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Button Rock Preserve

Notice:

Button Rock Preserve and Ralph Price Reservoir will be closed to the public until further notice. Fishing permits will not be issued in spring or summer of 2014. Much of Longmont Dam Road (County Road 80) that provides access to the area was washed away in the flood. As work continues to rebuild the road and clear the reservoir of logs and debris, the area remains dangerous and the public is asked to stay away so that repairs can proceed as quickly as possible.


For up to date flood-related closure information, please visit the City's flood information website at: bit.ly/flood-inf
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streamButton Rock Preserve is located in a quiet river valley about 7 miles west of Lyons. To get to the preserve from Longmont, travel west on Highway 66 to Lyons. Proceed west on Highway 36 for 4 miles. Turn left at Boulder County Road 80 and continue for 3 miles where you will arrive at a gate across the roadway which restricts vehicle access. Limited parking is provided and the preserve is beyond the gate.

Within this walk-in only preserve you will find Longmont and Ralph Price Reservoirs along the North Saint Vrain Creek. Longmont manages this natural watershed and reservoirs to preserve the resource and provide storage for the City's Water Utility.

The park creates a unique experience for visitors, providing opportunities to view wildlife, the natural environment and water management facilities at a close level. Trails within Button Rock Preserve offer scenic views and plenty of exercise for an afternoon outing. These trails also enable anglers to access many backcountry fishing locations.

More information about permits, directions to and rules/regulations is available under the Parks Department webpage .

More information about fishing permits for Ralph Price is available under the City Clerk's webpage.

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Fishing at the Preserve

resevoirNorth Saint Vrain Creek provides excellent fly fishing opportunities for anglers at the Preserve, where brown trout are abundant in the river shallows and pools. Fishing along the river and at Longmont Reservoir is within easy walking distance from the entrance. And a fully accessible creekside fishing pier is located just 100 feet from the parking area.

After a two-mile hike into the preserve you reach Ralph Price Reservoir. A special fishing permit, available at the Longmont City Clerks Office, is required to fish at this reservoir. Limited to 600 anglers per year, the permit allows you to fish from the shoreline with artificial flies and lures from May through October. This area offers an escape from the usual crowding experienced at other local reservoirs. The reservoir is stocked with brown and rainbow trout and with splake, a brook and lake trout hybrid.

Note: Fishing permits will not be issued in spring or summer of 2014 due to flood damage and on-going repairs in the preserve.

More information about permits, directions to and rules/regulations is available under the Parks Department webpage.

More information about fishing permits for Ralph Price is available under the City Clerk's webpage.

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Property Boundaries

Button Rock Preserve is bordered by Boulder County Open Space, by U.S. Forest Service lands and by private property. Signs are posted along trails to inform park visitors of the boundaries. Please abide by these markers to avoid trespass occurrences on the private parcels. Also, the private property owners have access rights permitting them to drive roads in the area which are closed to public vehicle traffic. Please keep to the shoulder and leash your pets when walking along the roadways.

In 1997, a land exchange occurred between the U.S. Forest Service and Button Rock Preserve altering many of the boundary lines. Maps produced prior to the exchange will contain property information that is not correct. Some recreational activities may no longer be permitted within land parcels acquired by the preserve. Area Rangers can assist you in locating these new preserve borders and with understanding changes in permitted land uses.

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Watching Wildlife

eagleWhile hiking along the river and trails at Button Rock Preserve, observant visitors will see and hear abundant signs of wildlife. Throughout the year mule deer, coyotes and mountain lions roam the canyons and meadows. Whistling sounds near Button Rock Dam are familiar calls of Yellow-bellied Marmots. During winter months, eagles and an occasional osprey soar above the reservoirs and river searching for food in shallow waters. As spring approaches, ducks, geese and great blue heron find Ralph Price Reservoir adeer perfect place to build a nest and start a family. Proud waterfowl parents with their young can be observed swimming and roaming about early in summer. The remainder of summer and into the autumn monthskeep a watchful eye out to observe cottontail rabbits, Abert's squirrels, mountain bluebirds, Steller's jays and assorted hummingbirds. You may even find signs of black bear feeding here at night when chokecherries begin to ripen. And don't forget to watch where you step, as Button Rock Preserve maintains a perfect habitat for prairie rattlesnakes.

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Contact us

Public Works & Natural Resources

Water Resources & Environmental Services
1100 S. Sherman St.
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone (303) 651-8376

Fax (303) 651-8812

Email water@ci.longmont.co.us