Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Bear Creek Canyon area - Jefferson County
Aliases: Idledale, Little Park, Lair o' the Bear Park
Ownership: None Listed
Description: A good stretch of scenic Bear Creek Canyon is part of Bear Creek Canyon Park, accessible from Morrison Road (Highway 74). Check road signs for park boundaries and access. The river has dipper and a small riparian corridor, and the cliffs can produce Canyon Wren. Montane shrubland up the slopes should be good for a towhee or two.

Idledale, just upstream along Bear Creek, has some beautiful riparian habitat right in town. Little Park, along the highway on the west end of town, provides access to the stream and some large cottonwoods. The part of the park upslope across the river contains good mixed-conifer forest (mostly Douglas-fir).

Lair o' the Bear Park is contiguous with Little Park and connected to it by foot trail. Its parking lot is about a mile upstream along the highway. Schedule a nice big chunk of time here, because this is about as good as foothills riparian can get! Lair o' the Bear could probably rival Gregory Canyon if it got as much coverage. Look for American Dipper, Cedar Waxwing, Gray Catbird, Yellow-breasted Chat, MacGillivray's Warbler and American and Lesser Goldfinches here, as well as spring and fall migrants. You might stumble upon a pygmy-owl in winter.

Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Stream, Ponderosa Forest, Mountain Meadow, Foothill Shrub, Cliff Face, Mixed Conifer Forest
Directions: From C-470, take the Morrison Road exit and follow that road west through the town of Morrison. Bear Creek Canyon Park begins soon after you leave the town. The rest of these areas are along the highway within a stretch of a few miles.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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