Hiking Trails in Colorado | Elk Meadow Trail

Trail Information

Trail Name: Elk Meadow TrailHiking Trails in Colorado Elk Meadow

Location: Near Evergreen, Colorado

Date: August 7, 2019

Time at the Trail Head: 7:30am

Trail Length: 4.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 593 feet

Elev. at Trail Head: 7,593 feet

# of Hikers Passed: 52

# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 33

# of Horses Passed: 0

Mosquitoes: 0

Drive from Denver to Elk Meadow Trail

Driving from Denver, up through Aspen Park, Conifer and over to Evergreen is a wonderful, relaxing and absolutely beautiful drive. Make sure to take some time to enjoy the drive and be kind to everyone else who loves to visit the area.

Drive to Elk Meadow Trail

My Day on the Trail

I always use AllTrails to plan my hiking adventures and here is a map view of the trail with some great information that will help you on your trip.

AllTrails Map View of Elk Meadow

Elk Mountain is a popular destination for hikers, runners and bikers so make sure to get to the trailhead as early as possible. We arrived at 7:30 am and there were only two parking spots open. There are bathroom facilities available. The first time we hiked at Elk Meadow was in August when a lot more people are visiting Colorado. We have since hiked there twice more in September and early October and the parking lot was only a third full when we finished the hike around 2 pm.

Elk Meadow Park Trailhead

It was evident, even after hiking away from the parking lot, that this is a popular destination. To say we passed a lot of people, is an under statement. Besides the hike up to Flattop Mountain in the Rocky Mountain National Park, I have not been on a more traveled trail. However, everyone is extremely friendly and polite.

We hiked the loop counter clockwise. Even though it is beautiful from the moment you arrive, the traffic noise from the road is especially annoying as you have to listen to it for at least 1/2 mile, but eventually you start heading up towards the mountain and lose the noise.

Note: Hiking the trail counter clockwise leaves you with less traffic noise later in the hike and you have nice flat or gradual downhill walk for about 2 miles.

Hiking Trails in Colorado Elk Meadow

The views are absolutely amazing and it’s especially nice that there are places along the trail to relax and enjoy the view.

Hiking Trails in Colorado Elk Meadow

We kept meeting extremely friendly people on the hike and there are a lot of mountain bikers on this trail also but it was still a really nice hike. The views were always spectacular as you can see below.

Elk Meadow, Evergreen, Colorado

Elk Meadow, Evergreen, Colorado

Elk Meadow, Evergreen, Colorado

Elk Meadow, Evergreen, Colorado

The trail is well traveled but well maintained. The west and south parts of the trail are mostly in the woods after you leave the meadow on the east and north side. There are also several other trails and one that heads up to Bergen Peak. There are so many options to choose from and you’ll want to come back and explorer some more.

My daughter and I initially hiked this trail in August but I cam back in early October to take a few more pictures and some video. The aspens have started to change colors at this altitude. October is when they change the most, from my experience. My daughter goes to college in Gunnison, Colorado and the aspens are already bright yellow there.

Elk Meadow Trail - Aspens Changing Color

After finishing the 4-mile loop I came across this pretty setting, looking at the Elk Meadow.

Elk Meadow, Evergreen, Colorado

Trail Recommendations

Even though this is a heavily traveled trail, I highly recommend you visit the trail and the area. This is actually a great trail to start to get use to the altitude in Colorado if you are not use to it.

There are no seriously steep inclines on this section of the trail and there are plenty of places to pull up a rock or log and enjoy the beauty of Evergreen while you catch your breath.

You can hike this trail in your tennis shoes but I recommend you find some well made, waterproof hiking boots that will withstand the rocky trails here in the Rocky Mountains.

I found that I like the Oboz Bridger waterproof boots the best. There are many to choose from but for the day hikes I go on and the shape of my foot, the Oboz were my first choice.

Oboz Bridger Mid B-DRY Hiking Boot - Men's Sudan 10.5
  • O FIT Insole: Our proprietary insole is what we're known for. Molded to match the specific shape and construction of every pair we make, this purpose-designed technology delivers the kind of fit, feel and performance that's unmatched in the industry.
  • UPPER: Designed with the trail in mind, this nubuck full leather upper screams durability and protection. Featuring a molded rubber toe cap that protects your toes from trail debris and a heel counter that helps maintain a snug, Comfort heel hold over time.
  • GRANITE PEAK MIDSOLE: Great for day hiking but burly enough for a multi-day backpacking trip. Featuring a TPU Chassis boosts stability and prevents stone bruising without inhibiting flex. Single-density EVA provides cushioning and comfort.
  • GRANITE PEAK OUTSOLE: Our quintessential hiking outsole built to be supportive and protective. If you're tired of feeling rocks and roots underfoot look no further.
  • B-DRY Waterproof/Breathable: There's no denying feet sweat and trails can get muddy. There's also no denying the ability of our proprietary waterproofing system, B-DRY, lets sweat escape while keeping moisture out.

You can enjoy a video of my hike on the Elk Meadow Trail by Clicking Here.

Here’s a video with less talking and more music.

Evergreen, Colorado

The town of Evergreen is a beautiful and charming town with an old town feel on the west side of Evergeen Lake. Take some time to walk around the lake and visit some of the shops and restaurants in town.

Evergreen, Colorado

One of my favorite places to hang out in Evergreen is The Little Bear. It makes me feel like I am in a wonderful old town in Colorado…and of course I am.

The Little Bear, Evergreen, Colorado

Please leave a Comment Below or Email me if you have any questions or would like to share your experience with this area.

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Elk Meadow Trail


Scenic Drive




Mountain Views


Lake or Stream Views


Well Maintained Trails



  • Easy Access
  • Meadow Views
  • Well Maintained Trails
  • Trails to Choose From
  • Near Evergreen, Colorado


  • No Creeks or Lakes
  • Traffic Noise Near the Highway
  • Parking on the Weekend

4 thoughts on “Hiking Trails in Colorado | Elk Meadow Trail”

  1. Hiking is something I’ve heard of but never done myself. After reading this, I have now wondered if I’ll ever be able to try it out. I can imagine the trail one leaves as well as the path one takes when hiking. The first time I heard the word hiking, I was nine and saw it on a movie called “The parent trap”. 

    • Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities. You are blessed with fresh air, majestic views, plus you get some exercise at the same time.

      Take a look at the AllTrails app. They have trails all over the world and there are sure to be some in your area.


  2. I have never hiked in Colorado before but skied there a couple of times. At the time my family lived in Az so we drove there for skiing, but we never made it to Elk  mountain. Thank you for the tips, will try to get there around 7, hopefully there will be parking. How long did it take you to finish the trail? Will make sure to visit The Little Bear 🙂

    • There are many trails at Elk Meadow but the Elk Meadow loop is approximately 5 miles long and took about 3 hours, with taking time to enjoy the views, plus take pictures and videos.

      Definitely make time to visit downtown Evergreen.



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