Things to Do in Evergreen Colorado: Big Adventure in a Small Town

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There is nothing more Colorado than an escape to the mountains. And while many Colorado mountain towns are best done on an overnight trip, the small town is just a few miles west of Denver. We’ve spent many day trips discovering all the adventures and things to do in Evergreen Colorado.

paddleboards and kayaks on Lake Evergreen, a favorite activity in Evergreen Colorado
Lake Evergreen is one of the more popular things to do in Evergreen Colorado in both the summer and winter months.

Things to Do in Evergreen Colorado

The 45-minute drive from Denver (and about an hour from Boulder) makes Evergreen Colorado the perfect day trip for some outdoor adventures.

Evergreen Lake

Evergreen Lake is the highlight of the town. In the summer months, you can’t miss the colorful SUPs, kayaks, and paddleboats that dot Evergreen Lake as you come into town. 

There is so much to do, it’s easy to spend the entire day at this mountain lake. 

There is no swimming allowed in the lake, but there are plenty of other ways to get out and enjoy the water:

Rent a canoe, paddle boat, kayak, or SUP 

Rentals are by the hour, and life jackets are required (also available for rent). Check the website for rental hours and rates.

Fish for Rainbow Trout

Fishing is one of our favorite get-outside activities, and Evergreen Lake is the perfect setting to bring the kids out to see what they can catch. A Colorado fishing license is required.

Take a stroll around the lake

Walk the (mostly paved) 1.3-mile path around the lake and watch people fishing and paddling on the lake. As you reach the back of the lake, you’ll come to the dam and Bear Creek – a perfect spot for pictures and to dip toes into the water.

Evergreen Colorado Dam on the Lake
Statues and carvings around found by the dam at Evergreen Lake, Colorado

Picnic by the lake

Grab a lake-side picnic table or set up lunch on the lawn. Note that charcoal grills are not allowed. 

Catch a summer concert at the lake

A free concert series on Wednesday nights on the lawn of the lake house. Follow them on Facebook for the schedule and other updates.

Evergreen Lake in the Winter

Visiting in the winter? One of our favorite unique Colorado experiences is winter on Evergreen Lake. The adventure continues in the snowy months when the lake turns into the world’s largest Zamboni-groomed outdoor ice rink. Admission is only $7, and skate rentals are available in the Evergreen Lake House. Lessons and food are also available on-site.

Check out another one of our favorite Colorado winter activities at the Ice Castles in Dillon!

Ice Skating on Evergreen Lake is one of the most popular things to do in Evergreen Colorado
Cold-weather adventures: Ice skate on Evergreen Lake in the winter months

Hiking in Evergreen Colorado

Those looking for a little more adventure than the path around the lake can hit one of the nearby hiking trails. Check out these three favorite Evergreen CO hikes found a short drive from downtown:

Easy Hiking Trails

Explore the 4 mile Elk Meadow Trail South Loop, rated easy for its relatively low elevation change (less than 600 feet). 

Moderate Trails for Hiking in Evergreen Colorado

The Maxwell Falls Lower Trail is a 4.2-mile moderate trail for something a little more challenging. The waterfalls on this trail make it a popular hike, so get there early to avoid the crowds.

Most Difficult Hiking Trails

If you want to make a day of it on an extra challenging trail, hike the 8.8 mile Bergen Peak Trail

The Best Evergreen Colorado Restaurants

River Front Dining

We followed the path around Evergreen Lake, down the river, and under the bridge to find shops and restaurants lining the river. And that’s where we found the perfect outdoor patio for lunch at Cactus Jack’s Saloon & Grill (find it at 4651 County Hwy 73, Evergreen, CO 80439). Typical (but good!) bar food is on the menu here. We loved the wings served with sauce on the side, so they stay crispy. There are also a lot of fun combinations for the burgers, which made it hard to choose just one to try (any burger can be made with beef, chicken, smoked pork, salmon, or southwest veggie).

Cactus Jacks in Evergreen Colorado
Cactus Jack’s Saloon & Grill on Bear Creek

More Lunch Spots in Evergreen Colorado

Want to fuel up before the adventures begin? Try the best brunches in Evergreen at The WildFlower Cafe or The Muddy Buck Cafe. The Muddy Buck is housed in a historic hotel that also once served as the town of Evergreen’s ice house.

Or go for a late lunch / early dinner at Murphy’s Mountain Grill, where you’ll find salads, sandwiches, fantastic burgers, and milkshakes. Beau Jo’s Pizza is a Colorado classic with waterfront seating.

Evergreen Breweries

When in Colorado, one must end a day of adventure at a local brewery. Evergreen Colorado is home to two family-friendly breweries with full lunch and dinner menus. Lariat Lodge Brewing Co. and Evergreen Brewery & Taphouse are located a few minutes from downtown but worth the drive.

Have you been to this little Colorado mountain town? Let us know your favorite things to do in Evergreen in the comments!

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1 thought on “Things to Do in Evergreen Colorado: Big Adventure in a Small Town”

  1. Being out in the nature enjoying the beautiful creations;mountains, valleys and water bodies is the best thing ever! I live for such things, so liberating

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