If you’re unacquainted with the west Denver suburb of Lakewood, you might assume that it’s an unlikely vacation spot. The typical national chain hotels and motels that comprise the majority of Lakewood lodging choices give it the unfortunate appearance of most metropolitan areas, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a surprisingly adventurous option for vacationing in Lakewood: yurt rentals at Bear Creek Lake Park.
Situated at the junction of Morrison Road and County Highway 470, Bear Creek Lake Park is a 2,600 acre wildlife playground that spans nearly three miles adjacent to the Bear Creek Greenbelt, a Front Range recreation destination that is just minutes from downtown Denver. The park is populated with animal inhabitants including coyotes, deer, migratory birds and marine life, making it an idyllic place to find quiet respite from the din of city life.
Book a night or two in a park yurt and you’ll also have the opportunity to pursue your favorite outdoor pastime from sunup to sundown, whether that activity is hiking, horseback riding, archery, bicycling, fishing or just paddling around on the lake.
Experience the Civilized Side of Camping in a Yurt
If sleeping on the cold hard ground in a camping tent isn’t your idea of relaxation, a yurt rental at Bear Creek Lake Park is a perfect choice when you want to enjoy the outdoors in a comfortable, warm setting. Although these round structures are made with heavy, tent-like canvas fabric, you’ll find that the 14-foot diameter living space with tall ceilings and basic furniture offers more civilized accommodations than a typical camping tent.
Each park yurt features skylights, two single bunk beds, four chairs, a table and an outdoor lounging deck with barbecue grill, fire ring and picnic table. In order to bring you closer to a true camping experience, you’ll have to haul your own cooking water and bring a lantern for night-time lighting, but the yurts are adjacent to the Indian Paintbrush campground where you’ll find water spigots and public restrooms with hot showers.
Yurt rentals at Bear Creek Lake Park are also a frugal lodging choice when your budget is tight. Not only can you rent one between April 1 and October 31 for just $40 a night (good for up to four adults), but you’ll also have easy access to greater Denver and the Front Range communities of Morrison and Golden. Advance reservations can be made by 303-697-6159 or stopping by the park visitor center.
Nature Comes to Your Doorstep
Bear Creek Lake Park is a great place to envision what the Front Range prairie lands were like before civilization set in. When staying overnight in a park yurt, you’ll awaken to expansive sunrise views of rolling grasslands that stretch as far east as the eye can see. Walk outside your doorstep and you’ll have access to many recreational opportunities available throughout the day.
Within the park itself, you’ll find connections to the Bear Creek Greenbelt, a multi-use path that connects the park to the nearby quaint mountain community of Morrison, located less than five miles away.
During your walk, take a minute to stop and enjoy the interpretive displays that provide a rich experience about the lives of native inhabitants, early settlers and wildlife. The park’s 15-mile walking, biking and riding trail system also leads to two different lakes where anglers and human-powered watercraft lovers can be found on any sunny afternoon.
A horseback ride along the park’s off-road trails can also bring you closer to the Old West, but don’t worry; you don’t need your own pony to get there. The park has on-site horse stables where you can rent horses for a simple hour-long trail ride, afternoon birthday party or other special event. Summertime hay rides and day camps for kids are other fun ways to enjoy this convenient retreat from city life.
Be sure to book your stable reservation at the same time you reserve your park yurt to ensure a horse is ready when you arrive. Then, saddle up and get ready to enjoy an afternoon trail ride back through time!
If You Go
Bear Creek Lake County Park Yurt Rental Information http://www.lakewood.org/comres/page.cfm?ID=645
15600 West Morrison Road
Bear Creek Stables http://www.bearcreekranchcolorado.com/stable.htm
Rene Agredano enjoys sharing travel tips about Colorado – her favorite state in the U.S. – when she’s not at her mountaintop cabin retreat in Red Feather Lakes, she’s RVing around America writing from the road.
Header photo of the lake by Rick Pawela.
Yurt photo courtesy of Bear Creek Lake Park.
Photo of the fisherman by Robin Kanouse.
Photo of the horseback riders courtesy of Bear Creek Stables.