelope, Bitterbrush, Nelson Loop, and Nighthawk Trails. Riders will share multi-use trails with mountain bikers and hikers; though the Nighthawk Trail is only open to hikers and horseback riders. Horseback riding is prohibited on the Button Rock Trail.

Bird Watching

Hall Ranch presents a great opportunity to see a diversity of wildlife, including an array of birds. Visitors will likely see common Colorado birds such as the Black-billed Magpie, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Downy Woodpecker. In addition, visitors may catch a glimpse of a few raptors, including the Red-tailed Hawk, Prairie Falcon, and American Kestrel.

Planning Tips

For a well-rounded and more interpretive Colorado Open Space experience, we recommend picking up a few naturalist guides. An easy to use field guide for plants and birds will help identify species and further add to the enjoyment of your time outdoors. In addition, there are a few Boulder-specific guides that offer more details on hiking and mountain biking trails.

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you buy a product or service through an affiliate link. This revenue helps us provide readers with helpful content to plan amazing adventures.

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