Elk Meadow Park Colorado Hike Review

General Mountain Information: Elk Meadow Park

Elk Meadow Park: ★★ (⅖ Stars)

Distance: Various – view full trail map here 

Elevation Start: 7,617 ft

Highest Point of Elk Meadow Park: 9,708 ft

Total Elevation Gain: Various, depends on trail. On average, less than 500 ft per hike

Estimated Time to Complete: 1-4 hours RT (depends on hike) 

Difficulty: Walk in the Park – Moderate What does this mean?

Class: Class 1/2

Season: Year Round – Expect snow/ice November – March

Check the Weather Forecast

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.

If you want to go to a slightly less crowded traihead, you can park at Stagecoach trailhead. Follow the same instructions above, but instead of turning onto Bergen Peak Dr, continue past this road for about a half mile to Stagecoach Blvd. Take a right here and drive up for about a mile to reach the signed parking area on your right.

Trailhead: Lewis Ridge/Stagecoach 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. Stagecoach is typically less crowded, but involves more walking to get to some of the trails to the north of the park. 

Dogs: Like most hikes in Evergreen, Elk Meadow Park 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. On weekends, especially during the summer, Elk Meadow Park can get very crowded which means lots of other dogs. If your dog is not a “people” or “dog” person, you may want to get here earlier in the day or later in the evening. 

Camping: Elk Meadow Park 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.comThe most complete calendar of things to do throughout the state of Colorado including concerts, fairs, festivals and family friendly activities

Make it a Loop: Don’t worry, Elk Meadow Park has over 14 miles to hike all different kinds of loops.  View the park map here.

Trail Summary: Elk Meadow Park is one of the staples  of Evergreen nestled right off highway 74 as your drive towards the center of town. Elk Meadow Park, is a good location 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 of Bergen Peak. Elk Meadow Park does see a heavy amount of mountain bikers, especially on the weekend. 

Trail Route: – Shows my hike up Bergen Peak, but there are many other shorter loops in the park. 

Trail X Factors: Weekend Crowds & Bikes

Like many hikes near Denver, Elk Meadow Park can get very crowded on weekends throughout the year. Some of these crowds also happen to be mountain bikers. While neither of these factors makes going to Elk Meadow a deal breaker, they can have a negative experience on your trip. To avoid crowds, try heading to the park during the week or early on weekends (before 10AM). There are usually mountain bikers at Elk Meadow Park throughout the week, but after a snowstorm or during winter months (December – March), there tend to be less bikes here.

Gear Needed:

  • Comfortable footwear- hiking boots not required unless there is snow or ice on the ground. 
  • Mickey’s Mountain Kit
  • Water / Snack
  • Optional: Hiking Poles
  • Optional: Camera

Mick’s Tip: If you plan on visiting Elk Meadow Park on the weekend, I would highly recommend parking at Stagecoach TH and getting there early. Like many parks near Denver, this one can get very busy on weekends. Full lots are a thing to expect. However, I frequent Elk Meadow Park during the week to walk Juno and there is far less traffic. If you can, try to hike here on weekdays. 

Photography Tip: In all honestly, Elk Meadow Park is not a great spot to take photos. There are a handful of spots as you approach the woods on the doorstep of Bergen Peak, but the views along most of the other trails 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: Elk Meadow Park

November 2017

I visit Elk Meadow Park on a weekly basis to walk Juno. I am going to skip the trip summary for this hike. If you have any questions about Elk Meadow Park, please feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me on social media, I would be happy to assist! Enjoy some pictures of the park below. 

Bergen Peak Hike Review
Juno eager to go!

Bergen Peak Hike Review

Bergen Peak Hike Review
If you have these views, you are heading up to Bergen Peak, the highest point in the park.

 

Bergen Peak Hike Review
The trail winding through the forest towards the top of the mountain.
Bergen Peak Hike Review
Storm clouds rolling in and sun setting.
Bergen Peak Hike Review
Beautiful golden hour lighting up the fields of Elk Meadow Park.

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