One of my favorite places near Denver to escape the heat on a summer afternoon and still get in a hike is Evergreen. Alderfer/Three Sisters Park has 15 miles of trails, rocks to climb and great views. While hiking here, I’ve always created loops that involved the park’s namesakes, the Three Sisters rock formations. This time I decided to cross the main road in the park.
The trails on the south side of the park lead to the top of Evergreen Mountain at about 8,500 feet. The mountain has several viewpoints including a scenic view.
The hike starts in the main parking lot on Buffalo Park Road (directions below). Grab a map and cross the road to the Wild Iris Trail. You’ll want a map because there`are several trails on the south side of the park so you can create your own loops.
The Wild Iris Trail skirts a small meadow. We took it around the meadow and into the trees to the Evergreen Mountain West Trail. At the trail’s intersection is a bench for watching wildlife and the watching people going by.
The Evergreen Mountain West Trail takes hikers through the forest on a trail with a gradual climb. You’ll pass a sign for the demonstration forest. The area has been thinned to promote a healthy forest.
At the trail junction for the Evergreen Mountain West and East Trails, keep climbing, now on the Summit Trail. At the top, the Summit Trail loops around the top of the mountain. There are nice views and rocks to climb on. We even spotted a fox and several deer along the loop. As always, never get close to wildlife. Take a photo and keep moving, you don’t want them to get too familiar with humans.
As you finish the loop, don’t miss the Scenic View Trail. It’s just a short walk, but the viewpoint offers great views of Evergreen and the surrounding mountains. You may even see the snow-capped peak of Mount Evans, one of the state’s popular 14ers. (Peaks over 14,000-feet high.)
On the way back down, you can return on the Evergreen Mountain West Trail or if you have time, take the Evergreen Mountain East Trail for something different.
Details: Taking the Wild Iris to Evergreen Mountain West and the Summit Trails is about 4.6 miles with 700 feet of elevation gain. Taking the Evergreen Mountain East Trail back down creates a loop of about 5.5 miles.
- From I-7-, take the Evergreen Parkway/Highway 74 to downtown Evergreen
- Turn south on Highway 73 for a short distance, then turn right/west on Buffalo Park Road
- Drive approximately 1.5 miles to the second parking lot next to a large barn