Panoramic views from the Elk Meadow Park hike near Denver, Colorado
Panoramic views from the Elk Meadow Park hike near Denver, Colorado

Elk Meadow Park hike

Denver
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Start of the Elk Meadow Park Hike near Denver, ColoradoTrail through the forest on the Elk Meadow Park Hike near Denver, ColoradoMeadow on the Elk Meadow Park Hike near Denver, ColoradoTrail on the Elk Meadow Park Hike near Denver, ColoradoBergen Peak summit from the Elk Meadow Park Hike near Denver, ColoradoBergen Peak views on the Elk Meadow Park Hike near Denver, ColoradoViews from the Bergen Peak on the Elk Meadow Park Hike near Denver, ColoradoDescend on the Elk Meadow Park Hike near Denver, ColoradoScenic view from the Elk Meadow Park Hike near Denver, Colorado

Elk Meadow Park hike

Distance: 17.2km
Elevation: 565m
Time: 5-7h

Difficulty Rating:

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9.3 Overall Rating
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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.

Elk Meadow Park hike Map

Getting there

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.

I’ve done this 33 people have done this
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About

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


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:

Insider Hints

  • 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.

Comments

tesssssaaa 7 months ago

Awesome way to appreciate the big mountains nearby without, y'know, having to actually climb them. This is a decent hike in itself, but not technical and very scenic. I liked it!

BoulderBound 8 months ago

Beautiful wild flowers and I can say that this is good even for beginners, not too hard. Overlooking city and mountains are just amazing.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Mary Lou 9 months ago

It was fantastic! I felt lucky to see not just one but 4 elks.

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jennyspencer 10 months ago

Make sure to bring your cameras! Lots of great photo opportunities around.

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Wyatt Thomas 2 years ago

Love Elk Meadow Park, its a great day out in the wilderness.

8.0 Overall Rating
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Lisa B 2 years ago

Elk Meadow Park hike has a bit of everything, I really enjoed this hike.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Terrynosaurus 2 years ago

Elk Meadow hike was amazing. The mountain views were just astonishing. I loved it. Makes you think how people used to hike here before all these good trails were even developed.

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7 Comments

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