DIRECTIONS: This hike starts at the Buchanan Ponds Recreation Center across Evergreen Parkway from Elk Meadow Park. From I-70 exit onto Evergreen Parkway and head south. Turn left (east) into the Buchanan Ponds Rec Center and park close to the western pond and the trailhead.
The Noble Meadow Loop is located on the northern end of Elk Meadow Park. The quickest access to the Noble Meadow / Painter's Pause Loop is by starting at Buchanan Ponds and following the trail under Evergreen Parkway. Starting from this end avoids the very busy weekend crowds at the Elk Meadows parking lots and provides an easy 1.4 mi loop trail.
From the trailhead at the western most Buchanan Pond, follow the wide gravel Painter's Pause Trail under Evergreen Parkway. The views on the west side of the parkway are beautiful as Bergen Peak frames the valley leading up towards Mt. Evans. You may be able to see Squaw Mountain, but Mt. Evans prefers to remain hidden under the horizon.
The Painter's Pause Trail then intersects with the Noble Meadow trail as it heads west along the valley eventually topping out on on a low hill will views up-valley. The trail then heads back to the east where you can see most of the park. As you return towards Evergreen Parkway you'll intersect with the Painter's Pause trail where there is a pleasant stone gazebo for relaxing. Continue back on the Painter's Pause Trail through a small pine grove and rejoin the trail heading under Evergreen Parkway and back to the parking area.
This trail is wonderful for small children (those that demand to be carried after .4 miles...) and accesses the other trails in the park. From here you can take the Painter's Pause trail to the south and hook up with every other trail making for long trail combinations. This area is newly developed as a part of the Elk Meadows trail system and is a pleasant and easy way to form a quick loop through the Elk Meadows Open Space.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Noble Meadow Loop
Elk Meadow Park
Date Hiked: June 9, 2017
Distance: 1.4 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 200 ft
Elevation Min/Max: 7,709 to 7,879 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 39º 41' 04" N; 105º 21' 53" W
Managing Agency: Jefferson County Open Space