General Mountain Information: Bergen Peak Hike
Bergen Peak Trail Rating: ★★ (⅖ Stars)
Distance: 10 Miles RT
Elevation Start: 7,617 ft
Bergen Peak Summit: 9,708 ft
Total Elevation Gain: 2,100 ft
Estimated Time to Complete: 3-4 Hours RT
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate What does this mean?
Class: Class 2
Season: Year Round – Expect snow December – March
Getting Here: From I-70, take exit 252 (if coming from Denver) or 247 (if coming from the west). Continue towards downtown Evergreen on CO74/Evergreen Parkway. Follow this road for about 5 miles until you reach Bergen Peak Dr on the right. You will see signage for Elk Meadow Park about 50 yards after you turn onto this road. Be advised, there are two or three main parking areas for Elk Meadow Park. These directions assume you are parking at the Lewis Ridge trailhead. You can enter Elk Meadow Park into your favorite navigational device.
Trailhead: Lewis Ridge trailhead
Parking: Bergen Peak is accessed via Elk Meadow Park which has two main parking areas. One off Bergen Peak road (Lewis Ridge TH) and Stagecoach Blvd (Stagecoach TH). Both areas have plumbing restrooms and parking is free. In my opinion, Lewis Ridge is a bit closer to most trails but also typically more crowded.
Dogs: Like most hikes in Evergreen, Bergen Peak is dog friendly. One of my favorite parts about this hike is the amount of shade that it offers. Many hikes along the Front Range can get extremely hot in the summer because of the lack of trees. This is a long hike though, so be sure to pack some water for your dog.
Camping: Bergen Peak does not offer camping, seek other lodging if you are looking to do that.
Other Events In Area: Things to do and places to do things in Colorado: Concerts, Festivals, Events – eventsincolorado.com. The most complete calendar of things to do throughout the state of Colorado including concerts, fairs, festivals and family friendly activities
Make it a Loop: The hike to Bergen Peak can be attained by two different trails: Too Long Trail or Bergen Peak Trail, both of which form a lollipop loop if you want. Still hungry for more trail? Don’t worry, Elk Meadow Park has over 14 miles to continue hiking if you want. View the park map here.
Trail Summary: Bergen Peak is a staple of Evergreen nestled at the back of Elk Meadow Park. Although the hike is longer, it’s a good half day hike for families, beginner hikers and visitors to the area. Since it’s close to Denver, this is a nice post work or school hike during all seasons of the year. Trail conditions consist mostly of packed dirt with a small rocky scramble towards the summit.
Trail Route: – Watch died at summit, shows Too Long Trail to Bergen Peak Summit
Trail X Factors: Lack of Summit View & Bike Friendly
If you are used to hiking in Colorado, a normal summit would involve marvelous views of the landscape below. However, when you hike Bergen Peak, the summit rewards you with almost no visibility. Readers who are used to hiking in Vermont or New Hampshire might be able to relate to this. Don’t get me wrong, there aren’t NO views along the way, they are just not on the summit of Bergen Peak. Don’t want to hike all of this way for no sub-par views? No problem! Unlike most mountains in Colorado, Bergen Peak is bike friendly.
- Comfortable footwear- hiking boots not required
- Mickey’s Mountain Kit
- Water / Snack
- Optional: Hiking Poles
- Optional: Camera
Mick’s Tip: Bergen Peak is a good hike for those who live or are visiting Denver and don’t want to drive an hour plus for a longer hike. With a round trip distance of over 10 miles, secluded forest trails and decent views from the top, Bergen Peak offers a solid mountain experience without driving too far. This is a great hike in all seasons. It provides shade from the hot summer months, not terribly cold in the fall and can provide experience in snowy conditions during the winter months without an avalanche risk.
Photography Tip: In all honestly, Bergen Peak is not a great spot to take photos. There are a handful of spots as you approach the woods on the doorstep of the mountain, but the views along the way are subpar. Sure, if you have a keen eye you might be able to find something worth while, but I would leave the DSRL at home for this one.
Mick’s Trip: Bergen Peak
The summer of 2017 was a huge change of pace for me. I traded in my hiking boots for running shoes, a bike and a swim cap. Triathlon training dominated most of my free time and after I finished my race, I was excited to get back on the trail. It was about a week since finishing my first half iron and I figured Bergen Peak was a nice easy hike to get my legs back into the swing of things.
Juno and I headed up to Elk Meadow Park after work (well, I worked – Juno slept most of the day). I figured we could knock the hike out in a couple of hours and still have plenty of time to get home and cook dinner before it got too late. We hit the trail around 3:30 with the hope to be back around 6. I had been to Elk Meadow Park a handful of times, but had never hiked up to Bergen Peak.
The trail worked through the spanning open fields and eventually reached treeline towards the bottom of the hills that surrounded Bergen Peak. We hiked for a couple of hours without seeing another soul, my favorite type of hiking! After a while, the monotonous switchbacks on the aptly named, Too Long Trail got fairly annoying. Switchbacks are the norm for many hikes, but these ones seemed to gain almost no elevation on each turn up the mountain. I felt as if we had been hiking for days at this point. After way too long, we reached the final section before the summit, the Bergen Peak trail.
As we neared the summit, the clouds started to cover the surrounding land and any views that might have existed earlier, were long gone. Juno and I rounded the last turn in the woods and were greeted with spanning views down into Elk Meadow Park and Evergreen in the distance. I could make out the edge of the foothills towards the west, but could not see Denver. Judging by the lack of trail from this point, I thought for a second that this area was the summit. However, after a couple of seconds, my intuition led me further up the mountain towards a radio tower. From here, I kept walking and eventually found a small signed that marked the top of Bergen Peak. The views here were…non-existent. All I could see were trees surrounding the small summit mound. I took a glance at the incoming weather and decided to start our trek down.
On the way down, I decided to switch things up (see what I did there?) and head down the Bergen Peak trail. Big mistake. I thought that the Too Long trail was boring, well this one took the cake. The switchbacks I was so fond of on the way up, were much worse on this trail. Juno and I would walk for a quarter of a mile, make a turn in the trail and lose about 5 feet of elevation. I honestly felt that if the trail had just gone straight up the ridgeline, we would have been down in about 25 minutes instead of an hour plus.
When we finally got back down towards the trailhead, it was about 8PM and I was starving. The quick post work hike had turned into a much longer excursion. I was not too thrilled about the hike up Bergen Peak, but I was happy to have a longer trek under my belt post tri-training. Overall, Bergen Peak is not the worst in the world and certainly has its positives. However, for me, I don’t think I will be making a return trip for a while.