MTB Project Logo

black Elk Meadow & Bergen Peak Loop

  4.1 ( 57 )

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store


10.7 mile 17.2 kilometer loop


Ascent: 2,088' 637 m
Descent: -2,087' -636 m
High: 9,660' 2,944 m
Low: 7,595' 2,315 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Marcel Slootheer

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store


Getting forecast...

Current trail conditions

Minor Issues 11 days ago See History
Muddy, Snowy, Icy - The north side of the trail still have some snow and ice on it. Hopefully be completely dry next week.

Popular rides nearby

Biked this trail?

Add details to help others plan their adventure.

A ride leading to the top of Bergen Peak with a loop that uses the best trails for the way down.

Marcel Slootheer

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-


This ride is around 11 miles total with just over 2000ft of uphill and fun downhill.

This is one of the best routes to get to the top of Bergen Peak and back, using the most fun & technical sections of trail to get to the top and the longest way down. This route avoids the easier and wide Founders and Painters Pause trails, and instead uses better singletrack for the last section.

It's best to ride this area during the week as Elk Meadow gets very busy during the weekend when the weather is nice, or start early to avoid crowds, especially on the downhills.

This ride is for people that like technical trail with rocks, roots, waterbars, etc.
It gets pretty icy after snow gets packed down in the winter, best in the Spring and Fall. A good full suspension mountain bike with a dropper seat-post is nice to have for this more technical ride.

Need to Know

The last section to the top of Bergen Peak is out and back.

There are quite a few blind turns on the way down, be aware of other users that you might encounter.


There are 2 official parking lots at Elk Meadow, park in the lower lot to finish with a downhill.

Ride up the Sleepy "S" Trail all the way up. Turn right at the T junction, onto the Meadow View Trail. (left goes to the upper parking lot). Then, turn sharp left onto the Bergen Peak Trail, this is where the ride becomes much harder. It's like a puzzle of technical features, one after the other while climbing; rocks, roots, waterbar turns, etc. There will be failed attempts to clear some of these, some dismounts and walking, etc.

This section continues all the way to a T junction, where a left turn is the out & back to the top of Bergen Peak. Take a left and go to the top - there is more technical stuff up there but it's worth it. There are a few aspen groves, which look great during the fall season, and good views at the top. Take a break and enjoy the moment.

Commence with the best part of this ride: an almost continuous downhill all the way back to the parking lot. There are only a few short uphill sections and lots of technical downhill. This is where a dropper seat-post comes in really handy. Again, this technical trail, not for everyone.

Start back down the 'out & back' portion of the Bergen Peak trail, but take a left (almost straight) onto Too Long trail. After a short rise, there will be a long downhill section with lots of fun features that will last for miles. This will finally meet up again with the Meadow Trail, turn right (a left turn leads to the easy/wide way back to the parking lot - not as good). There will be some short uphill sections on the Meadow Trail.

At the next intersection, turn left onto the Elk Ridge Trail. This short section is fun on the way down with rocks & waterbars to hop off. This leads back to the Sleep "S" trail. Turn left to coast back to the parking lot.


Rate This Featured Ride

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Ride

Check In


Sep 29, 2018
Nathan Yang
First ride of the season. The climb murdered me! 10.7mi
Sep 23, 2018
Mason R
Sep 15, 2018
TC Sides
Sep 9, 2018
Blake Calvert
9.6mi — 1h 36m
Aug 18, 2018
Jason Zerbe
Jun 25, 2018
Chris Moors
Jun 15, 2018
Kevin Oconnell
Jun 10, 2018
Rich Purdy

Stewarded By

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 57 votes


  4.1 from 57 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in Colorado


98 Views Last Month
11,374 Since Oct 6, 2014
Difficult Difficult

Daniel Schoon
Denver, CO
Daniel Schoon   Denver, CO
Snow on the Bergen peak but still rideable Oct 31, 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
Damien Gonsman
Damien Gonsman   Evergreen
Like the description says, this is full of rocks and roots and a pretty steady climb to the top. The downhill (in either direction) doesn't flow that well because of the many switchbacks, rocky sections and hikers (even on weekdays). The climb is challenging and fun, but the downhill sections aren't the greatest, especially if you like linking up many turns on a speedy decent. Sep 7, 2018

MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter