Bergen Peak, Elk Meadow Park, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado
Bergen Peak - 9.4 miles
Elk Meadow Park
|Round-Trip Length:||9.4 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||7,813' - 9,708' (9,708' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+1,895' net elevation gain (+2,079' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Bergen Peak - 9.4 Miles Round-Trip
Bergen Peak is accessible from Elk Meadow Park Trailhead on Stagecoach Road, 6.7 miles from I-70 in Evergreen. The Meadow Creek and Bergen Peak trails form a 4.7 mile route to the summit, highlighted by diverse forests and abundant wildlife. While views are somewhat limited, visitors will enjoy good trail maintenance and an excellent chance to see deer and elk along the way.
You can vary the return by taking the Too Long Trail, which sees lighter use:
The Meadow Creek Trail heads north to the Sleepy S Trail split (.3 miles : 7,868’), and through a sloping ponderosa forest with viewing lanes into the upper meadows.
The Meadow Creek Trail reaches the Bergen Peak Trail at .95 miles (8,022’), where you’ll begin appreciably steeper switchbacks to the Denver Mountain Parks Boundary (1.3 miles : 8,167’).
Steady climbing leads through dense lodgepole columns (2.0 miles : 8,415’) to a more open ridge with partial views of western and southern peaks (2.5 miles : 8,720’).
The trail crosses into the Bergen Peak Wildlife Management Area (3.0 miles : 9,007’), where it steepens and straightens through a ponderosa park. Variously steep and moderate intervals lead back into thick lodgepole, joined by aspen and fir as you progress. Look for porcupine and grouse in this montane transition zone.
The trail reaches the Too Long Trail split (3.58 miles : 9,207’), which to this point offers a comparable but less crowded route to the summit. They merge and continue as the Bergen Peak Trail on winding switchbacks through mixed conifer and aspen. Note large blocks of quartz scattered about these hillsides.
The trail moderates and wraps to an east-facing outcrop just below the summit, where it all but fades amid rock and root. This is a fine stopping point, but it’s not the summit.
To reach the summit, turn uphill past the radio tower and follow a faint but intuitive path to the Bergen Peak sign (4.7 miles : 9,708’). The rather anonymous summit is in sight of the radio tower and ringed by thick timber, limiting views and room to explore.
Head back down to the outcrop for better views, and consider returning by the Too Long Trail for additional perspective across Elk Meadow Park.
- N39 39.279 W105 21.986 — 0.0 miles : Elk Meadow Park Trailhead
- N39 39.418 W105 21.742 — .3 miles : Meadow Creek Trail - Sleepy S Trail split
- N39 39.603 W105 22.306 — .95 miles : Meadow Creek Trail - Bergen Peak Trail split
- N39 39.654 W105 22.489 — 1.5 miles : Steep, winding climb into Ponderosa forest
- N39 39.593 W105 22.611 — 2.0 miles : Moderate climb through dense lodgepole
- N39 39.543 W105 22.832 — 2.5 miles : Timber opens on ridge
- N39 39.592 W105 23.307 — 3.0 miles : Bergen Pk Wildlife Mgt Area Boundary
- N39 39.971 W105 23.483 — 3.58 miles : Bergen Peak Trail - Too Long Trail split
- N39 40.005 W105 23.609 — 4.0 miles : Winding climb through diverse forest
- N39 39.966 W105 23.707 — 4.7 miles : Bergen Peak summit (9,708')
- These are popular multiuse trails that see heavy weekend traffic. Arrive early to secure parking and avoid crowds.
- Hunting is permitted in areas accessed by these trails. Be mindful of hunters in-season, and make your presence know.
- Elk Meadow Park was homesteaded from 1869 - the early 1900s. By 1945, Darst Buchanan had acquired many of the original 160 acre government-granted plots and consolidated them into a 1140 acre ranch. The land passed hands again in 1949, and by 1977, Open Space began acquiring parcels for public use.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs must be leashed at all times.
- Camping is not permitted in Elk Meadow Park
Directions to Trailhead
The Elk Meadow Park Trailhead is located 6.7 miles from I-70 in Evergreen, CO. From I-70, take the Evergreen Parkway exit (#252) and continue on Evergreen Parkway (Hwy 74) 5.5 miles to Stagecoach Boulevard. Turn right on Stagecoach and continue 1.2 miles to the trailhead on the right.
Jefferson County Open Space
700 Jefferson County Pkwy, #100
Golden, CO 80401 - 6018