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Lair O’ The Bear Park has a lot more going for it than just its funny name.
There’s a diversity of activities and scenery to enjoy in this compact mountain park, set along Bear Creek in the canyon just west of Morrison.
The creek is filled with fish, lined with shady vegetation, and surrounded by sweeping hillsides.
Several trails intertwine in this part of the gorge, accessing prime spots for fishing, wading, picnicking, and nature viewing. You can enjoy it all without venturing far from the car, but the best experience is to take a hike.
The loop mapped here begins on Creekside Trail, which is for hikers only (no mountain bikes) and has quite a few picnic tables along it.
You can enjoy a packed lunch in the shade before setting out. Cross the creek on Dipper Bridge, then join Bruin Bluff Trail for the tough part of the hike.
It’s uphill, rocky in places, and on a sparsely treed hillside where the sun can be intense.
The climb is brief, however, and not without reward.
From this elevated vantage, you can see westward to peaks of the Rockies.
The trail gets easier as it makes a descent back down to the creek.
After crossing another bridge, turn on Creekside Trail once more and follow it toward the parking area, passing more idyllic picnic spots along the way.
If you haven’t had your lunch by this point, it’s definitely the time. Lair O’ The Bear Park is most popular in summer but is worth visiting at any time of year.
Fall brings colors to the foliage.
Winter brings ice to the creek and sometimes snow to the trails.
A sunny day in winter can even be pleasant for a hike and a picnic.
Note that some trails are shared with mountain bikers, though they should yield to hikers.
Other trails in the park provide options for shorter or longer hikes than the one mapped here, so examine the map once you arrive and find the distance that’s right for you. Sources: https://www.jeffco.us/1254/Lair-o-the-Bear-Park https://www.jeffco.us/DocumentCenter/View/9373/Lair-o-the-Bear-Park-Map