DIRECTIONS: This segment of the Bear Creek Trail starts at the River Point Shopping Center off of Hwy 285/Hampden Ave, just west of the interchange for Santa Fe Drive. The closest parking lot to the trailhead is the River Point Movie Theater. Cross the street and at the circle before the bridge across the South Platte River, turn right (west) and walk down the paved multi-use trail heading west. This is the start of the Bear Creek Trail.
This first segment of the Bear Creek Trail is far more pleasant than you might think. While the trail starts in a commercial shopping center, and ends at Federal Blvd, the portion in between can be very scenic. First off, the trail begins with great views down the South Platte River. After you pass the shopping center, and before the first pedestrian bridge, there is a dirt trail that leads down to the confluence of the South Platte River and Bear Creek, a very nice spot.
After the bridge the trail passes by a series of waterfalls (artificial but still nice) and shady areas perfect for relaxing. After the waterfalls, the trail runs past a golf course with nice views of the Front Range mountains and foothills distant to the west. Following the trail to the west towards Federal Blvd, the trees form a shady canopy and in the fall the colors provide an autumn tunnel next to Bear Creek. As you approach Federal Blvd, city development starts to encroach and the scenic quality diminishes. However, you get to return past the same wonderful stretch of trail.
This part of the Bear Creek Trail is less enjoyable than the portions to the west but it is still worth a quick visit. If you visit in the fall the colors will not disappoint and getting up close and personal with the confluence of S. Platte and Bear Creek is a real treat.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Bear Creek Trail
River Point to Federal Blvd
Date Hiked: November 8, 2017
Distance: 2 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Elevation: 5,300 ft
Managing Agency: South Suburban Parks & Recreation District