Revisiting Bergen Peak

Back in late November of 2018, I hiked up to the summit of Bergen Peak within Elk Meadow Park and was thoroughly amazed by the remarkable view while still being so close to Denver. With that in the back of my mind, I decided to head back up that way to Evergreen and see how both the trail conditions were and if I would be lucky enough to see some elk and other cool wildlife too.

Here are some quick details about my hike up that afternoon:

Date of Hike: March 21st, 2019

Miles Hiked: 9 Miles

Trail Conditions: Partially muddy at lower elevations with a snow covered path closer to the summit.

Shortly after I started up the trail, probably about no more than five minutes into my hike, I happened to observe a coyote hunting for food and pouncing in the open meadow. From that moment on, I knew that I was going to indeed have a splendid afternoon.

Looking back east.

In shaded areas, the trail was still snow covered but not icy at all. It was more in the way of being slush turning to mud. On the contrary, the areas that were able to get enough sun throughout the course of the day had become muddy.

Slushy trail through the woods.
Further on in the mud.

Once I got about halfway to the summit, I started to see more people descending. It was starting to get later in the day but that didn’t really bother me much because I figured that if worst came to worst, I would just do a little bit of trail running back down to the trailhead before it started to get really dark.

Further towards the top, the snow was still at least 2 feet deep in most places. However, a trench had already been dug out and frequently traveled leading the to the summit for some more breathtaking views.

That feeling of being on top of the world!
Looking south in the vicinity towards Pikes Peak.
Looking west towards Mount Evans. Can’t wait to hike to the summit here in a few months!
Another view looking towards the northwest.

Around 5pm that afternoon, I reached the summit. I stayed for about 5 to 10 minutes just taking it all in and being thankful for it all. The way back to the trail head was rather uneventful as I saw very few people with it being a week night.

But all that changed when I was probably about a tenth of a mile from my car. Much to my surprise, a large herd of elk had stopped traffic in both directions while they began to emerge from across the road and walk into the meadow.

Right as I got my camera out with the little bit of sunlight that was left, I took a picture and got the dreaded insufficient memory on card message. It just wasn’t meant to be that day and that’s completely alright. I’ll get some good pictures of them at some point!

Author: David Higham

Spending time in nature calms my soul.

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