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    Elk Meadows Loop Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    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.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    6.4 km
    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.
    181 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Elk Meadows Loop Trail is an exciting, family-friendly adventure amongst the bulging elk. As you track the meadowland path interspersed with old-growth pine forests, you will be granted expansive views of the Front Range foothills, Denver’s cityscape, and the flora and fauna! This hike presents a wonderful excuse to escape into the wilderness.

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    Route Description for Elk Meadows Loop Trail

    The Elk Meadows Loop Trail is a scenic adventure near Denver, Colorado. This is a great option for those seeking a relaxing nature walk that can be managed by children and novice hikers alike. There is no doubt how the open space got its name, and it is because elk often dot the countryside. Be respectful of the wildlife and give them plenty of room! It is also worth noting that coyotes and mountain lions have been observed in the area, be mindful and do not approach them. The arid terrain also invites rattlesnakes, so keep an eye and ear out for them as you adventure the trails.

    The Elk Meadows Loop Trail boasts awesome views of wildlife and Colorado’s mountainous landscape. Hike through the grassy meadows, amongst the bulging elk and grazing deer. Revel in the stunning scenery and views of the cityscape as you trek the meadowland trail. If you are not crazy about exposed paths, fear not! Half of the hike travels through old-growth pine forests along the base of Bergen Peak. Near Denver and perfect for hikers of all skill levels, this adventure invites crowds on the weekend, so head out early to secure parking!

    The Elk Meadows Loop Trail departs from the Lewis Ridge Trailhead near Evergreen, Colorado. The path can be completed from either direction from the trailhead, but we recommend tracking clockwise to get the small climb over with first! If you are also going to hike clockwise, turn left and track west also the Sleepy S Trail. Shortly after you depart from the trailhead, you will meet a junction; keep right here to veer onto the Elk Ridge Trail. This path will quickly merge onto Meadow View Trail.

    The initial segment of the route traverses a pine forest as you hike along the base of Bergen Peak. Next, the path will curve you north along through the verdant terrain woodlands. Revel in the sights of the towering pines as you trek the base of Bergen Peak. From here, you will be rewarded sights of the Denver cityscape and Elk Meadows through tree breaks. Soon the route will begin to slightly descend the ridge before guiding adventurers to another intersection. Here, keep right.

    From this point, the Meadow View Trail will lead you out of the dense tree coverage and through the sparse shade. Follow this path northeast as you keep an eye out for elk and deer grazing in the fields. You will eventually pass another junction, here stay left. Soon after this intersection, you will want to turn right onto the Painter’s Pause Trail, hiking south through the exposed terrain. The meadowland route reveals sights of Bergen Peak looming above and encompassing Front Range foothills. Hike this path through the plains, all the way back to the trailhead, marking the end of your Elk Meadows Loop adventure.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are dogs permitted on the Elk Meadows Loop Trail?

    Yes, dogs are permitted on the Elk Meadows Loop Trail, but must remain on-leash as there is plenty of wildlife in the area.

    Is there a fee to enter the Elk Meadows Open Space Park?

    No, there is no charge to enter the Elk Meadows Open Space.

    Insider Hints for Elk Meadows Loop Trail

    • Grab a beer at the Evergreen Brewing Company after your walk
    • If you visit in the winter, head over to Evergreen Lake for some skating
    • When hiking in the fall, you will likely be able to hear the Elk bulge
    • This path is a popular cross country skiing area in the winter months

    Getting to the Elk Meadows Loop Trail Trailhead

    The Elk Meadows Loop Trail is accessed via the trailhead off Lewis Ridge Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


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