Saturday, February 19, 2011

Aldefer/Three Sisters: Southside Loop

Distance: 4 miles round trip
Elevation: 7, 750 ft
Elevation Gain: 789 ft
Date Hiked: 21 November, 2010
Dogs: On leash only (Jefferson County Open Space)
Tags: #jeffco, #coloradooutdoors, #hiking
Nearby Hikes: Evergreen Mountain

The 3 Sisters rock formation gives its name to this pleasant open space in Evergreen, CO
Three Sisters in Evergreen, CO is part of the Jefferson County Open Space system. Its many interlocking trails wind through open fields, Ponderosa Forest, and cool rock formations. The trails themselves are very manicured and can easily be walked in athletic shoes.

Trail map of the area showing the route profiled in this post.
Old homestead located at the west (2nd) trailhead
Starting out counter-clockwise on the Ponderosa Trail
There are lots of options on this, the southern side of Three Sisters. On the northern side is the hike to Evergreen Mountain. On this trip I started out in the west parking lot, walked the short Meadow Trail to the Silver Fox Trail and headed down the Ponderosa Trail. This trail parallels Buffalo Park Road and arrives at 1.4 miles at the eastern (1st) trailhead. From there I headed up the Sisters Trail to the saddle of the Sisters itself at 2 miles.

A rockier trail segment
Approaching the east trailhead
From the Sisters "saddle", I connected again with the Ponderosa Trail (at 2.5 miles) and walked back to the Brother's Rock (at 2.8 miles). Brother's Rock is a large out cropping with stupendous views of Mt. Evans to the west and the Evergreen High School to the south. It is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch and Christmas card photo op.

Starting up the steeper section of the Sister's Trail. Rocks abound.
A more typical trail segment, in the trees and relatively flat.
From Brother's Rock, I backtracked to the Ponderosa Trail and rather than racing back to the car, detoured on the Silver Fox Trail and Homestead Trail counter clockwise around the large rock pile at the western extent of the park before looping back to the parking area at 4.2 miles.

Pine needles on the trail. In summer they give off a pleasant aroma. 
Standing on Brother's Rock, looking at Mt Evans in the distance.
Mt. Evans
Coming back down into the meadow by the trailhead
I love this openspace in the spring and fall. The thick and fragrant trees are welcome after a long winter, and the meadow grasses turn a rusty brown in the fall.

You get to Three Sisters by taking Hwy 73 just south of Evergreen Lake and then turning right onto Buffalo Park Road.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sylvia,

Looking good out there in the wilderness. Just thought I'd say hello. I came across an old photo of you in, I think, St. Louis II and thought I'd look you up. Keep stompin on the Terra!

Doug N.