Bear Creek Regional Park is a unique multi-use space: located entirely within the city of Colorado Springs, yet its facilities and operations are run by El Paso County. Bear Creek was named for the creek that runs through its grounds.
The creek is an important tributary of the South Platte River, and dogs and humans alike can cool off in its crystal-clear waters during the warm summer months. This 845-acre park provides more than a few recreational opportunities to visitors, including unique facilities like an archery range, a horse skills course, and arguably one of the best dog parks in the city for your furry friends to visit.
Among the most popular activities at Bear Creek Regional Park are the miles and miles of multi-use trails available for visitors to explore. Wander the rolling foothills in sight of Pikes Peak and stop to smell the wildflowers in the springtime. You’ll find a few treasures along the way, including a few sculptures and art installations that have become a permanent fixture of these trails.
Archery Range – Test out your skills with the bow and arrow at Bear Creek’s archery range, located directly behind the tennis courts. This state-of-the-art county facility is open to the public year-round to give everyone the opportunity to polish their aim. The range features large wooden safety walls to keep the community surrounding it safe from flying arrows. Be sure to bring your own equipment, as the archery range does not offer its own rentals.
Biking – Those that take pleasure in biking through the varied terrain of the park will be pleased to find a number of trails, which are perfect for an easy cycle or a tougher mountain bike course.
Hiking – The most popular recreation at Bear Creek are the scenic hiking trails that criss cross the vast open space. If you’re having trouble selecting a trail for yourself, the friendly faces at the Nature Center are always happy to assist you in finding one that suits your difficulty level.
Horseback Riding and Equestrian Skills Course – Dogs aren’t the only furry friend to be allowed at this park–Bear Creek Regional is a popular destination for horseback riders who are looking for a new trail to explore. The park also features an Equestrian Skills Course, which is perfect for getting your horses’ feet wet with some of the obstacles that trail riding can offer as well as agility courses.
Other Amenities – The park also features a number of playgrounds, an abundance of wide-open play fields, two tennis courts, and will soon have pickleball courts installed. There are plenty of pavilions to sit underneath and have picnics, but contact the park if you’re looking to reserve a pavilion for a birthday party or other outdoor event.
Bear Creek Dog Park
If your furry friend likes to run wild, they will fall in love with the huge, 25-acre grounds of this off-leash dog park. It’s no coincidence that Bear Creek Dog Park is the most visited dog park in the area, hosting close to a hundred thousand human and canine visitors each year.
Not only can your pups play in the waters of Bear Creek, there is also an agility course to whip them into their best shape. Not a fan of letting your small or senior dog around the rowdy dog park crowd? A small, 2-acre park is set aside in order to keep these vulnerable pups safe from the bigger dogs.
After you’re done tuckering your dog out, there’s a small area to wash off all the mud they’ve accumulated during their playtime. There’s also water fountains to ensure they can cool off after a rowdy day.
Bear Creek Nature Center
Those that are interested in learning more about the flora and fauna that inhabits Bear Creek Regional Park will benefit from a stop at the Bear Creek Nature Center, located near the west entrance of the park. The Nature Center was the first of its kind to open in the state in 1976 and has thrived ever since.
It hosts special events and interpretive programs for children and adults alike. Two miles of nature trails surround the nature center, exclusively for foot traffic, and these trails give visitors a quick overview of the beauty that spans this giant park.
Charmaine Nymann Community Garden
One of the oldest community gardens in Colorado Springs, the Charmaine Nymann Community Garden is a perfect place for apartment-bound locals to set up their own plot for growing organic vegetables. This area has a long history of farming going back as early as 1900, and the Bear Creek Garden Association has made an effort to keep the soil as healthy and happy as it was in those early days.
There are two entrances to Bear Creek Regional Park–one from the east, and one from the west.
From the east: If you’re heading down I-25, the east entrance will be most easily accessible. Exit at Cimarron Street/Hwy 24 and head west for about 3 miles. Turn left onto 21st Street and the park will be on your right, just over the large hill. The dog park will be the first right turn after the hill, but keep going further for the main entrance on Argus Street.
From the west: Take Hwy 24 east towards Colorado Springs and make a right onto South 26th Street. Follow this road for about 1.5 miles–it will eventually turn into Bear Creek Road. The park will be on your right and follow the road signs to park near the Bear Creek Nature Center.
Address: 2002 Creek Crossing St, Colorado Springs, CO 80905, United States
Season: Year round