General Trail Information: Beaver Brook Watershed
Beaver Brook Watershed Rating: ★★ (⅖ Stars)
Distance: 4.83 miles RT (from North Side), Under 2 Miles RT from Squaw Pass Rd
Elevation Start: 8,939 ft
Total Elevation Gain: 900 ft (almost all of this is on the way back from the Beaver Brook Reservoir)
Upper Beaver Brook Reservoir Elevation: 8,497 ft
Estimated Time to Complete: 2-3 hours RT from North side, 30 minutes to 1 hour from Squaw Pass
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate What does this mean?
Class: Class 1
Season: Year Round (Expect snow November – April)
Trailhead: Pat Creek Road
Getting Here: There are two different ways to hike to the Beaver Brook Reservoir: the Beaver Brook Watershed trail and from Squaw Pass. This post will focus on the Beaver Brook Watershed trail, but I will go back and update in the future for the Squaw Pass approach which is much shorter. From I-70, take exit 247 and head to Beaver Brook Canyon Road (right off the highway if coming from the west, left off the highway if coming from Denver). Follow this for about 3 miles until you turn bear right to stay on Beaver Brook Canyon Road, the road will turn into dirt. Continue on for another 2.8 miles until you reach a small parking area just before Pat Creek Road. You can either park here or continue past Pat Creek Road for a small pull-off area on the side of the road. To locate the TH, head down Pat Creek Road for a couple hundred yards and you will see a gated trail on the left. This is where the Beaver Brook Watershed trail starts.
Parking: The Beaver Brook Watershed trail has a few different spots to park: the official lot along Beaver Brook Canyon Road and along the road closer to the TH. The official lot is about 500 yards from the start of the trail near Pat Creek road. If you want to park at the “unofficial” area, there is a small pull-off on the side of Beaver Brook Canyon Road that can fit about 5 cars. The official lot can fit about 10 cars. If you want an even shorter hike to the reservoir, you can park off Squaw Pass Road and hike in under 1.5 miles RT. The Beaver Brook Watershed hike does see moderate traffic, but nothing like most trails in the area. Neither parking area has a bathroom, but both are free.
Dogs: The Beaver Brook Watershed trail is a dog friendly hike and a great one to take your dog on.
Camping: Unfortunately, there is no camping allowed on the Beaver Brook Watershed trail.
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Make it a Loop: The Beaver Brook Watershed is an out and back hike with option to walk around the reservoir if you want.
Trail Summary: The Beaver Brook Watershed trail is an out and back trail located near Evergreen, Colorado. This is a dog friendly, family friendly hike that is suitable for hikers of all levels. This hike is great for weekends, weekdays and can be hiked year round. Unlike many hiking trails, the Beaver Brook Watershed starts at the highest elevation of the hike and works down to the reservoir. Trail conditions are almost exclusively sand and dirt as the majority of the hike is up an old 4WD road.
Trail Route: Includes a bit of hiking around the lake
Trail X Factors: Start High, Hike Low
When you think of hiking, a stereotypical hike starts low and goes to a higher elevation. However, the Beaver Brook Watershed trail starts high and works down to the reservoir. This means that your hike to the reservoir is much more leisurely than the walk back to the car. The elevation gain is not steep or terribly taxing, but worth mentioning.
- Mickey’s Mountain Kit
- Water / Snack
- Optional: Hiking Poles
- Optional: Camera
I am going to level with you, I don’t have a tip for this hike.
The Beaver Brook Watershed hike provides a slice of nature without driving terribly far into the mountains. In the fall, this hike provides good views of the leaves changing and throughout the year, offers nice landscape photo opportunities. Once at the reservoir, its a peaceful spot to enjoy the water with a backdrop of some smaller mountains in the area. This is a spot where you can see dear, elk, eagles and other wildlife that call Evergreen home.
Mick’s Trip: Beaver Brook Watershed Hike
A few months prior to hiking the Beaver Brook Watershed hike, Jackie had told me about a hike close to us that went to a lake. Always looking for new trails, especially ones that were close to us, I was all on board to try this bad boy out. We drove up to the TH and as we got out of the car, a thunderstorm quickly dashed all hopes we had of hiking that day. Fast forward a few months, we were back at the Beaver Brook Watershed hike for round 2.
It was mid September and 90% of Colorado had entered the delusional, “I must see the leaves” phase of fall. I-70 was packed and so were most of the popular hiking spots in the high country. When Jackie and I arrived to the parking area of the Beaver Brook Watershed trail, we were the only car there: sounded like a perfect hike! Juno completed our hiking group and all three of us hit the trail around 12:30PM on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
The first portion of the trail worked through a rural neighborhood, but the houses were quickly left behind and we entered a massive field that went all the way back to a large basin in the area. It was a beautiful scene and there was not another person in sight. The trail continued to follow an old 4WD road that was clearly made to service a natural gas pipeline in the area. Signage for the pipeline was present throughout this hike. After we worked up a small hill, we entered a massive open space and caught our first glimpses of the reservoir. The trail continued to slowly work down the hills that surrounded the valley below and we eventually reached the upper Beaver Brook Reservoir about an hour into hour hike.
At the reservoir, there were a few other groups of people but it still felt like a very peaceful spot. We realized that instead of hiking in from the north, we could have parked at Squaw Pass Road and hiked to the reservoir from there as well. We enjoyed the large body of water for a little bit, but eventually made our way back up the hill and to the car. The total hiking time for the Beaver Brook Watershed trail was about 2 hours. Although it was not a “great” hike, this quick trip offered a serene piece of nature, mountain views and the ability to see the emerging fall foliage without battling hours of traffic or hoards of “fallorado” people. The Beaver Brook Watershed hike is a great spot to immerse yourself in nature without making a multi hour drive in the mountains, regardless of the season. I would recommend this spot during all seasons of the year and will most likely make a return trip, possibly from the Squaw Pass side.