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.
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.
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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