A panoramic view of the meadow at Three Sisters Park

All photos: Anna Norris

770 acres of paradise

From vast meadows to evergreen forests, from hiking to bouldering to rock climbing, Alderfer/Three Sisters Park boasts the best elements of Colorado, all in one place. 

With the most trails per acre in Colorado's foothills, the park offers endless options. You could easily spend a day walking the 15 miles of trails that cover a variety of terrains and difficulty. 

* * * 
Three Sisters rock formations seen from the trail below

Tree-lined trails

Located within the aptly named town of Evergreen, Three Sisters Park is one of the shadiest parks you can traverse in Colorado. Paths wind up the rocky formations, lined by coniferous trees and iconic aspens. Steep grades and winding paths offer a thrill for mountain bikers. While each trial is relatively short — ranging from a quarter mile to just over 2 miles in length — over a dozen of the trails form a network for exploring.

* * * 
Geological formation at Three Sisters Park

Intriguing geology

The "Three Sisters" and "The Brother" formations formed over many years as part of the larger Rocky Mountains, with sediment and softer rock eroding over time, leaving the harder granite beneath. Throughout the park, climbers can find ample bouldering opportunities in the shade.

* * * 
Climbers reach the top of one of the Three Sisters formations

Scrambling fun

The result is an outdoor arena for climbers of all levels. The Sisters trail, at just over a mile long, takes adventurers up to the stacked granite stones.  Each of the Three Sisters offers its own separate challenge, from a simple scramble to all-out rock climbing. 

* * * 
View from the top of the Three Sisters rock formation

Breathtaking views

No matter the challenge, the view from the top is worth it. Evergreen trees as far as the eye can see stretch out to a blue horizon. A constant breeze is a bonus on sunny days, but at higher elevations, the wind can become surprisingly forceful.

* * * 
A trail through the meadow at Three Sisters Park

Wide open spaces

Many more trails wind through the park. Here, a wide open meadow greets hikers for a change of pace and a lovely place to sunbathe and watch wildlife. Hawks, jays, bluebirds and ravens flit from tree to tree while wildflowers sway in the breeze – not a bad way to spend a summer day.

Less than an hour's drive from Denver, Three Sisters Park is a must-see for any visitor to Colorado.

* * * 
Anna Norris is an associate editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Related on MNN:

Hike, bike or climb? In Three Sisters Park, you don't have to choose
If you're looking for a great hike, wide open spaces and fun rock climbing, we've got the park for you.