Beaver Brook Trail
Elevation: 7650 ft.
Distance One-Way: 9 miles
Uses: Hiker only. Dogs allowed on leash
Amenities: Two vault toilets and picnic tables at the beginning of the trail
In only 20 minutes from Denver you can step out of your car, down the rabbit hole and into the wilderness. This nine mile, out-and- back, natural surface trail starts at the top of Clear Creek Canyon and descends through an evergreen forest to Beaver Brook and some sunny meadows. Then the trail begins a climb back out to Lookout Mountain. The trail is not flat and it’s not wide but, it is beautiful and scenic. During daylight hours it is quiet except for the constant companion of the brook and a lone bird calling.
Beaver Brook Trail is part of Genesee Park – a Denver Mountain Park - and constructed over two years by the Colorado Mountain Club (www.cmc.org) in 1919. The first half-mile is a Braille Trail or you can also hike down a wide, dirt access road that dovetails with Beaver Brook Trail. The area is well-signed. Be prepared for a backcountry experience, no matter how far you wander. There are steps and exposed edges and a talus field at the east end. Take a well-supplied backpack and don’t count on cell phone coverage.
Most favor the first three miles or so of the west end of the trail – so six miles round trip. Be prepared for the hike out because it’s up. Dogs are permitted on leash and the brook makes water readily available. However, save your energy for the trek back up and out of the canyon floor.
Due to ice during the winter months it is not recommended that you hike the trail at that time, as it is not an inviting time of year. The trail is on the south side of the canyon and faces mostly north. However, towards the spring months the pictures of ice formations makes the trek worth it. In spring, the brook is running high, wildflowers are in bloom and soft breezes are blowing. In the summer, this shady hike is a respite from the heat. The trail winds down into the canyon bottom where there are picnic spots next to the brook.
As with most wildlife viewing, early morning or late afternoon are your best bets. Hiking with a dog or pet can make your chances of wildlife viewing generally scarce, something to consider if you like photographing critters. Remember to keep your pet on a leash for its protection, and to protect wildlife. The scenery and and the native plants in the area serve as awesome photographs and great views.
Finding the Trailhead
Trailheads 4 and 5 (There are 5 trailheads)
Access is from Exit 253, the Chief Hosa Exit on I-70 west. Make a right on Stapleton Drive, a dirt road, and drive about a mile. There are two parking lots. The first one on the left, about ¼ mile from the trail, has a rustic restroom and is also the winter parking lot, as further along the road is closed in the winter. The second lot is at the end of Stapleton Drive at the trail itself. Maps are available online and at the Lookout Mountain Nature Center.