Experience Bow Mar, Colorado: Authentic Living and Outdoor Fun


Known for its natural beauty and scenic views of the Front Range, Bow Mar Colorado offers visitors a taste of authentic Colorado living, complete with outdoor recreation, local arts and culture, and a friendly community vibe.

Bow Mar Colorado is located in Arapahoe County, within the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. Arapahoe County is a prominent county in Colorado, housing numerous municipalities and unincorporated areas within the Denver metropolitan region.


  • Bow Mar is located just ~20 minutes west of Downtown Denver in the foothills above US Highway 285.
  • The town is home to just under 1,000 residents and retains a quaint, small-town atmosphere.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy Bow Mar's hiking trails and parks, which are in proximity to ski resorts.
  • Historic landmarks, community events, galleries, and local eateries shape the town's cultural landscape.
  • Bow Mar provides easy access to Denver while allowing visitors to immerse themselves in colorful Colorado mountain living.

Alluring Mountain Setting

Tucked into a valley carved out by Turkey Creek, Bow Mar lies at an elevation nearing 7,000 feet above sea level. The creek itself begins high up in the Arapaho National Forest and the Roosevelt National Forest, fed by mountain snowmelt. Surrounded completely by these protected green spaces, the tiny 0.4 square mile town enjoys sweeping scenic views.

To the west lie the dramatic peaks of the Front Range of the Southern Rocky Mountains. Iconic summits like Mount Evans, Grays Peak, Torreys Peak, and Mount Bierstadt punctuate the horizon. The eastern views showcase the high plains leading towards Denver, with panoramas extending 100 miles on clear days. The result is a picture-perfect Colorado scene showcasing the best of both the mountains and the plains.

Adding to the visual intrigue of Bow Mar’s setting are the dramatic rock formations carved out by Turkey Creek over millennia. Striated sandstone cliffs tower over 150 feet above the valley floor in places, creating a stunning backdrop for the town. These natural sandstone amphitheaters provide the atmosphere for community events and performances during warmer months.

Outdoor Recreation in Abundance

Bow Mar’s enviable location facilitates endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Arapaho National Forest and Roosevelt National Forest surrounding the town feature over 1,100 miles of hiking trails catering to all ability levels. Many trailheads lie just minutes from downtown Bow Mar, granting access to both short nature walks and multi-day backpacking routes.

In winter months, Bow Mar serves as an ideal base for accessing top ski resorts like Vail, Breckenridge, Winter Park, Loveland, and Arapahoe Basin. Each resort stays open from mid-November through April, depending on conditions, with Loveland and A-Basin often stretching into June. Bow Mar sees plentiful snowfall, allowing for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding within town limits during winter.

Closer to home, Bow Mar maintains several parks for residents and visitors to enjoy. Turkey Creek Open Space protects riparian habitats and wetlands along the creek, home to diverse wildlife. Well-marked trails cater to birdwatchers, providing views of species like Belted Kingfishers, American Dippers, and Blue Herons. Meanwhile, Hilldale Park offers playground equipment next to open grassy areas perfect for picnics, frisbee, or simply soaking up the sun.

Bow Mar Lake offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water-based activities for residents of the Bow Mar neighborhood. As a private lake, access to Bow Mar Lake is typically restricted to residents and their guests. The lake is not open to the general public. So if you are looking to become a resident and searching for homes for sale in Bow Mar, you may want to look for single family homes in this area.

Arts and Culture Anchored in History

As one of Colorado’s oldest settlements, Bow Mar enjoys a rich cultural heritage dating back to the late 19th century. Historic buildings within town limits hold status in the National Register of Historic Places, including the Bow Mar Town Hall and the Bow Mar Store and Post Office. Both sites now operate as community centers, hosting events and meetings that bolster civic engagement.

The town also takes pride in its Summer Arts Series, which has been held annually since the late 1990s. Musicians, theatrical troupes, painters, poets, and other artists converge to showcase their talents against the backdrop of Bow Mar’s sandstone amphitheaters. The event draws talent and attendees from across Colorado to experience the arts while appreciating Bow Mar’s inimitable mountain culture.

In addition to performance arts, Bow Mar also supports visual artists with galleries interspersed throughout downtown. Visitors can browse an array of fine art photography, pottery, jewelry, textiles, sculpture, and paintings from local creators. The galleries rotate exhibits regularly, ensuring fresh perspectives on display.

Beyond the arts, several community events round out Bow Mar’s cultural calendar. The town celebrates Arbor Day each April by planting trees while educating residents on the importance of green spaces. The annual 4th of July festivities include a parade, a talent show, and fireworks that light up the Turkey Creek valley. Locals also come together for a harvest festival each October with family-friendly activities like pie-eating contests and pumpkin decorating.

Farm-Fresh Dining Destinations

The local food movement thrives in Bow Mar, with restaurants proudly sourcing ingredients from regional purveyors. Sit-down eateries in town emphasize fresh, seasonal offerings driven by the availability of produce, meat, and dairy from neighboring farms. Several establishments maintain their own vegetable gardens as well, incorporating homegrown organic greens and herbs into menus.

In addition to restaurants, Bow Mar also hosts a vibrant farmers’ market each Sunday during the summer months. Local farmers and artisans sell organic produce, fresh baked goods, honey, eggs, flowers, and other homemade items. The market provides opportunities to connect directly with food producers while gathering ingredients to prepare farm-to-table meals.

For visitors interested in the complete farm-to-fork experience, activities like berry picking beckon as well. Choose-your-own fruit farms open their gates to the public in June and July, allowing guests to fill baskets with ripe strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and other bounty. The fresh flavor can’t be beaten, especially when supplemented with ice cream and baked goods from other Bow Mar purveyors.

Planning a Visit to Remember

While beautiful at any time of year, Bow Mar sees its peak tourism in summer and early fall when the weather reaches optimal temperatures for outdoor exploration. Daily highs range from 65°F to 80°F during June through September, ideal for hiking, biking, water recreation, and patio dining. Late September offers a colorful display of fall foliage combined with crisp air and smaller crowds.

Visitors can choose from a selection of short-term rentals found throughout the town’s residential neighborhoods. Options include standalone cabins, private basement apartments, and rooms within local homes. For a true small-town experience, consider staying at the Historic Bow Mar Lodge Bed and Breakfast. Built in 1937 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the lodge provides cozy accommodations just off Main Street.

Transportation around Bow Mar requires a vehicle, as public transit options are non-existent. However, the small town’s size makes key attractions easily accessible once they arrive. Visitors flying into Denver can reach Bow Mar in 30 minutes by rental car. Keep in mind that winter months occasionally bring heavy snow, making tire chains advisable for accessing mountain roads and ski resorts.

No matter the season, Bow Mar promises opportunities to immerse in authentic Colorado living. The town balances convenience of location near Denver with endless natural beauty waiting to be explored. Visitors find community connection through local arts and culinary culture rooted in history and sustainable agriculture. With such four-season appeal, Bow Mar guarantees memorable escapes for solo travelers, couples, and families alike.


What is there to do in Bow Mar?

Outdoor recreational activities like hiking, biking, fishing, and snow sports top the list, along with cultural offerings like galleries, summer arts events, historical sites, and community festivals. Bow Mar also provides easy access to attractions in nearby cities like Denver and Boulder.

When is the best time to visit Bow Mar?

Summer and early fall (June through September) see peak visitation with warm weather that is perfect for being outside. Winter offers snow sports and holiday charm. Spring brings moderate temperatures, wildflowers, and reduced crowds.

Where should visitors stay when in Bow Mar?

Accommodation options include short-term home and cabin rentals available throughout town. For a historical experience, book a room at the Historic Bow Mar Lodge Bed and Breakfast located downtown.

What is the weather like in Bow Mar?

Bow Mar sees all four seasons. Summers range from 65-80°F while winters average highs of 40°F and lows of 15°F. Snowfall accumulates over 60 inches on average each winter.

How do people get around Bow Mar?

As a small town, Bow Mar has no public transportation. Visitors require a private vehicle to access attractions in town and the surrounding areas. Main Street and residential neighborhoods stay highly walkable when weather permits.


About the author

Ransom Patterson

My expertise in Colorado life extends beyond just residing here; it’s also about living actively within the community. I spend my time cycling through Denver’s trails, experimenting with local cuisines, and immersing myself in the local music scene. These activities give me a unique perspective on the cultural and outdoor offerings of Colorado. This hands-on approach allows me to provide insider tips and personal recommendations that resonate with both locals and visitors alike.