Bergen Peak in Jefferson County Open Space is approximately 30 minutes from Denver. Its elevation of 9,708 feet provides a good view of Mount Evans to the west, as well as the Front Range. Due to its proximity to Denver, it makes for a nice post-work or after-school hike during all seasons.
Take exit 252 from I-70 if you’re coming from Denver, or 247 if you’re coming from the west. Continue towards downtown Evergreen on CO74/Evergreen Parkway. For about 5 miles, follow this road until you reach Bergen Peak Dr on the right. There will be signage for Elk Meadow Park about 50 yards after you turn onto this road. Bergen Peak can be accessed from Elk Meadow Park, which has two parking areas. The first is off Bergen Peak Road and the second is off Stagecoach Boulevard. There are toilets at both locations, and parking is free. While Lewis Ridge is closer to many trails, it also tends to be crowded. Most of the trail is packed dirt, with some small rocky sections towards the summit. The hike is accessible all year because it rarely sees snow, even in the winter.
Bergen Peak does not require any permits or fees for hiking. Furthermore, the park does not have any restrictions regarding its hours of operation. Moreover, it does not offer camping; you should seek out other lodging options if you wish to do so. Bergen Peak is dog-friendly like most hikes in Evergreen, CO
. Because of the lack of trees along the Front Range, hiking in the summer can get very hot. Even though this is a long hike, it makes for a great half-day hike for families, beginners, and visitors to the area, just make sure to pack some water for you and your dog. On the trail to Bergen’s summit, which comes up from the east, then circles around to the north and finally up the western side of Bergen Peak, there is at least one spot where there is a view off to the north of Longs Peak and the peaks of both the Indian Peaks and James Peak Wilderness areas. When on the trails you are likely to see other hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. Hikers should yield to the equestrians, and bikers should yield to both hikers and those on horseback, although as a matter of courtesy, hikers should yield to bikers who are coming uphill.
The trail is well-maintained and well-marked, yet climbs nearly to 10,000′. It’s the perfect start to the Colorado Rockies Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge, giving low-landers a chance to acclimatize and prepare for the higher elevations to come. If you are used to hiking in Colorado, a normal summit would involve marvelous views of the landscape below. However, when you hike Bergen Peak, the summit rewards you with almost no visibility. To be exact, there aren’t any views along the way, they are just not on the summit of Bergen Peak. Unlike most mountains in Colorado, Bergen Peak is bike-friendly.
Bergen Peak is a good hike for those who live in Evergreen
or are visiting Denver and don’t want to drive an hour plus for a longer hike. With a round trip distance of over 10 miles, secluded forest trails, and decent views from the top, Bergen Peak offers a solid mountain experience without driving too far.
This is a great hike in all seasons. It provides shade from the hot summer months, is not cold in the fall, and can provide experience in snowy conditions during the winter months without an avalanche risk.