Evergreen, Colorado is known for outdoor recreation as well as small-town charm. You can find a variety of hiking trails and beautiful views within minutes of Main Street. The summer months draw many outdoor enthusiasts for hiking, biking, and lake activities. Plus, there are many trails and activities open year-round.
The town of Evergreen is home to some of the best trail systems in Colorado. In addition to local trails, you have quick access to outdoor activities in Denver as well as the high elevations of the Rocky Mountains.
Check out some of our favorite parks and trails below.
Located just 5 minutes from the Alpen Way Chalet, this park has a huge variety of trails for all types of visitors. The land served as a ranch and homestead in the late 1800s. It is named after the Alderfer family who had hay, cattle, and logging operations before it became a park operated by Jefferson County Open Space.
There are 16.1 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Most areas are dog friendly and during warm weather, you will likely see other hikers on the well-maintained trails. The Evergreen Mountain East, Wild Iris, and Three Sisters Loop is considered one of the more difficult options at 7.1 miles long. Whereas Brother’s Lookout and Three Sisters Trail are great options for children or those looking for an easier hike.
Expect to see impressive rock formations, large ponderosa pines, and beautiful views at the park. It’s a great location for bird watchers who report everything from Robins and Swallows to Bald Eagles and Owls among other wildlife.
A little further from downtown Evergreen, but worth the scenic drive is Maxwell Falls. As the name implies, beautiful waterfalls are tucked into the rock formations along the trail. There are three options for hikers to access the falls.
- Upper Maxwell Falls Trail: This trailhead is closer to Conifer, the town south of Evergreen. It is an easy 1-mile hike round trip to the main attraction.
- Cliff Trail Loop: This loop is about 3 miles long starting at the upper trailhead. It passes by the waterfalls as well as some high rock formations with outstanding views.
- Lower Maxwell Falls Trail: This trailhead is off Brook Forest Road in Evergreen. It is a 4-mile hike in and back that follows the creek to the falls.
The condition of the falls will vary depending on the time of year. A lot of spring runoff can create a beautiful cascade of water through the rocks and several creek crossings, while there can be very little water after a dry summer. Be aware that the trail goes by the waterfall but to get close you will need to scramble down some rocks, and parking can be limited at the trailheads.
Another large park with 14.7 miles of trail and diverse options for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, Elk Meadow is a local favorite. The name of the open space park is appropriate as large herds of elk are frequently spotted grazing in the meadow. While the parking and trails are right next to Hwy 74 just north of downtown, visitors still experience beautiful landscapes and diverse vegetation.
More experienced hikers will enjoy the Bergen Peak Trail which covers a 2,100-foot elevation gain and ends with phenomenal views of Denver and the plains below. Joggers or families might prefer Meadow View Trail or Painter’s Pause which meander through the meadow with gentle inclines.
The trail system connects with Buchanan Recreation Center and Bergen Park which are great stopping points for picnics, playgrounds, and additional activities.
This 420-acre park is small compared to the others, but it packs plenty of outdoor activities for all types of visitors and shouldn’t be overlooked. The main attraction is Evergreen Lake. Steps from downtown Evergreen, this lake has boating, paddle boarding, and fishing in the summer as well as ice skating and ice fishing in the winter.
The Evergreen Lake Trail is an easy 1.3-mile loop that includes bridges and boardwalks over the marsh for spectacular bird watching. The Evergreen Golf Course is located within the park and it’s common for golfers to pause their game to allow for elk and deer crossing. Bicycles are permitted on the Dedisse Trail which is accessed next to Upper Bear Creek Road. And those looking for a challenge can take the trail all the way to the Alderfer/Three Sisters Park mentioned above.
Ready to check out the hiking trails in and around Evergreen?
The Alpen Way Chalet is conveniently located in the heart of Evergreen, Colorado. Each park listed above is less than a 10-minute drive from our lodge and Dedisse Park is within walking distance. Plus, this list only scratches the surface of the hiking and biking trails nearby.
Those looking to take a short stroll can walk out the door to our lawn and sit by the creek or continue down the road to Main Street. Visitors who are interested in driving a little further away can check out Mestaa’?hehe Pass (formerly called Squaw Pass). This scenic winding road is part of the Mount Evans Byway and offers outstanding views as well as access to 14,130-foot-tall Mount Evans.
Another option is to head down Bear Creek Canyon where you will pass by O’Fallan Park, Corwina Park, and Lair o’ The Bear Park. This drive has stunning canyon views and ends up in Morrison, Colorado which is home to the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
It is important to be prepared when planning your hiking or biking trip. The weather in the Colorado mountains can be unpredictable and change quickly. Always bring water and check the local rules and regulations before venturing out.
We welcome you to the beautiful trails in Evergreen and love to share tips and advice with our guests. Plan your next visit at the Alpen Way Chalet and we look forward to hearing about your favorite trails.
Contact us today for reservations.