Colorado parks - Lair o' the Bear Park history

Because Lair o' the Bear Park in Colorado is one of Colleen’s favorite parks, she invited me to join her for an evening hike. We met at the Conoco station located at the Morrison exit on highway C-470 at 6:00 pm.

Lair o' the Bear Park

The entrance to Lair o' the Bear Park began our beautiful journey into Bear Creek Canyon. The park was originally a 560 acre ranch called Mountain Nook Ranch. It was owned by John Albin Johnson and his wife, Mathilda after they emigrated from Sweden in 1902. On one side of the park’s parking lot, fireplace remnants, lilac bushes, and cherry trees are all that remain of the Johnsons’ four-bedroom ranch house.

After a fascinating history, the last owners, Mountain Air Corporation, sold the property to Jefferson County Open Space in 1987. The corporation’s members named it Lair o' the Bear Park. The name came from the student union at the University of California Berkeley whose mascot is a bear.

Lair o' the Bear Park Coll push ups

Colleen is doing pushups on one of several picnic tables to warm up while I took photos. We each had a half frozen water bottle with a Kup Kollar (cup sleeve) on it to keep our water cold while we enjoyed our adventures!

Lair o' the Bear Park fisherman

We saw several fishermen heading home along the trail. This fellow was still trying to catch a big one!