Elk Meadow/Bergen Peak
Evergreen, Colorado

What a spectacular day this was. It was a glorious Saturday morning in late September. I got out there early enough to beat the crowds, but late enough not to need arm warmers. And the aspens were pretty much peaking. Perfect.

Though Elk Meadow and Bergen Peak are all in one park and trail system, they are two distinctly different rides. Elk Meadow, which comprises the Painter's Pause and Meadow View trials, is (for the most part) mellow, gently rolling singletrack. Painter's Pause trail navigates a large open meadow and Meadow View trail climbs slightly above it, into pine and aspen.

Painter's Pause

From Painter's Pause, looking west across the meadow to Bergen Peak. Meadow View trail runs through the trees at the base of the mountain.

From Meadow View Trail, an intimate view of the meadow. Looking south.

Meadow View Trail ascending into the trees.

A riot of fall colors.

The Bergen Peak Trail is quite different beastie from all of that idyllic meadow romping. It turns it's back on such pastoral pleasures and concerns itself with switchback laden elevation gain.

Some of the payoff.

From higher up.

The view from the top. Makes 2,000 feet of climbing quite palatable. Scroll thataway~~>

Looking back down the last pitch of trail.

But even after the view payoff, there is still singletrack payoff.

Golden Carpet

Copyright Estate of Anthony Vail Sloan 2009