Bear Creek Trail is a 12.5 mile greenway trail from Denver to Morrison CO, just outside of Red Rocks Amphitheater. The trail starts at an intersection with the South Platte River Trail and the Mary Carter Greenway Trail near the Riverpoint at Sheridan Shopping Area in Englewood and follows Bear Creek through town to Morrison.
Just two miles after the start of the trail, you’ll enter into Denver’s Bear Creek Park. Bear Creek Park offers a variety of facilities, including several softball fields, a playground, restrooms, and a picnic area.
About a mile further down the trail, after crossing under Sheridan Blvd, the trail passes behind Mojo Wheels, a great Denver bicycle shop specializing and mountain bikes. Well worth a stop to check out their inventory and talk bikes with the knowledgeable staff there.
After the trail crosses Wadsworth Blvd, the trail enters Bear Creek Greenway, a large Lakewood city park. Bear Creek Greenway offers a lot of side trails, including dirt trails along the river that are suited for easy mountain biking or hiking. It’s also the home of the Stone House, a historic building dating from the early Colorado Gold Rush days when it was built by Joseph and William Hodgson sometime between 1859 and 1864. The Stone House is currently used as a rental venue for weddings and other gatherings. The Greenbelt also includes two small lakes which allow fishing, and has restrooms and picnic areas.
The Greenbelt area seems surprisingly rural, and offers opportunities for birding and nature watching. We found a large beaver den in the middle of the park, and stopped to watch the beaver during our ride.
Between the Greenbelt and Morrison, the trail passes through Bear Creek Lake Park. Bear Creek Lake Park is a City of Lakewood park, but it rivals many state parks in size and activities. It’s a more than 2,000-acre gem that provides opportunities to hike, picnic, camp, fish, boat, windsurf, mountain or road bike, hit the swim beach or head to the archery range. In addition to Bear Creek Trail, it also offers nearly 15 miles of dirt trails that are open to horses, pedestrians and mountain bikes. Bear Creek Lake Park also features two golf courses run by the city of Lakewood, Fox Hollow Golf Course, and Homestead Golf Course. The trail to the top of Mount Carbon takes you through and around the Homestead Golf Course, along a ridge line that offers amazing views of the surrounding area and downtown Denver.
The trail ultimately leads to the peak at 5775 feet which offers an expansive view of the park and golf course as well as a picnic pavilion and restroom.
When getting closer to Morrison, the trail also passes very close to the East trailhead for Mount Falcon Park, which offers additional mountain biking and hiking trails.