Lair o’ the Bear is, in our family’s opinion, the best family hike near Denver. First, the drive into the canyon on Bear Creek road is beautiful. Once at the park you’ll find great hiking trail options, the cool water of bear creek, great parking, and some good picnic spots. There are open areas as well as shade. Our one big suggestion is to keep your kiddos close to you on the busier trail segments as this is also a mountain biking mecca. Explore the details below in our profile of this Jefferson County, Colorado park.
Trail Snapshot: Bear Creek Trail at Lair O’ the Bear
- Hike Distance: 1.6 Miles
- Denver Drive Time: 30min
- Difficulty: Easy
- Duration: 1hr 15min
- Activities: Hiking, Birdwatching, Mountain Biking, Fly Fishing, Picnics
- Dogs: Allowed on Leash
- Directions: Click for Google Map
- Trail Type: Out & Back
- Seasons: All Season
- Beauty: Bear Creek, Meadows, Wildlife: Beaver, American Dippers aka Water Ouzel
Fantastic for families because this hike has lot of shade, a mostly level path, the sounds and sights of water, and a few great areas for picnics in this Colorado park. On top of all of that, it’s one of the most accessible Denver trails just out of town in the foothills. Within Lair O the Bear park, the Bear Creek Trail follows the creek for 1.6 miles of trail. Approximately 1 mile of the trail runs West from the parking area, and .6 of a mile to the East. But that is just within the park boundaries; the actual trail continues following the creek in both directions, so you can explore even more of this beautiful canyon and riparian landscape. You can also fish Bear Creek in Lair O the Bear. I’ve not had any luck yet, so I’d appreciate any tips in the comment section below.
Tips & Resources for Hiking at Lair o’ the Bear :
- Bikes: There are some hiker only trail segments, but most are open to mountain bikes – and there are A LOT of them, especially on the weekends. So, just hike aware and let your kids know that bikes may be zipping by.
- Picnic: Take a picnic lunch or dinner. There are some great picnic areas along the river at Lair o’ the Bear.
- Birding: This is a great place to teach your kids (or yourself) some tree and bird identification. The riparian ecosystem is pretty diverse at Lair o’ the Bear.
- Map: Lair o’ the Bear Trails Map
- Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
- After the Hike: Ice Cream @ The Blue Cow
wind: 4mph WNW
H 64 • L 40