Bear Creek Greenbelt (Jefferson portion)
Many of Denver’s greenbelts are beautiful riparian corridors with established bike and walking paths, but none are quite as impressive as the Bear Creek Greenbelt, one of the best forested creek-lines in the metro area. You would even be forgiven for thinking you were in the eastern US while walking along it! Therefore, the potential for migrants is quite high, and a spring or fall visit could be quite productive. Summertime has fewer total species, but you could still find Great Horned and Eastern Screech Owls (at night), Bullock’s Oriole, Yellow-breasted Chat, Western Kingbird, and Lazuli Bunting, among others.
In winter, overall activity is much lower, but sparrow flocks are still around, and this would be a good place to scan through White-crowned Sparrows for one of the rarer possibilities such as Harris’s Sparrow. The greenbelt is also well connected to the trail network that criss-crosses the Denver area, so you could combine this area with several other sites reachable by bicycle if you want to make a longer day of exploring.
Directions: From US 285: exit at Kipling Pkwy. and go north to Dartmouth Ave. Head west on Dartmouth Ave.; the road will curve north and change to Kipling St. Continue north on Kipling St. to Yale Ave. Go east on Yale Ave. to Estes St. to reach the parking lot. Yale parallels the green belt on the north, and parking is along the road. At Estes St., go south to the parking lot on the east.
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Restrictions: Please obey all rules and regulations. Restrooms are open from April 15 to October 15. Respect adjacent private property
Parking: Paved parking areas and roadside parking
Lodging: Hotels in Lakewood, camping at Bear Creek Lake Park
Handicapped Access: ADA accessible facilities and trails.
» Visit the website for Bear Creek Greenbelt (Jefferson portion)