OverviewThis loop route combines the Wild Iris Loop, Evergreen Mountain Trail West, the Summit Trail and Evergreen Mountain Trail East to reach the summit of Evergreen Mountain with minimal backtracking. The hike entails plenty of diversity in a short distance, starting with open meadow, spending the bulk of the hike in deep woods and finishing with a rocky summit scramble.
Approximate mileage: 5.5
Approximate elevation gain: 1,100 feet
Getting ThereTo access Alderfer/Three Sisters Park, travel south of Evergreen, Colorado on Highway 73.
Evergreen Mountain can be summitted from the east parking lot off buffalo Park Road. However, the route described starts from the west parking area at Buffalo Park Road and LeMasters Road.
To reach the west parking lot, turn west on Buffalo Park Road, approximately 1.5 miles (passing the east parking lot at mile 1). Turn right into the west parking lot (see historic ranch house and barn) at LeMasters Road.
The west parking area has pit toilets and picnic facilities. A park directory board provides a good overview of the entire park and, unless they are all taken, handy paper map brochures.
- From the west parking lot, begin walking due south on a gravel trail.
- Carefully cross Buffalo Park Road.
- Turn right/west on the Wild Iris Loop trail (0.3 mile).
- Upon reaching the Evergreen Mountain Trail West, turn right/southwest.
- Travel one mile to the well-signed junction with Summit Trail.
- Head uphill on the Summit Trail for 0.6 mile.
- The next trail junction is for a 0.2 mile Scenic View spur.
- Less than 0.1 mile past the Scenic View spur the Summit Trail splits into a sub-loop. Clock-wise or counter-clockwise is hiker's choice; either option reaches the summit.
- After approximately a half mile of hiking, reach the summit of Evergreen Mountain (8536 ft).
- To return to the trailhead, continue around the upper loop of Summit Trail. Follow Summit Trail downhill for 0.6 mile to the E/W Evergreen Mountain Trail junction.
- Turn right/southeast and take the Evergreen Mountain Trail East downhill for 1.5 miles.
- Stay north at the "Neighborhood Access" junction.
- At under one mile, turn left/west on Ranch View Trail.
- Follow Ranch View Trail for 0.4 mile, crossing the access road to Evergreen Heights private housing development.
- Look carefully across the road for the trail to continue uphill.
- Rejoin the Wild Iris Loop, turning right/west.
- Remain on Wild Iris Loop for 0.2 mile to Buffalo Park Road.
- Carefully head north across the road to the parking area.
- Comfortable hiking boots (light hikers or even tennis shoes will do in the summer. Winter snows demand heavier leather boots with waterproofing.)
- Trekking poles.
- Plenty of water.
- Wind and rain protection.
- Snacks for the summit.
- A camera.