If there isn’t someone in the visitor center that day or you simply don’t want to talk to them, you can always just pick up a park map (they have them at the gate house too) and that will help you get an idea of what you're feelin’ that day. The maps are also pretty “blond proof.” If I can understand it, trust me so can you.
So far I haven’t come across any trails that I would consider difficult, but there are some that may be strenuous if you or your pup are elderly or you just don’t get around too well. The good news is if you don’t happen to get around too great, most the paved trails shouldn’t be a problem for you. As far as the busy-ness of the park goes, during the winter things are pretty slow, but during the summer things pick up quite a bit.
If you go on a weekday before 5p.m. you’ll probably just see two or three people on your walk, but if you go on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday and you can’t handle saying the communal, “hi” and “beautiful day we’re having” I don’t suggest making an appearance. I won’t tell you too much about the trails now as I intend on doing separate reviews for each trail as I go on them.
Another option for you and your dog is the campground. They have traditional campgrounds for tents and RVs. They even have electrical hook ups at the campsite and a dump station and a water station separated from the campsite. They also have yurts and cabins, which cost a little extra if you bring your pooch. I’m not sure what the pricing is so you’d have to give them a call.
Their only rule with bringing your dog camping is you can’t leave it unattended. You would think this would be common sense, but some people are just stupid. I will say it’s not the most exciting of campgrounds as its kinda barren and flat, but it’s a good place to warm up if you or your dog have never been camping. Same as the trails, I won’t tell you too much about the campground because I will be doing a separate blog for it.
The staff is awesome; I can almost guarantee you will see one of the ranger or maintenance trucks drive by and they’ll probably give you a wave. They may even stop and chat with you or ask about the breed of your dog if they're feeling extra friendly that day. There is, of course, the occasional sour puss, but you’ll have those almost anywhere you go in life. What are you gonna do?
I will say the rangers can look a little scary in their get up, but don’t be intimidated! You can ask them questions about almost anything, if they aren’t too busy of course. Like what trails to go on, history of the park, what kind of wildlife they’ve seen lately or just some important rules you may need to know (which we will go over in a minute). They’ll normally give you a pretty knowledgeable answer, and if they don’t have an answer they’ll try to find one for you.
There are definitely some rules that are important to know when bringing your dog here, not only because the rangers are really on top of enforcing them, but also because they are for your dog's safety as well as your own. The main one they take super seriously is you need to keep your dog on a leash. If they catch you with your dog off leash they will give you a written warning the first time and a ticket the next time. I speak this not out of experience, but because I have heard stories… DO NOT give them any false information for the warning/ticket because they check it on the spot to make sure everything is accurate and if anything doesn’t match up it’s an instant ticket. No joke.
The leash law is not only there because it’s the law, but also for your dog’s safety. Seriously, I’m not just saying that. They frequently have coyotes and rattle snakes in the summer, they even have the occasional bobcat and the even more occasional Mountain Lion. If your dog is off leash the poor thing doesn’t stand a chance. If the animal sees that your dog is with you then it will probably just leave you guys alone. There has also been more than one heartbreaking incident of a dog off leash going in one of the creeks and getting lost in the current.
Another reason the leash law is important not only here but anywhere that’s not an off leash sight is just because your dog plays well with others doesn’t mean everyone else’s does. Laverne and I are a perfect example of that. Laverne is fine when we pass other dogs on the leash, but if a strange dog approaches her and is persistent about being her friend she will jump up into my arms or worse, could bite at the dog if she is extremely anxious (she would never actually bite a dog but she does give off warnings). So seriously people, leash your dog.
Aside form keeping them on a leash and not letting them play in the creek, the only other rule is clean up their poop. Duh. Thankfully though they have graciously scattered some bag stations throughout the park so you can just grab a few before you start your journey. Which is awesome because I always forget to grab some before I leave the house.
Overall, I love Bear Creek Lake Park because it’s a perfect close by adventure that isn’t too strenuous for Petie who is getting old and can’t handle anything too difficult. It has a bunch of different views and landscapes ranging from meh, to awesome. If you haven’t checked it out yet, go do it! Both you and your dog will enjoy it no matter the fitness level.
Senior Day Pass $5
(ages 62 or older)
General Day Pass $7
Senior Annual Pass $40
General Annual Pass $50
Camping w/ Annual Pass $15/night
Senior Camping $19/night
General Camping $20/night (Plus $10 with a pet if you are staying in the cabins or yurts.)
May – September: 6 am- 10pm
March, April, and October: 7am- 8pm
Nov – February: 8am- 6pm
15600 W Morrison Road Lakewood CO 80465