Elk Meadow/Bergen Peak Loop

Consensus:    (details)
  3.8 from 23 votes
blueBlack  Intermediate/Difficult from 15 votes
Rank: #1 in the Elk Meadow Park area
#43 in CO, #177 Overall
Views: 11,020. Last 30 days: 570
Condition Details | Update
Jun 22 Green - Dry
Featured Ride in the area near Kittredge,
“A loop around Elk Meadow Park with great climbs, downhill, and views.”
Michael Lloyd on Jul 28, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
8.113.1 milesKilometers 1,720’524 m Ascent 9,226’2,812 m High 8% Avg Grade (5°)
90% Singletrack -1,721’-525 m Descent 7,557’2,303 m Low 26% Max Grade (15°)
2:33 average time for 8.4 miles. Details

This loop begins climbing gradually on well maintained, fairly smooth trails and then goes into a sustained climb through the forest with several technical, rocky sections. Then it goes into a fast downhill with more rocky sections and several tight switchbacks. Once out of the forest, it is a fast, flowing trail through the meadow and back to the trailhead.
Need To Know
Elk Meadow Park has two parking lots. Park at the lower one so you'll not have to end the ride on a climb back to your car.
Head out from the parking lot and take a left onto Sleepy "S" Trail. This trail is wide and well maintained with a few roots as it winds through ponderosa pines and provides great views of the meadow. This trail leads to Meadow View Trail where you'll take a right.

Note: When headed up Sleepy "S" Trail towards Meadow View Trail there is a cutoff, Elk Ridge Trail. That trail is a much more technical climb so I would not advise taking it though it appears shorter on a map.

Once at Meadow View Trail, it is a quick, gradually graded ride to the turnoff for Bergen Peak Trail. Bergen Peak Trail is a sustained climb with several technical sections containing large rocks. The trail has great tree cover, so most of the climb will at least be shaded.

Once at the top of the loop, there will be a turnoff where Bergen Peak Trail continues up to the actual peak. This section is not very bike accessible but there are great views, so if you are up for a hike and bike, go for it. Otherwise, the fun downhill begins with the Too Long Trail.

Too Long Trail has many switchbacks with fast flowing sections between them. There are more technical sections on the way down with big rocks (though peculiarly a different, more crumbly rock than on Bergen Peak Trail).

Too Long Trail dumps out onto Meadow View Trail where you'll want to take a left. Meadow View Trail quickly exits the forest and rides along the edge of the meadow with a fast and flowing track that contains some fun bumps and berms.

.4 miles down the trail, there will be a sharp turnoff to the right onto Founders Trail which is a short connecting trail to Painter's Pause Trail. Be careful with your speed turning onto Painter's Pause because it is a graveled path that can occasionally have a suddenly loose spot and you don't want to slide out. Painter's Pause takes you back to the parking lot with just a short turn back onto Sleepy "S" Trail.
View in 3D
5.0 (2)
Meyer Ranch is a great route for a summer or fall loop through the trees.
near Indian Hills, CO
5.0 (1)
near Golden, CO
4.9 (7)
A life-changing 485 mile ride on the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango.
near Roxborough Park, CO

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PHOTOS of Elk Meadow/Bergen Peak Loop
  4.0 from 4 votes
Fall = good color on the Too Long Trail (Kittredge, CO)
  3.3 from 4 votes
Painter's Pause Trail is wide and slightly graveled. Be careful of hiker... (Kittredge, CO)
  3.0 from 3 votes
A ride along the meadow on wide, smooth singletrack (Kittredge, CO)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Typical of the technical boulders found on the ascent and descent (Kittredge, CO)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Looking back up the trail. Rocky sections lead to smooth and fast dirt (Kittredge, CO)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Great pano looking down at the meadow (Kittredge, CO)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Out into the meadow on a fast, wide trail with a view of Bergen Peak. (Kittredge, CO)
  2.7 from 3 votes
Great views (Kittredge, CO)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Once lower on the trail, many of the big rocks go away, leaving a wide s... (Kittredge, CO)