Bear Creek Trail at Lair o' the Bear Park

July 20, 2010 Comments (10) 1-2 Miles, About 30 Min, best winter hikes colorado, Birdwatching, Creek or Brooks, Dog Friendly Hikes, Easy, hikes evergreen colorado, hikes with kids denver, hikes with shade, Meadows, Wildlife

Bear Creek Trail at Lair o’ the Bear Park

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.

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.


more dog friendly hikes

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.
  • Lair o’ the Bear Park Trail Map: Trail Map Link
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Ice Cream @ The Blue Cow


Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions

10 Responses to Bear Creek Trail at Lair o’ the Bear Park

  1. […] Lair O' The Bear is a real quick drive, and you can hike either upriver or down river for miles. Here is a link to a Trail Profile for Lair 'O the Bear. Another feature that is helpful is the google map of hikes on […]

  2. MODsquad says:

    Thanks, Aaron + Jenah! Great spot for the kiddos!

  3. Liz says:

    We did this hike with our 2 & 5 year olds on a hot day – it was shady and they had a blast wading in the creek. We made it to the castle then turned around.

  4. Lydia says:

    Great trail, although pretty crowded sometimes with families, dogs, and some bikers! There is plenty of shade available, and plenty of creek access for letting your dogs drink water. The second time we went right after a brief storm, and it was awesome because there were very few other people.

  5. Kurt Rappel says:

    Great hike near Morrison and Evergreen. Very shaded trailhead, not overly crowded either. Ample parking spots and well maintained trails too. Overall my favorite trail near Denver and sw suburbs.

  6. Katy says:

    * Park currently closed due to September 2013 flood damage *

    We did this trail in May of this year on a hot day and really appreciated the shade. This is a nice, easy hike. We were a tiny bit disappointed by the castle, but that’s no fault of this website! We just kind of hoped for a castle castle, and it was more of a fancy, private lodge. We did really like walking along the stream. A few sections of the trail along the river are hiker-only (no dog, no bike), but there is always a trail right next to it that’s ok. There definitely were a number of bikes when we were there, so keep kids and pets close.

    Overall — Easy trail (well-maintained, no real elevation gain), mostly shaded and along a river, no big views, but still a nice area to check out.

  7. Melissa says:

    I just took my kids on this hike yesterday (3 yrs. 1 yr.) It was a great hike, we went to the Dunafon Castle and back. My 3 year old walked the entire time. The kids had a great time hanging out by the creek throwing rocks in. Thanks for posting this, we had a lot of fun!

  8. Tim says:

    This is one of our favorite hiking spots, especially as our son loves wading into the stream and skip rocks. Lots of interesting views and very accessible.

  9. Lynda says:

    Did all of you miss the upper trail? If you like a nice little climb, there is an upper trail that loops through the hillside and wooded area above the park. Very few bikes up there. Although the flood of 2013 closed access via Dipper Bridge, the trail is still accessible from Castor’s Cutoff or Bruin’s Bluff. Either will loop you through the higher trail.

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