Meadowview>Founders>Painters Pause>Sleepy "S">Loop
Elk Meadow Park
Date Hiked: Oct. 3, 2012
- Distance: 5.1 mi (RT)
- Elevation Gain: 1,500ft
- Elevation Min/Max: 7,543 to 8,099ft
- Managing Agency: Jefferson County Open Space
- Fee: None
Meadowview>Founders>Painters Pause>Sleep "S" Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions: From Denver take I-70 west to Evergreen Parkway. Head south on Evergreen Parkway (74) to Stagecoach Blvd. Turn right (west) and take Stagecoach Blvd to the main parking area.
This loop is the main attraction in Elk Meadow Park and hits all the different environments from the pine and aspen forest to the open meadows it rolls its way across the fields and skirts the lower edges of Bergen Peak. From the main parking area start out heading north on the Meadow Trail through pine forest with views of Elk Meadow. After .3 miles you'll come to a trail junction, I like hiking the loop in a counterclockwise direction so turn left onto the Meadowview Trail. The Meadowview Trail weaves in and out of pine forest and meadow with the occasional aspen grove along the way. Pass by the turn off for the Bergen Peak Trail and the turn off for the Elk Ridge Trail and continue along the side of the mountain until you reach the Founders Trail junction. If you want to add 1.1 miles to the hike you can stay on the Meadowview Trail and the Painter's Pause Trail, otherwise, turn right onto the Founders Trail.
The Founders Trail crosses the open meadow with great views of Bergen Peak and Elk Meadow. When you reach the Painter's Pause Trail turn right and head south paralleling Evergreen Parkway. From here the Sleepy "S" Trail takes you back to the west and south and back into the forest to meet up with the Meadow Trail and the start of the loop. Follow the Meadow Trail back to the parking area.
This is a wonderful hike and for a 5 miles hike it is pretty simple. If you want a bigger adventure in Elk Meadows Park, try the Bergen Peak/Too Long Trail, your legs will curse you...