OverviewElk Meadow & Bergen Peak is a large JCOS park just outside Evergreen. It has exclusively singletrack and lots of gain, with a few tasty tech treats thrown in. It is also heavily used by locals and by trail runners. They also do occasional controlled burns in the area to keep the meadows open, so don't freak if you see burned grasses. They (obviously) close the park during this time.
The park also borders some State land and some DMP land, which add to the acreage, but not to the amount of track. There is a full-time live-in JCOS Ranger on site. Both THs have bathrooms and water facilities available, as well as picnic areas and the west TH has a "bark park" on the south side.
Trail DescriptionFrom JCOS:
Painter's Pause Lewis Ridge Rd. parking area 1 mi +260 Open meadow, average grade of 4% exposure to elements, with wetlands & view of Bergen Peak.
Meadow View Stagecoach Blvd. parking area 3.1 mi +220 Average grade of 3%, mix of meadow environment and pines. Connects to all other trails.
Sleepy S Trail junction w/ Meadow View 1.1 mi -300 Beautiful meadow view, connects parking lots, mature Ponderosa Pines.
Bergen Peak Trail junction w/ Meadow View 3.7 mi +1730 Longest trail with greatest elevation gain, continues into Colo. Div. of Wildlife & Denver Mtn. Parks properties. View of Pikes Peak, Mt. Evans and continental divide.
Elk Ridge Trail junction w/ Meadow View 0.5 mi -270 Connector trail between Sleepy S & Meadow View. Average grade of 14%.
Too Long Trail junction w/ Meadow View 2.4 mi +1220 Strenuous, numerous switchbacks, a trail with a view of the valley that
continues into Denver Mtn. Parks property.
The whole park is singletrack. Nice, beautiful dirt and sand track, with the occasional rock and root thrown in. This park is STEEP (at least to me), and some of the climbing, especially early season, is near-painful. The initial push up Bergen Peak is especially brutal and very difficult (for me) to clean. The upper sections of Bergen Peak are exceptionally fun.
Getting ThereFrom JCOS:
From I-70, exit onto Highway 74 (Exit 252) going south past Bergen Park. Continue 2.25 miles to Lewis Ridge Road turning right into the parking lot. A second access is available at Highway 74 and Stagecoach Boulevard, turn west on Stagecoach and proceed 1.25 miles to the south parking lot.
When to BikeSince the park is at elevation (9300'+ highpoint) and shaded, some spots can hold snow late into April, depending on snow. Usually bikeable from April-November/December, depending on snow. This park gets a lot of weekend and evening warrior traffic, and can be quite busy with locals. Please observe trail regulations, especially so when the park is crowded.
Links & Other infoJCOS Elk Meadow