Elk Meadow Park hike
Walk through the meadows and forests of Evergreen. Hike to the top of Bergen Peak. Capture beautiful views of the neighboring 14ers, the city below and hopefully see an elk or two. It’s a great escape into nature.
From Denver, take I-70 west to Evergreen. Take exit 252 and follow it South. Follow CO-70 for about 9.7km. Make a right (west) on Stagecoach Blvd. The trailhead parking is on the right about one mile down the road.
|When to do|
March to November
Pit toilets at trailhead
Yes - On Leash
Elk Meadow Park
Route Description for Elk Meadow Park
Of all the parks and trails in Evergreen, Elk Meadow is the best, boasting views overlooking the city and the surrounding mountains. There are also a variety of trails within the park to choose from to keep everyone happy: a steep climb to the top of Bergen peak, or an easy stroll around the meadow.
There are many ways to hike to the top of Bergen Peak, but to get the most of this park, hike around the open meadow, climb the switchbacks through the thick pine trees and on to the spiral trail that reaches the top of Bergen Peak.
From the parking lot, head north, following the trail toward the restrooms. Pass by the restrooms and shortly after you’ll get to the first intersection. Take a right, onto Sleepy S Trail. This flat section takes you through the lower part of the park and opens onto the meadow where you might catch herds of grazing elk or deer.
Staying right on Sleepy S (past the Elk Ridge Trail) you’ll hike east to the second parking lot and then take Painter’s Pause Trail to Founders Trail. Founders Trail takes you back west and into the forest where you’ll turn left onto Meadow View Trail and then left again onto Too Long Trail. This trail is aptly named and you will climb in elevation for about 6.4km. Amongst the switchbacks, catch glimpses of the town of Evergreen, Evergreen Lake and gaze at the wild flowers lining the trail.
The trail evens out and you’ll find the turn off for Bergen Peak Trail, the summit of the mountain. Take the Bergen Peak trail split. This 1.6km trail includes a couple of switchbacks and then you’ll spiral around to the summit.
Once you come down from Bergen Peak trail, to complete the full loop, turn right—staying on Bergen Peak Trail for about 4.3km to the Meadow View Trail—back to your starting point.
Check out some other great hikes around Denver:
Elk Meadow Park has over 25.7km of trails. If you’re looking for a shorter hike, stick to the Sleepy S Loop.
Spend some time in the quaint city of Evergreen. During the winter, enjoy outdoor ice-skating at Evergreen Lake.
Another great hike not far is the Alderfer Three Sisters Open Space Park.
If you bring your family, you can take advantage of the picnic tables and barbeque rings in the park.
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