Looking for a quick beginner hike less than an hour from Denver? I recommend Bear Creek Trail at Lair o’ the Bear Park in Idledale or Brother’s Lookout and Three Sisters Loop in Evergreen. Last weekend my pup and I went on both of these hikes, and they are perfect for someone looking for a quick and beautiful route.
On Saturday morning, we drove 28 miles to Idledale and traveled past Red Rocks and through the Rocky Mountains. Upon arriving to Lair o’ the Bear at 9:30am, we noticed it was starting to get busy. I recommend arriving before 9am to find a parking spot and to beat the crowd. Bear Creek Trail is 2 miles and runs alongside a creek.
The trail starts flat and then slowly increases in elevation leading you to the top of a mountain. We opted to go on Creekside trail as well for Onyx to cool off in. There were families with children playing in the creek, dogs swimming, and even people sifting for gems (I will have to try that out next). The weather was in the low 80’s and the sky was clear – as pictured. A beautiful day and a beautiful hike.
Overall, Bear Creek Trail at Lair o’ the Bear Park in Idledale was perfect for a morning activity that did not leave you too tired for the rest of the day.
Sunday morning, we opted for a bit longer trail in Evergreen at Brother’s Lookout and Three Sisters Loop. Evergreen is a tad further from Denver at 35 miles away. The view was stunning going up I-70 and between the mountains. Once you get off the interstate, you start driving into the mountains and head towards the small town of Evergreen. Once again, arrive early to get a parking spot or you will end up on the side of the street like us. Dogs are welcome on this trail as long as they are on a leash… which I forgot. Luckily, there is a local pet store called Koa’s in town.
Three Sisters loop is 2 miles and is a steep mile climb up rocks and dirt. We opted to head counter clockwise, so we passed Three Sisters Lookout first and then started headed back down the mountain. You are given the option to bear off the trail and head towards Brother’s Lookout. It is a 1 mile round trip and worth the beautiful view and nice breeze.
Upon, heading back down the mountain, you are once again climbing on rocks and dirt but this time gravity is there to help – and your dog is also helping pull you down. Watch out for bicycles on this trail because they are fast and hitting rocks causing them to not go on a straight path.
Overall, this 3 mile trail was an uphill climb with a slight challenge. I could feel the burn in my legs the next few days, so I recommend this to anyone wanting a short but taxing hike.
These hikes are only two of the many you can find within an hour from Denver. One of the best things about living so close to the Rocky Mountains is that I can find new hikes every weekend and see beautiful views. I wonder what hike I will go on next!