Colorado’s Lower Bear Creek Preserve is a Magical Woodsy Paradise
Editor's Note: We spoke with the town of Telluride and received this statement in response to our article:
"The Telluride Open Space Commission is currently undergoing a revegetation and conservation project in the Lower Bear Creek preserve. The Telluride Open Space Commission is working in a concerted effort to minimize the environmental degradation of this sensitive wetland area. A piece of this effort is to minimize the online presence of this delicate area in the Lower bear Creek Preserve."
Nestled in the lush forest of Telluride, Colorado, sits a tropical escape known by locals as "Little Hawaii."
Hikers who are willing to make the 2.5-mile trek to get there are rewarded with an incredible sight, featuring cascading waterfalls and a lagoon surrounded by rocky crags.
To visit this natural wonder, start by parking at the West Pacific Street Carhenge Lot. It's free to park here. There's also additional parking along South Pine Street. Because other hikes are accessed from the same point, parking can fill up quickly during the summertime.
The hike to Little Hawaii begins at the Bear Creek trailhead, which can be found at the end of South Pine Street, in Telluride's Bear Creek Preserve. It's rated as moderate by the AllTrails app. Hikers who have visited this hidden gem say to take the Bear Creek Trail for about 20 minutes until reaching the most substantial clearing. The scenery is beautiful along the way, with aspen groves and lots of greenery.
From there, turn left.
Next, hikers will come across an obvious trailhead that leads toward the water. Follow that smaller trail to a bridge made of two logs. After crossing the log bridge, it's a short distance to the woodsy paradise. Just continue walking along the river until reaching the secluded forest oasis.
The moss-covered rocks, flowing falls, and overall gorgeousness of Little Hawaii are unlike anywhere else in Colorado.
For even more island vibes, check out some of these other Colorado destinations that have a tropical flair.