For West Denver, Lakewood, and Morrison trail lovers, Bear Creek Trail serves as good mileage and access to other Denver area outdoor opportunities. The trail itself offers more than 12 miles with additional mileage found in connecting trail systems at Bear Creek Lake Park.
The Bear Creek Trail (BCT) meanders along the winding Bear Creek as it feeds into the South Platte River. Its route west from the South Platte Trail junction leads through shaded neighborhood back yards, glimpses a golf course, pushes past the retail sections parallel to Hwy 285, interrupts a field of prairie dogs, and eventually opens up to the open space and height of Mt. Carbon and Bear Creek Lake Park. Maximum speed is posted at 15 mph, which may be tempting to surpass on a road bike when the winding curves straighten out on its few stretches. The trail is highly frequented by its neighborhoods and those looking to connect to other trails and destinations. Equestrians and dirt bikers are served by the Stone House Trail, a dirt and gravel trail stretching along the north side of the creek from Wadsworth Blvd to loops within Bear Creek Lake Park.
As a link, the BCT leads west to Morrison where a cyclist and long distance runners can extend their experience past the town of Morrison into Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park or connect with the C470 trail for a greater circuit around west Denver. Heading east toward downtown, the BCT connects with the South Platte Trail System.
The bike trail is paved and well-maintained. A portion was expanded in 2010. Visitors should keep aware of directional “BCT” signage at intersections to avoid an accidental turn off to street and neighborhood access.
The trail holds some possible snow in the shaded areas during winter, but is open year-round. The scenery changes from the gentle-flowing creek and neighborhood parks to open up to views of the foothills and Red Rocks standing out against the backdrop of Mt. Morrison. Looking back to the east from Mt. Carbon, downtown Denver stands like the stem of the sprawling metropolis.
Bathrooms and water stations are found within Bear Creek Lake Park. During the spring, bikers may consider wind forecasts before riding the high open areas within the park.
Find maps and more information about the BCT at the following links: