Directions: From Denver, take I-70 West to C-470 East. Exit at the Morrison Exit, drive through the town of Morrison and head up through Bear Creek Canyon (74) to the trailhead on the left, just past the town of Ideldale.
The main hike at Lair o' the Bear Park is the Bruins Bluff hike, bu the park also contains almost 2 miles of the Bear Creek Trail. The Bear Creek Trail runs all the way from Little Park, through Lair o' the Bear Park and Corwina Park, and ends at O'Fallon Park (8 miles later). The stretch of the BCT that runs through Lair o' the Bear is extremely pretty and easy to hike. The trail is relatively flat and follows Bear Creek through wonderful groves of cottonwoods trees.
From the parking area, head west on the Bear Creek Trail and follow the flat trail along Bear Creek. The trail winds along through cottonwoods and skirting the canyon wall. You'll pass by a (seemingly) wonderful private event venue and turn a sharp corner at which point you'll find yourself at another trailhead for the BCT. Here, the BCT turns to the left and heads straight uphill. While the hike has been pleasant up to this point, this is where it gets really fun. Start heading uphill (keeping your eyes and ears peeled for mountain bikers) and follow the good trail as it rolls along through the evergreen forest.
At the 1 mile mark there is a rock outcropping that provides the first views west towards Mt. Evans. Follow the trail for another .5 mile and when you see the 1.5 mile marker, look to the opposite side of the trail. You'll see a log blocking the unofficial and unsigned trail up to Panorama Point. If you really want to stick to the official trails keep on the BCT until it intersects with the Panorama Point Trail, otherwise follow the unofficial trail up for just a short way until you pop out at Panorama Point. Panorama Point is a large rock outcropping and has great views to the west. If you're here in the morning or early afternoon with good weather then you have a terrific straight on view of the Mt. Evans Massif. In the later afternoon the sun will obscure your view but it is still well worth all the effort to get there.
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 to Panorama Pt.
Lair o' the Bear Park/Corwina Park
Date Hiked: May 10, 2012
Distance: 6.5 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 1,100ft
Elevation Min/Max:6,512 to 7,397ft
Managing Agency: Jefferson County OS/Denver Mt. Parks