Coney Creek Road (aka Coney Flats)

Lyons, Colorado (Boulder County)

Last Updated: 10/15/2021
4.4 / 5 ( 26 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Seasonal Closure
Typically Open: 07/01 - 10/01
Length: 4.77 miles
Highest Elevation: 9885 feet
Duration: About 2 hours, 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Lyons
Nearest Town w/ Services: Boulder
Official Road Name: 144.1
Management Agency: United States Forest Service
District: Boulder Ranger District

Highlights

Highlight: Coney Creek Road (aka Coney Flats)
Coney Creek Road (aka Coney Flats) is high up on that list of locally famous trails in the state. This nearly 5-mile long trail near Boulder, CO, offers one of the few water crossing opportunities near the Front Range. This long water obstacle is set against the backdrop of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, providing some phenomenal views while requiring some technical driving. Since Coney Creek is a naturally dammed-up waterway, it stays this way all season long. The rest of Coney Creek Road is a rocky off-road trail usually connected with Middle St. Vrain and run as a loop. This loop is so well known that it is considered a right of passage for many new wheelers in Colorado. From the dense evergreens and panoramic views of mountains and the large water obstacle, this trail has a little of everything in the Colorado High Country.

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating

( DIFFICULT )

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Waypoints

1. Trail Starts at Middle St Vrain (0 mi)
The trailhead is listed here since this trail is typically run as a loop with Middle St. Vrain. The trail rises to Waypoint 2 and has no bypasses, so look out for oncoming traffic.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Boulder, Colorado

Follow CR 119 for 14.5 miles. Turn right/northeast onto Broadway at the Barker Reservoir, turn right/north onto Hurricane Hill for 0.7 miles. Turn left/northwest on Ridge Road and follow it for 1.0 Mile to CR 72. Follow CR 72 for 16.4 miles to Middle Saint Vrain and turn left/east. Follow that for about 4.0 miles to the trailhead at Waypoint 11.

Camping

Dispersed
Designated

Trail Reviews (46)

Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Seasonal Closure is now in effect. See you in the spring!
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I'm always torn writing a review for Coney. The first part of the trail is awesome (up to the water crossing), after that, it is really tight and not that fun (compared to MSV). This trail is definitely harder than MSV. I was double-locked going up the obstacle at WP 2 on 35's and had to give it 2 tries. Either way...its a rite of passage to complete the entirety of the MSV/Coney loop, and we all had a great day on the trail. Pictures: Jeep is on 35's, all others are on 33's. All are lifted and have sliders with 1+ locker (that were used to complete this trail).
Author:
Status: Open
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Rant this trail in the following vehicles: 2000 Frontier, 3" lift, 33's, no lockers. 2006 4Runner, 3" lift, 33s, Rear locker 2007 Jeep Rubicon, 4" lift, 37's, F/R Lockers 2013 Rubicon, 2" lift, 32's, F/R Lockers 2019 Tacoma, 3" lift, 33's, Rear Locker Main difficult spots are at WP2 and WP8 - Both of these rocky sections are getting REALLY chewed up. That said, the bigger rigs with lockers had no issues. The Frontier (me) had a bit of a tricky time on WP2 but with a bit of right foot and rock stacking, we got through. There are multiple line choices and the amount of rocks sitting around makes stacking rocks easy if necessary. WP2 was definitely the hardest spot on the trail. I would recommend running this trail from the top of MSV - seems like almost everyone was running it this way and passing can be tricking in a lot of spots, so this direction seems to be favorable. Water crossing at the top is pretty low right now compared to early season.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail was open and clear. Coming from Middle St Vrain the first stretch was steep and rocky. Trail as a whole is very narrow and a full sized truck would have difficulty. Dispersed camping spots were very limited but more are on the Beaver Reservoir side of the trail. Water crossing was smooth as the levels were low, Did not come up to any of the cabs in the convoy (noted below). Remember to respectful of trail etiquette as the trail is very narrow from the main water crossing to Beaver Reservoir. Otherwise the trail was in great condition. Convey included: Toyota Tacoma TRD Offroad with 2.3" lift, on 32s, 2 Jeep Wranglers with 2.5" lift on 35s
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trail is enjoyable with all the water crossings. It is a very bumpy trail throughout the entire route, so airing down would help. It is currently rated at a 5, but I would say it's a 6. I have 35s and still hit the skids and rock sliders plenty of times.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail. I aired down to 25psi which helped smooth out the bumps for my passengers. Agreed with the prior reviewers that at way point 2, the rocks are formidable. A Landrover in front of us with 33's had a huge challenge getting over it. In my Rubicon with 35's and a 2" lift, I still had several skid plate impacts and needed full front and rear lockers. The water crossing was fun and straightforward. Plenty of other muddy ponds and deep puddles given the recent rain.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Took our 1975 Ford Bronco (3.5" lift, 33" tires, rear locker, front limited slip) up MSV today, then down Coney Flats to the reservoir. Overall an excellent trail with great water crossings and gorgeous scenery! The 5-5 they rate it for difficulty is accurate as it is a more technical trail than the pictures and narrative here allude. Be ready for a seemingly ceaseless bumpy ride. As a few posts have indicated, the Gatekeeper is not the biggest/most technical obstacle on the trail. The upper obstacle on Coney Flats will take some expertise or a seasoned spotter. Today it high-centered a forerunner. After he was freed it took a couple of more-on-the-stock-side Jeeps (small suspension lift) a few tries and a ride on the skid plates to find the right line. Still some others passed over nicely with little effort. There is another technical spot a little farther beyond, not quite as tough as the upper CF obstacle but certainly rougher than Gatekeeper. Just be aware of what you are getting into as getting past Gatekeeper can give you a false sense of security. Lots of vehicles on the trail for a nice Sunday drive.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this after Middle St Vrain. This is a fairly technical trail. Nothing too hard really just take it slow and watch your line. Good skid plates help keep the mind at ease, some of the rock gardens might tickle your tummy. The water crossing is very cool! Overall worth the trip to the area. Don't forget to check out the T-33 crash I'm the area.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun loop of Middle Saint Vrain and Coney Flats yesterday. The rock garden section between MSV and Coney Creek crossing is pretty difficult right now: lots of big, loose rocks moving around. Used both lockers, sliders and skids.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran Coney Flats and out via MSV in a stock ZR2 and TRD Pro Taco with no issues. Both have 31/32ish tires, factory skids, diff skids, and sliders which I wouldn't go without. Take you time and chose the right lines. Bigger built rigs did have some issues attempting large boulders though.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trail was a blast, but I agree with the previous poster. The trail has become more difficult and the boulders are no joke. My buddy with a Jeep JL on 38’s struggled getting over the boulders, not too far in after MSV. My 4Runner on 33’s made it, but I had to pull rope to get through. My skids and sliders took a beating so make sure you have full armor.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We ran MSV and tried to run Coney Flats today. Both trails are open. Running up MSV was straightforward. We turned to head up Coney Flats. Near the top, the last major obstacle is torn up beyond belief. This section used to be a ledgy section with a couple different lines to take. It's now a series of large boulders, some of them loose and able to shift under tire. Multiple rock stacking attempts have left bowling ball sized rocks all over the place as well. We watched a lifted Rubicon make it through with extreme difficulty. The first vehicle in our pack was a stock height LJ Rubicon. The obstacle thwarted us. No matter what line we tried, shifting rocks and dug out, muddy ruts meant the Jeep got hung up several times. With the LJ unable to make the climb and less capable vehicles behind it in our pack, we decided to turn back. I've never seen that obstacle as bad as it is right now.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
These trails are open for the season, have fun!
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Trail is closed for the season officially.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (Oct. 20, 2020) – Due to unprecedented and historic fire conditions, the USDA Forest Service’s Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests is announcing a temporary closure of all National Forest land in Clear Creek, Jefferson, Gilpin, Boulder, and Larimer counties, effective at midnight tonight (closure begins at 00:01 Oct. 21). This decision will be re-evaluated daily as conditions change.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
This area is closed due to fire activity. It likely will not reopen before the end of the season.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Did Coney flats trail along with Middle St. Vrain for a nice day trip. More ATV and side by sides on the trail then I care for, would be best to do on a weekday. Found the only real difficult part to be at WP2. I think it has gotten a little more dug out over the summer making your choice of line and having a higher clearance vehicle important. Was following an H2 who broke his tie rod on the obstacle, so vehicle damage if possible if you don't have the proper clearance and equipment. Encountered a down tree around WP9. It was cut but not quite wide enough for my JL. With the help of other was able to move it aside so all could pass. Overall a fun trip.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Went out for the shakedown run with the new lift kit and 37s on the JL. The trail was much wetter this time around, so a bit more fun than our previous trip this summer. Overall a fun trail to get flexed out on! The 6 is no joke. We saw a TRD offroad tacoma with a lift kit and sliders (but on 31s) needing to pull line to get up WP 2.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this trail with MSV. It was really wet and muddy due to the recent snow which made waypoint 2 very challenging. We only saw one other vehicle. Overall a fun trail that will test your skills and vehicle.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
IMO the Gatekeeper on Middle St. Vrain is primarily for Waypoint 2 on this trail, which was heavily rutted and even the large rocks were loose. Several vehicles had problems with this obstacle and needed to take a number of tries at it. Rock stacking was common. A spotter was almost required. That being said... an older Stock JKU with street tires and low tread made it through in front of us. It was apparent he had little regard however for the damage occurring to his vehicle. Several people from the group in front of us said it gets worse every year. Who knows what next year will hold. The water crossing at Waypoint 4 had a large area to park and was a popular spot to stop for lunch, and watch everyone else cross the water. Pack accordingly! :) I would suggest that Mild Off Camber (for the rocks at Waypoint 2), High Water Crossing (possibility at Waypoint 4), and Pinstriping (in general) be added to the ARS above.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Well all I have to say for this trail is awesome it was amazing my stock height fj had trouble at way point 2 those rocks were rough but still made it through the crossing was beautiful and I love mud so the rest was amazing all the recent rain made it nice and wet
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
As others have said, the water crossing is awesome and the rock obstacles between Middle St Vrain and the creek crossing are definitely challenging. After that though, the road is extremely slow and rough, extremely tight, extremely dusty, and boring in my opinion. There was pretty much no mud and the trail was extremely dry when we came though.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trail can be a lot of fun....but gets REALLY crowded. At one of the big rock yard climbs if there is a crowd, it can take a long time for a lot of rigs to get through it. Otherwise the famous giant water crossing is a lot of fun!
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Coney Creek is one of those trails where I love part of it and really could care less about the other part. We ran MSV to Coney Flats. The best part of this trail is the "beginning" (at pretty much the end of MSV) up to Coney Creek. This trail is no joke - the 6-6 is quite accurate IMO. I had my fiance drive while I spotted her. Fully locked and aired down, the Rubicon scraped its way to the top. Unless you have a ton of flex, vehicles without lockers will struggle on this trail. The picture imaged of the white Jeep is the worst of the trail. If you can get past that, you will have no issues getting up to the creek and through the rest of the trail back to Peak to Peak highway. After the creek crossing, this trail is not scenic with tight trees and stinky mud. It is nothing special IMO.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We went out today to run MSV/Coney to get trail updates and we are glad we did. The rock obstacles are ALL much more dugout than pictured above as of this writing. New photos and video will be available here soon but do not underestimate this trail, it is rated difficult and lives up that. We got held up for about an hour today while a large group with stock vehicles not necessarily designed for what we were all doing. More than one vehicle got hung up and caused the delay. I love this trail for the views and the giant water crossing, but it really does beat up the body due to the bumpiness, even with low-air tires and upgraded suspension. Go on a weekday to avoid the large crowds that this trail tends to bring in on weekends.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail,was able to complete it in my stock JLU Wrangler. Big rocks, lots of water, and uphill climbs. Great views as well. Definitely put good use to my rock sliders.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Fun little trail. Started from camp dick, into at vrain, and then to Coney flats and out. Water crossings were pretty cool. There's some good size rocks you can crawl over. The dispersed camping looks awesome! Lots of great views. Sounds like most off roading rigs, whether or not you have any thing done to it, can make it through this trail.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Overall the trail is in really good shape. The entrance is a beast to get past, saw multiple SUVs and one Jeep attempt to start the trail and turn around because they didn't have clearance. After the entrance, there are really only two other spots that are difficult. The second section before the main water crossing is tough because it's really dugout but with a good spotter you can get past it without scraping. I was in a 16 JKU with a 2.5 JKS lift and 32's and both water crossings came right up to the bottom of the door well, one more inch of water and it would have come inside.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail was opened late Saturday after the adopted club ran it and cleared downed trees and performed necessary trail maintenance. Water levels are high.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
As of 9/3/19, Both Middle St Vrain and Coney Flats are both closed due to Forest Order ARP-BRD-2019-01 while bridge replacement work is done. You can find the order along with maps here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd657032.pdf
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran this in conjunction with Middle St Vrain in my mostly stock FJ100. It pushed the limits of my rig and the accompanying Wrangler Sport. As soon as we departed St Vrain the initial uphill climb seemed to increase slightly in difficulty from the previous trail. At the foot of the Rock Obstacle, easily the most technical section of this trail, we began to wonder if we bit off more than we could chew. With a bit of expert direction from a seasoned driver, and some perseverence, we muddled through and were rewarded with the glorious water crossing. Yeah, we all did it at least 3 times. The difficulty and the water crossing made this a really special day, if not a gruelling one. We spent a good 6 hours off-roading alone. But it was rewarding and adventuresome. At times the wood was so thick I half expected Red Riding Hood to come skipping by. There was rock, mud, water, climbs, descents a turtled 4 runner to rescue . . . pretty much something for everyone. I slept well that night and was glad to have made it. I definitely recommend a little lift and bigger tires before tackling this one.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I completed St Vrain and Coney flats in a stock 4Runner SR5, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, ATRAC works wonders, the T4R didn’t even hesitate to climb any of the obstacles. I would have been a lot better off if I had a lift, I did scrape a number of times but with the help of a good spotter, I faired pretty well. It helps that the T4R has a shorter wheelbase than Tacos and 4-Door Wranglers. I enjoyed the double takes I got for being in a stock 4Runner on the trail. I’d say that the water crossing is about 18” deep based on how high the water was on people’s wheels. This is a long drive that can cause you to be fatigued toward the end, be ready to pay attention to the trail, a lot!
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Middle St Vrain, Coney Flats roads to close temporarily for bridge replacement project BOULDER, Colo. (Aug. 22, 2019) – Due to a critical bridge replacement project several campgrounds and roads on the Roosevelt National Forest’s Boulder Ranger District will close for the season on Sept. 3, 2019. The closures include: Peaceful Valley and Camp Dick campgrounds; Middle St. Vrain Road (Forest Service Road 114.1) at Colo. Higway 72; Coney Flats Road (Forest Service Road 507.1) at Beaver Creek Reservoir Trailhead; Bunce School Road (Forest Service Road 105) at junction with Park Creek Road (202.1) The closure applies to all motor vehicle traffic.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The trail is in good shape. None of the water was more than a couple feet deep. 18 Chevy ZR2 on 33s.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Ran both MSV and Coney Flats in our JLUR with 3" lift/35s and had a blast...one of the most fun and wettest trails we've ever done, and the views from Coney Flats around the main water crossing are breathtaking (as you'll see in the photos). Agree with the 5-5 (for MSV) and 6-6 (for Coney Flats) ratings....you'll be tired after this trail because it's near continual effort...but FUN effort! Took us about 4 hours (with brief lunch stop at CF's main water crossing. You'll get lots of water (many muddy) crossings depending on recent rains. One of them along MSV toward the western end was several inches deeper than the main CF crossing (which was ~ 2 ft). Overall, this combo of MSV and CF is now one of our favorites -- great shape, great fun, and absolutely beautiful!!
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Report from the High Country page: Our group ran MSV and Coney Flats on July 12th. water crossing are not too deep and trail is in good shape. I am currently running a stock JLUR and was able to run the trail with no problem.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Gates are open for the season. Tread lightly.
Author:
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
The crew that adopts this trail is going in on 6/23 to see if it can be opened. Suspected snow could delay opening.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Gates are open for the season as of 6/26.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Seasonal Closure
Offroaded on:
Trail is closed for the season
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
The Mountaineers, a 4x4 club from Fort Collins, embarked on a late fall season trip to Coney Flats and Middle St. Vrain. With winter weather setting in soon, there are not many more weekend opportunities for these twin trails. There was still considerable water present on the trail, however, despite the near 50 degree conditions, icy conditions seem to have moved in for the season. The aspen trees donning the trail are all past their peak color and most have lost their autumn golden glory. The local District Forest Ranger will close this trail for the season once inclement weather overtakes the foothills for the season.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
A stormy day on the trail. It rained on and off as we came off of here. We took Coney Flats to MSV and then out to 72. There was a lot of foot and vehicle traffic all day.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Not Reported
Offroaded on:
As we update the trail we are moving this older video to a Trip Report.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
This was the first official run with a group of contributors from TrailsOffroad.com! It was a great time finally meeting some local faces. Our group consisted of two Jeep Wranglers, a Jeep Cherokee, and Toyota Tacoma. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to run the trail and we even got to enjoy seeing the colors of the trees changing for fall. We started our run on the connecting trail Middle St. Vrain. The trail did have a bit of traffic once we reached the first big obstacle on that trail, but we got through it easily and let the larger groups pass by ours. We finished up pretty quickly on Mount St. Vrain and continued onward to Coney Flats. The group maintained a good speed on the trail without much issue. Some of the obstacles had a little residual water and mud left around them which proved to be challenging for the more stock vehicles. Once we reached the Lake Crossing, we stopped for some lunch, and I pulled out my new DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone to get some cool shots of the area. Once finished we cruised out the remaining section of the trail at a good pace. It was a good day!
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
A group of us from trailsoffroad.com ran the Middle St. Vrain and Coney Flats off-road trails for a meet and greet event. We had four rigs which consisted of two Jeep Wrangler JK, a Jeep Cherokee XJ and a Toyota Tacoma 1st Gen. Coney Flats and Middle St. Vrain are Jim Dixon's trails to prepare the guide for, so the rest of us, Lauren Martin, Brad Martin, Scott Bram, and Myself all we had to do was have fun. Fun is what we had on this trail combination that offers forest scenery, mountain peaks, and, of course, some light rock crawling! Being so close to Denver and Boulder, Colorado, these trails are a must do for anyone and I run them at least a couple times a year. In addition to running the trail together to get to know one another, some of us had other motives. Lauren had just purchased the new DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone and wanted to experiment with it on this trip. The plan was to capture the vehicles crossing the major water crossing on top of Coney Flats with the Indian Peaks in the background using the drone. I ran this trail back in July as well, it seemed more dry than normal, and this time proved even drier. Even though the water wasn't as deep, it was a perfect location to set a drone up and film away! With almost no crowd, the day proved to be a very pleasant and relaxed on the trail. I always forget that there is a perfect lunch spot at the lake, and I really should have brought some food to grill or barbecue. There is enough space to park at least 15 vehicles at the lake, so if you are with a group, this is the place to stop. All the obstacles were dry and easily conquered, where sometimes they can be a bit slippery and tougher to do. Next trip back to these two trails I would like to camp along the St. Vrain Creek.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail that connects to MSV it's a little more challenging but just as beautiful.

Questions & Answers (4)

Q: Hi J&J, I'm fairly familiar with this trail from mountain biking, but I also know very well that things behind the wheel can be quite different than from behind the bars. I'm a beginner and am not ready for the rock garden, but my recollection is that from Beaver Res. to the flats is not nearly as technical. (When the gate opens) what would you give the rating of that eastern section? Thanks!
–charlie wanek (09/22/2019)
–JD Marshall (09/23/2019)
Q: Hi J&J, i would ask you an opinion: do you think i can do this trail with a full stock ford f-150? Any suggestion or advice? Thanks in advance!
–Lorenzo Redaelli (04/01/2019)
–JD Marshall (04/02/2019)
Q: Not really a question. But this trail is closed as of a couple weeks ago.
–Jacob (12/03/2018)
–JD Marshall (12/03/2018)
Q: The info section lists the best direction to travel as West, every time I've ran Coney we came from MSV and traveled East, is that not the standard route?
–Jason Gillespie (08/10/2018)
–JD Marshall (08/10/2018)

Writer Information

JD Marshall

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Jen & JD moved to Colorado from Chicago in May of 2015 for work and brought with them a 2001 stock Jeep Wrangler that had been garage bound for two years. Within a month of arrival, all rusty 170,000 miles of it was shaking on Colorado trails and they've never stopped. As time as gone on, their 2001 TJ had to be traded and a 2015 Jeep JK has been added to the family. JD works as a Systems Engineer for a cable company and Jen runs a business from their home during the week to pay the bills. When the weekend hits, they're almost always hitting the trail. When Sunday night rolls around, the question turns to, 'so what's next week?!'.
For individual use only, not to be shared.