Elk Meadow Park

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
4.5-6.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
17.2 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
565 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.5
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Panoramic views from the Elk Meadow Park hike near Denver, Colorado

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.

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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 6.4 km. 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 1.6 km 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 4.3 km to the Meadow View Trail—back to your starting point.

Check out some other great hikes around Denver:

Insider Hints for Elk Meadow Park

  • Elk Meadow Park has over 25.7 km 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.

Getting to the Elk Meadow Park Trailhead

From Denver, take I-70 west to Evergreen. Take exit 252 and follow it South. Follow CO-70 for about 9.7 km. Make a right (west) on Stagecoach Blvd. The trailhead parking is on the right about one mile down the road.

Route Information

  • When to do

    March to November

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    Pit toilets at trailhead

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Elk Meadow Park Elevation Graph

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Elk Meadow Park Reviews

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