Natural Resources - The dominant features of this Open Space park are the rock outcroppings known as "The Three Sisters" and "The Brother". The outcrops are metamorphic rock of the Precambrian Era which consist largely of silver plume quartz. A trail leads to the top of "The Brother" where a commanding view of Evergreen and the surrounding valleys reward the hiker. The park is also home to many types of birds and animals. A turkey vulture, Cooper's hawk, red shafted flicker, Stellar's jay, raven and mountain bluebird have all been sighted on the park. Chipmunks, several types of squirrels, and other small wildlife also live here. The pine forest which covers most of the park shelters a wide variety of mountain plant life. History - Early settlers include the original homesteader, James T. Hester, builder of the first house and barn in 1873. A fire consumed the buildings in 1894, with traces of the ice house and potato cellar visible until recently. A portion of Alderfer/Three Sisters Park was donated by the Alderfer family. In 1945, E.J. Alderfer and his wife, Arleta, moved into the ranch house built in 1894 by George Dollison. They remodeled the house and raised silver fox and Aberdeen Angus cattle on the ranch until 1970, when pasturing of horses became the dominant use of the land. Over the years, the Alderfers also operated a sawmill and did custom haying. At one point, the Alderfers had over 1,000 acres under their control through leases and purchases in this area. The northern section of this park (including the Three Sisters Peaks) was obtained from the Spencer Wyant family, who also made a considerable gift to the Open Space legacy of Jefferson County. From 1977 to 1986, Jefferson County Open Space acquired the property (185 acres from the Alderfer Partnership, 57 acres from the Spencer Wyant family and the remaining 94 acres from the Alderfer Partnership in 1986). An additional 440 acres are leased from the State Land Board. Much of the park was donated by the E.J. Alderfer and Spencer Wyant families.
Near the heart of Evergreen, Alderfer/Three Sisters Park abounds with stunning vistas, landmark rock formations, beautiful old stands of ponderosa pine and the most trails per acre of any foothills park (nearly 15 miles on 770 acres).
Once a working ranch for cattle, horses and foxes, Alderfer/Three Sisters is now a park that offers a variety of experiences, from hikes across rolling terrain to challenging rides to the top of Evergreen Mountain. Climbers enjoy bouldering on rock formations near the south trailhead. Pads are encouraged. Fixed protection is not permitted.
“The Three Sisters” and “The Brother” are the landmarks of the terrain. Meadows burst with wildflowers in late spring/early summer. Birdlife includes turkey vultures, Cooper's hawks, red-shafted flickers, Stellar's jays, ravens and mountain bluebirds.
South Trailhead: 31677 Buffalo Park Rd., Evergreen Turn west on Buffalo Park Road from County Highway 93, just south of downtown Evergreen, and travel approximately one mile. You can also reach this trailhead by foot or bike from the Dedissee Trail, originating at the Evergreen Lakehouse.
The hike to the Three Sisters rock formations starts at the east parking lot. (Directions above) Take the Three Sisters Trail into the trees and start climbing up. Over the next half mile or so to the top, hikers climb about 250 feet from the parking lot to the formations. Along the trail, enjoy the views of the surrounding peaks and forest. There are also views of Evergreen High School and a nearby golf course. When hikers reach the spot between the Three Sisters, it's time for a challenge. It takes some rock climbing and route finding to reach the top of the formations.
|Trailhead/trail website: [Web Link]|
Whether you’re looking to rent a shelter at Pine Valley Ranch, host an event compatible with Open Space goals, or bring a large group to a park for an outing, this is your first stop. Please read the Park Permit Guidelines (pdf) to determine whether your event requires a permit. Questions? Please contact Jefferson County Open Space,firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-271-5925.
NOTE: Climbing of any sort is not allowed in the neighboring Dedisse Denver Mountain Park located NW of Three Sisters.