Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lair O' the Bear Park


Don't you just love the name of this Jefferson County Open Space park?   From the first time I passed Lair O' the Bear Park, while driving past it on State Highway 74, in the Morrison area, I've wanted to turn into its grounds and explore it. My husband and I finally had the opportunity to do that last week.  We have been trying to do a few hikes a week for exercise, and also to enjoy the late springtime beauty of the local trails. (All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on) 


Bear Creek runs through Lair O' the Bear Park, and there are creekside trails for walkers and anglers who want to try their luck at fishing for trout. The 1.9 mile Bruin Bluff Trail is slightly more challenging going up to a higher elevation. Bear Creek Trail is 1.3 miles along the creek, and is shaded in many areas by Cottonwood and Box Elder trees and some Ponderosa Pine trees. There is also a challenging 12.6 mile round trip hiking trail that encompasses three Denver Mountain Parks to the west. Information about the history of the park and how it got its name can be read on this link.


We began our hike on Creekside Trail that leads to Bear Creek Trail. As you can see the creek was running high and hard! The spring alpine snow melt and the heavy rain falls that the Front Range has been experiencing this spring has made all the creeks and rivers run near flood levels this year,  This area is closest to the parking area and also contains 28 picnic tables and permanent charcoal, grills, plus a covered educational shelter, where Lookout Mountain Nature Center holds campfire events and programs for groups and the public.


Nearby were some interesting educational placards describing how this area is a watershed.  (Please enlarge by clicking on the collage to read the information) Water from the rain and snow melt runs down east in this area from the high Continental Divide, to form many streams and creeks. Bear Creek eventually feeds into the South Platte River that then runs through Denver, then north east through Nebraska, and to the Missouri River.  Eventually it empties into the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico!


We continued on the trail and crossed over Bear Creek on one of the bridges.


It is easy to see how high the creek is running in this photo, as it is getting very close to the bottom of the bridge! 



If you'd like to see a phone video I took of fast running Bear Creek you can see it on Youtube above or by clicking on my Mille Fiori Favoriti Facebook page on this link.


We enjoyed walking the entire loop of the trail. My husband dipped his hand into the water to feel the temperature of the creek and he said it felt very cool--maybe 40 to 50 degrees.



My favorite part of the Bear Creek Tail was also seeing all the beautiful wildflowers in bloom along the way!



We did not see too many anglers the time we hiked since the creek was running so hard they need to take precautions not to be swept away by the fast moving current.  There was an unfortunate incident, recently, where a fisherman drowned in Boulder Creek, perhaps caught up by the fast current there.


I loved this magnificent wonderful old willow tree by one area of the creek.  Countless children have climbed up on its welcoming branches over the years.  I felt fortunate to have a few quiet moments sitting on a branch and enjoying its shade.


It's wonderful to be able to connect with nature in such a beautiful setting as Lair O' the Bear Park, and I know we will be returning here many times in the future!


Thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments and best wishes on the birth of our new granddaughter!  We feel very blessed to now have four grandchildren nearby, and have been been enjoying her so much!

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31 comments:

Michelle said...

What a beautiful place to go hiking. You have captured the beauty so well. Congrats on the birth of your new granddaughter!

Felicia said...

a beautiful place to hike and congrats on your new granddaughter.

Annesphamily said...

Colorado has so many beautiful places to hike. Always a great adventure. I heard that Clear Creek was running so high that you could fill an Olympic size swimming pool in one minute with water from it! I try to steer away from the water while it is running so high. My grandson was in Boulder last week and got caught in a current. By the grace of God he is ok. People were furious at the Pueblo Reservoir because part of it is closed as it is underwater. People seem to be so unhappy for everything these days. We walk and hike at Chautauqua in Boulder and I noticed last week everyone seemed to be rushing and in a hurry. I am never in a hurry, too many beautiful sights to see! I like to see as much of the natural beauty as I can. Always great to go hiking. Nice photos. Have a great week Pat.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, thanks for taking me along on your hike. The creek current does look like it is moving fast. The scenery and wildflowers are gorgeous. Lovely images. And congrats on your new Grandbaby. She is precious! Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

You certainly know how to enjoy your new home. Thanks for playing today.

Have a Beautiful Blue Monday!

Vee said...

I'm sure that it is a beautiful place, but I can't get the photos to load. I'll be back again!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

I think that my favorite out of it all is that willow tree !

AND of course the new baby! :) Congratulations!

Snap said...

You are having such a good time exploring your new home state! This looks like a wonderful spot for a hike or a picnic. Your images are great. Enjoy the new grand-little! :) Happy Monday!

Charlene N.K. said...

What a perfect place for hiking, with all these beautiful things strewn all over!

Ann said...

What a perfect spot, your state is so picturesque. I know you are discovering all those places to visit.
Ann

Lorrie said...

What a beautiful place to hike, Pat. Did you see any bears while out and about? The creek really is running high. You look lovely holding your new granddaughter - congratulations to all of you.

LV said...

I love Colorado and enjoy seeing anything shared.

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

Congratulations on your new grand baby! She's beautiful :)

Also Happy belated Birthday to both you and your husband. That restaurant looked incredible! I'll add it to my list of places I want to go, if I ever get up that way.

The hike you went on looked so pretty and I would have sat in that old willow for sure :)

Have a great week, my friend!

xo,
rue

Latane Barton said...

A wonderful place to explore. And, one of these days you can take little wee little one with you hiking and finding all sorts of things. She's a doll, that's for sure.

Donna said...

Another fabulous spot and the name is perfect...I can see bears roaming in this beautiful spot...and all those wildflowers!

Joy H said...

Great photo of you and and the baby! The water does look high there :) Love the mosaics.
Joy @ Books and Life

happywonderer.com said...

What a beautiful park to visit. That wee babe is so sweet!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Another scenic place to hike and good for you two getting out for the exercise. There must be, or have been bears in the park at one time judging by the name?
Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Pat.

Jim said...

Wonderful.

Linda W. said...

I, too like the name of this park! I enjoyed your "tour."

Adam Jones said...

What a wonderful place. Full of wildlife and great trees. Congratulations on your new Granddaughter.

Vee said...

Yes, everything worked beautifully this morning, even the video of rushing water. I always appreciate seeing the photos of you...leaning on the willow tree and holding your newest granddaughter.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

What a great park. I love local parks like this.

TexWisGirl said...

sweet little bundle in your arms! :)

love the wildflowers and trees and streams. so pretty! and, yes, the name of the park is great. :)

ladyfi said...

What a gorgeous place!

carol l mckenna said...

How exciting ~ a new grand daughter and so sweet ~ like her grandmother ~

Great shots of the nature park ~ What an adventure! Love the bridge!

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

Mary Cromer said...

Great shots, but I need to focus on the best one, oh look at you holding your newest grandbaby and how sweet this is. Love it, and they grow up way too quickly. Enjoy~

Powell River Books said...

Looks like a great spot for hiking and enjoying the outdoors. - Margy

NC Sue said...

Did you say any bears?
Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-other-worldly-insect-world.html

jeannettestgermain said...

Wow that creek is wild, I thought ... a place to be careful I see! Congrats with your new grandchild:) Did I overlook it ...what's her name?

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat, you have no dearth of beautiful places to go for a hike near where you live. I always remember the beautiful wildflowers I saw whenever I visited mountains of Colorado, and you got some beautiful photos. Congratulations again on the new granddaughter. Life is good for your family and I hope you continue to enjoy many more decades together in Colorado or wherever life takes you.