Sometimes you find yourself on a slippery slope. And then you remember that you have microspikes with you and suddenly everything is alright. That’s how this hike started out for me this past Saturday.
The Bear Creek Trail connects several parks to each other and offers a serene experience through the woods as you hike up through the Bear Creek Canyon and into the surrounding foothills. On this particular day, I started at Lair o’ the Bear Park just outside of Idledale, Colorado. This is an out and back trail that ends at Pence Park just off of Parmalee Gulch road and connects various parks that are all part of either the Jefferson County Open Space trail system or the Denver Mountain Parks. Here are some more details about this hike:
Date of Hike: February 16th 2019
Miles Hiked: 12 Miles
Trail Conditions: Quite Icy with very few dry areas
From the start, the trail was icy with the whole entire trail being equivalent to that of an ice skating rink. From around the time that I started around 8:30 AM, the only people that I really encountered were people out taking their dogs for a walk. Aside from that, it was quite tranquil walking along Bear Creek. In some areas, you could see the water rushing by while in other spots the creek was still completely frozen.
Although walking along the creek was definitely relaxing, the sound of cars going by on the highway above proved to detract from the whole experience. This was the case for the first mile or two until the trail began to climb out of the small valley and up through some of the foothills. However, on the other side of the creek, I found myself walking by the marvelous estate that is referred to as Dunafon Castle which is used as both an event and wedding venue.
As I made my way up through the foothills, I began to pass some smaller groups of people who were actually out running on this ice covered trail. I was absolutely amazed that none of them fell down as they went past me and thankful yet again to have my microspikes on.
The views of the surrounding foothills begin to open up the further you get up the trail, and if you look carefully you will even see Mount Evans and its neighboring peaks too. From this trail, the tree coverage somewhat obscures the views of the larger peaks.
Amazingly enough, the trail transitioned from being a complete sheet of ice to dirt thanks to the sun. However, this was short lived until I almost got to the end of the trail in Pence Park. Aside from this, I had a new development I was keeping my eyes on as the weather began to drastically change. In no more than a 30 minute time span, the weather went from being sunny to mostly cloudy with strong winds blowing along with the look of an angry snow squall coming in from the west. Surely enough, it did snow for a short time but soon moved to the east towards Denver.
Upon reaching the end, I returned the way that I came. Due to the conditions, I figured that the view from the connecting Panorama Point Trail would not be as good with the cloudy conditions coupled with the snow that was also beginning to fall on Mount Evans. Therefore, I decided that I will come back at a later time to cover this trail and share some photos of that particular area.