Elk Meadow/Bergen Peak Loop

 24 votes
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Featured Ride
Trail

8.1 Miles 13.1 Kilometers


90%

Singletrack

1,720' 524 m

Ascent

-1,721' -525 m

Descent

9,226' 2,812 m

High

7,557' 2,303 m

Low

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

All Clear

49 days agoUpdate

A loop around Elk Meadow Park with great climbs, downhill, and views.

Michael Lloyd

Overview

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.

Description

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.

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3.9 from 24 votes


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Check-Ins

Sep 26, 2016
René Steenv
5mi — 5h 00m
Sep 25, 2016
Derek Sakamoto
9.1mi — 2h 04m
Sep 18, 2016
Jeff Bartosik
Sep 4, 2016
Paul Scherzer
Aug 21, 2016
Don Marchand
Aug 7, 2016
Wesley Showers
Jul 12, 2016
Josh Je
Pretty sweet ride, awesome descent but brutal climb. Descent was worth it though, fun technical features mixed in with fast flowy sections. 12mi — 2h 15m
Jun 25, 2016
Mark Sandusky

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Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 24 votes

#212

Overall
  3.9 from 24 votes
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Rankings

#47

in Colorado

#212

Overall
303 Views Last Month
12,557 Since Jul 28, 2013
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Conditions


All Clear 49 days ago

Forecasting the weather...

I have a couple tweaks to make this ride more fun. The ride does not include most of Meadow View Trail, which is one of the most beautiful sections that I always make sure I hit. Instead of taking the left at the Bergen Peak Trail, go straight on Meadow View to add 1.4 miles of easy single track, and then left on Too Long Trail and grind up to the top. You can take Bergen Peak Trail back down to Meadow View, and what the hell, go left and do it again because it was so damn good. If you have the time and legs, go down and back up Elk Ridge Trail when you go by it. Why not? It’s a short ride and great both ways (8.5 miles doesn’t scratch the itch for me). I often avoid Painter’s Pause because of the highway noise, but if you haven’t checked out, go for it! It should be about 14 miles and 2,600' with those additions, and you can call it a workout. May 7, 2015


Whoever recently did trail maintenance on the downhill section of "Too Long", is no friend of bikers, they over dug everywhere water is supposed to cross the trail… Jul 29, 2016


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