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Bear Creek Trail to Panorama Point

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Lair o' the Bear Park

Bear Creek Trail to Panorama Point is a 6.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Idledale, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,099 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

Nice trail. A lot of kids down by the creek which was cute. Occasional mountain biker.

hiking
bugs
19 hours ago

hiking
8 days ago

Super fun trail with a lot of great views. Kind of buggy near the water but not so much going up. Definitely a lot of mountain bikers but not too many other hikers since we started at 7:30. Overall good hike!

hiking
9 days ago

Very pretty trail. I'm a newbie so it was a bit hard for me and my butt burned but I enjoyed it none the less. Lots of bikers, sometimes got in the way but also a decent excuse to stop and catch my breath.

hiking
12 days ago

I did this hike on a week day after work (arrived about 5:30pm) and while the trail is beautiful with a perfect amount of peaks and valleys to get your blood pumping and butt burning, I do think maybe this trail is best left to the mountain bikers. I kind of just felt like I was in the way and interrupting their time. It looked like everyone who was biking was having a great time and the terrain was perfect for their activity! I am not sure if the bike traffic changes based on the day/time but with a dog and a skinny trail, it just wasn't really enjoyable for hiking. Like I said, I do think this is a great trail for bikers!

You have to walk along a dirt trail by a creek for a little to start the hike, then the first .5-1 miles there’s some road noise. After that. Mellow switchbacks and incline with some shade. I almost missed the sharp turn left for Panorama Point, which was a little steeper but nice views, then after popping out of that it wasn’t marked to take a right back. Got there around 2:30 on a week day, very few other hikers but a decent amount of mountain bikers.

hiking
22 days ago

Great Trail, perfect conditions today. Beautiful view at the top, and not too strenuous except for a few segments. I would highly recommend getting there early, we got there at 7:30am and it was already busy, but by the time we left at 11 the beginning part of the trail was overrun with kids and bikers trying to navigate through everything. Overall, great hike just try to avoid the crowds and bikers.

hiking
26 days ago

Nice trail but too many bikers for me...

hiking
28 days ago

Amazing. Nice balance of incline and declines. Stream in the beginning to relax at and give the dog some water. Panorama point was beautiful. Incredible views and plenty of spots to chill at for lunch. Saw wildflowers, hummingbirds and chipmunks! Parking is rough though at lair of the bear. It was full when we got there at 945am so we drove up the road a little and parked at the next lot. There was a trail right by the road that took us where we needed to go.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Hiked this on Thursday, June 4. Started at 7:00 a.m. with about 25% of the parking lot full. By 10:00 the lot was packed with waiting cars circling the parking lot. A lot of trash on trail which I picked up. If you all can help by picking up trash when you hike, please do so. Otherwise the trail was lovely with wildflowers like wild roses in bloom. Saw a few columbines peeking out too!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail with nice panoramic view. Relatively easy. We arrived at 8:30am and the parking lot was already full. Shared trail with Mtn bikers.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

What a hike!! Started at 8am and not a lot of people yet. Path was clean, well shaded, and easy to follow until the end; almost missed the turn to go up the Panorama Point (follow the map on here helps a lot). It was a hard hike for someone not so fit myself but the view was so worth it, definitely would do it again. Have to step off the trail a few times for bikers but I didn’t mind the little break. By the time I came back down at around 11am, parking was full with lots of families along the creek.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with a variety of different terrains, amazing views (especially at panorama point) and definitely on the easier side of moderate. Trail was extremely well maintained and pretty shady throughout. Lots of hikers and bikers throughout the trail, but did not seem overbearing (even on Memorial Day). Note: the parking lot fills up very quickly and can be tough to find a spot. Would highly recommend and will be back again!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail for one so close to Denver. Awesome views, moderate grade with one steep section.

hiking
1 month ago

Thought I got started early, for a Thursday (on the trail at 8am), but it was still heavily trafficked - more so on my way down. Took just me and my dog and everything was dry and the weather was nice. Not something that bothers me, but if you're adverse to stepping off the trail every 10 or so minutes for MTBs to pass, I would avoid this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Fun

Ran this on 5/13 with Haley and Maddison. So fun!

hiking
1 month ago

Bear Creek Trail is a 7-mile out and back with a side trail that leads off to Panorama Point as either a turning around point or a stop for a view along the full hike. The first mile or so from Lair o' The Bear Parking Lot is an easy flat walking path between the highway and the creek, with lots of families picnicking and enjoying the water. Once you start the ascent, it gets much better. It is easy to be fooled into climbing off of Bear Creek Trail to climb up to Panorama Point. You can do this, but you'd only be cheating yourself. At one point in the hike about 2.5 miles in, you finish a steep climb and wind up on a plateau where the obvious mountain biking/hiking trail continues and a "hikers only" trail meanders uphill to the left. Don't be tempted- that path will lead you to the Point, but it's not the correct trail to do so. Instead, continue on the main trail about another mile and a half- there will be a sharp descent, but don't worry- and there will be a sign on the left pointing the way to a nice uphill climb on an obvious trail to Panorama Point. You turn around and come back down the same way, linking back up with Bear Creek Trail to either continue on or go back. Took 2 of us 2 hours and 15 minutes with a nice break at Panorama Point to have a snack and take in the view. Crowded Sunday on the trail with lots of mountain bikers and dogs. Trail was dry and well maintained. Really nice view at the top.

hiking
2 months ago

There was snow on the ground when we hiked this trail (New Years Day 2020), and it was quite easy to get lost at the top of the trail. But that may be less of a concern during spring / summer.

hiking
2 months ago

Trail was very dry, no ice or snow. It was a beautiful day for a hike. Beautiful view once you get to the top. Much worth it! Be nice and move over the the bikers :)

hiking
2 months ago

I arrived at 7 AM parking lot was pretty empty. Trail conditions are either dry or slightly damp (there is one icy patch about 20 minutes into the hike that is completely manageable with any footwear). The trail will naturally lead you counterclockwise for the loop at the top which would be the recommended route anyway so that you save the best part of this hike, which is definitely the view, towards the end of the excursion. It was partly cloudy when I reached Panorama Point (PP), so I bet on a clear day the view is even more lovely. After you depart from PP (if you are trying to complete the loop as AllTrails suggests) you were going to be traveling on a very faint, unmarked trail for a short period of time to connect back to Bear Creek Trail. I honestly almost missed it and it felt a little bush-wacky to me. All and all (and of course one does get spoiled here in Colorado) this trail is just OK. Though I’m sure this area gets crowded on the weekends with families / MTN bikers, this hike could be a good place to take visitors to the state as I think most people would be successful.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Very busy trail until you get a few miles in. Kept going straight on the bear creek trail and missed the turn off so added a couple extra miles to it. Lots of people with dogs and mountain bikes on the trail. Overall great views and rated correctly too

hiking
muddy
snow
3 months ago

Nice moderate hike with a decent payoff view at the top. Excellent for an afternoon. Fairly busy and lots of dogs. Trail is currently muddy and has a few sketchy slushy/ icy conditions in about 6 spots. I did not have cramp-ons, just boots. Recommended.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
3 months ago

icy
muddy
snow
3 months ago

Completed this today, high was in the 60s, trail was mostly slushy and snowy. lots of loose and melting snow upon our return by Noon. Lots of people and dogs on the lower part of the trail by Noon. View from Panorama Point is simply breathtaking.

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