Algae growth closing swimming at Bear Creek Lake Park

Published on August 27, 2020

Harmful levels of blue-green algae at Big Soda Lake in Bear Creek Lake Park, 15600 W. Morrison Road, required its closure to swimming today. Personal paddle craft devices and rentals of paddleboats, canoes, sail boats and kayaks from Rocky Mountain Paddleboard are currently available, but paddlers must have no contact with the water.  

Blue-green algae, a type of bacteria called cyanobacteria, is normally present in bodies of water such as Big Soda Lake and is commonly found in Colorado. This type of bacteria thrives in warm, nutrient-rich water. Excessive growth of the algae can occur during summer months, and certain varieties of blue-green algae can produce toxins that are linked to illness in humans and animals.

“The health and safety of our staff and visitors is a top priority at Bear Creek Lake Park,” said Regional Park Supervisor Drew Sprafke. “Working with the state, we have closely monitored the water quality in the last few weeks, first closing down Bear Creek Reservoir in the park due to algae last week and now Big Soda Lake.”

As a result of degrading water quality and low water levels, staff does not expect that Big Soda Lake will reopen to swimming this year. Bear Creek Lake Park’s Big Soda Lake typically closes for the season after Labor Day weekend.

Visitors are welcome to continue to enjoy the rest of the regional park from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. including the swim beach for shoreline use only, park amenities, picnic shelters, playgrounds and the campground. 

 For more details on park activities and restrictions, visit or call 303-697-6159.