People enjoying paddle boarding in Evergreen Lake, one of the best things to do in Evergreen

17 Things to Do in Evergreen, CO (Fun Activities for 2023)

Need a break from city life in Denver? With under an hour’s drive, Evergreen provides the perfect escape into the Rocky Mountains.   

I’m a Colorado local with insights into the best things to do in Evergreen, CO. You can wander downtown, picnic next to Bear Creek, and experience year-round activities on Evergreen Lake. Whether you’re a local or from out of state, this town in the Rocky Mountain foothills offers enjoyment for all types of visitors. 

Oh, and before you dive in, bookmark my guide to the best places to stay in Evergreen if you still need a hotel!

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17 Best Things to Do in Evergreen 

Evergreen Lake

Paddle, fish, or ice skate at Evergreen’s most popular spot

People paddleboarding in Evergreen Lake under the clear blue sky

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (720) 880-1300 | Website | Hours: Sunrise – Sunset | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Evergreen Lake is a great spot for kids, families, and all nature lovers. The Evergreen Lake House rents pedal boats and paddleboards, and people can bring their own gear for a peaceful float. The lake is stocked, making it a popular fishing spot from boats or from shore. 

In winter, some people brave the cold for ice fishing as well. You can also rent skates and enjoy ice skating and hockey on the lake. 

👉 Pro Tip: You can rent boats at the lake or bring your own. Private boats require a day pass that costs $10 during the week and $15 on weekends. 

Evergreen Nature Center

Learn about the birds and animals that live near Evergreen Lake

The Evergreen Nature Center signage on the entrance

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 330-0489 | Website | Hours: Open spring & summer 11 am – 5 pm Wed – Sat, Closed Sun – Tues | Entrance: Free

The nature center is located in the historic warming hut found along the shores of Evergreen Lake. It features a Touch Table where kids can feel real animal fur and examine antlers. Adults can get more info on the birds and other animals that live in the area. There’s even a resident snake and a salamander for visitors to meet. 

Evergreen Golf Course

Enjoy greens surrounded by elk and mountain views

Clear blue sky over the Evergreen Golf Course

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (720) 865-3430 | Website | Hours: Open spring – fall, Sunrise – sunset daily | Green fees: from $11, adults, from $7 under 18

The Evergreen Golf Course is in Dedisse Park and found near Evergreen Lake. You’ll get great lake and mountain views while teeing off. It’s not unusual to see elk on the greens as well. 

Downtown Evergreen

Browse local shops & cafes in this mountain town

The Little Bear Saloon in Downtown Evergreen

📍 Google Maps | Website | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Downtown Evergreen features boutiques, art galleries, garden stores, and plenty of restaurants and cafes for hungry tourists. The Wildflower Cafe is known for its brunch, and Evergreen Crafters has souvenirs, jewelry, and more. When visiting this charming area, you’ll understand why Evergreen ranks as one of Colorado’s best mountain towns

Hiwan Heritage Park

Step inside Evergreen history

View from the Hiwan Heritage Park in Evergreen

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (720) 497-7650 | Website | Hours: 12 pm – 4 pm Tues – Fri, 12 pm – 4;30 pm Sat & Sun, Closed Mondays | Entrance: Free

This unique museum was once the home of one of Colorado’s first female doctors, Josephina Williams Douglas. It’s an unusual house with two octagonal towers and an indoor chapel. Outbuildings include a game room where kids can plan their wagon trip across the west and a Pioneer Workshop. 

✈️  Visiting Colorado for the first time? If this is your first time in the Centennial State, check out our list of tips & tricks for traveling here! 

Little Bear Saloon

Listen to live music at this western saloon

The Little Bear Saloon from the outside in Evergreen

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 674-9991 | Website | Hours: 12 pm – 2 am Fri – Sat, 12 pm – 8 pm Sun, Closed Mon – Thurs

The Little Bear Saloon has been hosting bands for more than 40 years, including Willie Nelson who used to live in the area. The building was once a church, a drug store, and a dance hall, but now serves food and features live music on weekends. Head through the swinging doors of the saloon, and see if you don’t swagger just a bit on your way in.

Mount Evans Scenic Byway

Drive North America’s highest paved road to the top of one of Colorado’s 14ers

A red car driving in the Mount Evans Scenic Byway

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 295-6600 | Website | Hours: Summer 8 am – 6:30 pm daily | Entrance: $15 vehicle fee | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Rather than hiking, peak bag one of Colorado’s 14ers by driving to its summit! The Mount Evans Scenic Byway gains more than 7,000 feet of elevation during the 28-mile drive. The byway is also the highest paved road in North America. You’ll pass mountain lakes, beautiful vistas, and even a high-altitude botanic garden on your way to the top of Mount Evans. 

👉 Pro Tip: The Mount Evans Scenic Byway requires timed tickets. It opens when the road is safe to drive, usually in late May or June, and the road to the top closes the day after Labor Day. 

Alderfer/Three Sisters Park

Find a variety of hikes at this foothills park with the most trails per acre

The Alderfer/Three Sisters Park under the clear blue sky in Evergreen

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 271-5925 | Website | Hours: One hour before sunrise – one hour after sunset | Entrance: Free

Alderfer/Three Sisters Park has everything from easy walks for even the littlest kids to challenging hikes like the Evergreen Mountain East Trail. There are plenty of spots for climbing rocks and great views of the surrounding mountains. This park is especially pretty in the fall!

Creekside Cellars

Sample local wines while sitting creekside

Wine barrels displayed outside the Creekside Cellars
Try a Colorado vintage while enjoying views of Bear Creek!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 674-5460 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Wed – Mon, Closed Tuesdays | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

The pours you’ll sample at this winery are made on-site from Colorado grapes. You can sit beside Bear Creek and enjoy a glass, or order some food to go along with it. It’s a great spot to relax after a hike.

👉 Pro Tip: Reservations are highly recommended if you want to be assured of a spot. 

Echo Mountain

Ski at Denver’s closest resort

A man skiing on Echo Mountain during winter season

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (720) 899-2100 | Website | Hours: Winter 10 am – 5 pm Sun – Tues, 10 am – 9 pm Wed – Fri, 9 am – 9 pm Sat 

Echo Mountain is the closest ski resort to Denver. Because it gets less snow than other ski areas, you do need to check that it’s actually open for skiing, snowboarding, or tubing. But it’s an easy, less-expensive alternative if you just want to hit a few runs instead of making a whole day of it. For extra fun, try night skiing!

👉 Pro Tip: Reservations are required for both skiing and tubing. 

Maxwell Falls

Bring the whole family on this waterfall hike — dogs included!

The author's kids with their dog during their waterfall hike in Maxwell Falls

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 295-6600 | Website | Hours: Sunrise – sunset daily

This is one of my family’s favorite hikes near Denver! Follow Maxwell Creek one of three ways to the falls. The easiest hike is from the Upper Parking Lot, where you walk just half a mile. The Cliff Trail Loop from the Upper Lot is three miles, and the Lower Maxwell Falls trail is a more challenging climb over 4.6 miles.  

Mount Goliath & Dos Chappell Nature Center

Enjoy amazing views and the highest cultivated garden in the U.S.,

View of a trail in Mount Goliath under the clear blue sky

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 295-6600 | Website | Hours: Summer Nature Center 10 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: $10 vehicle fee | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

The Mount Goliath Natural Area contains an alpine garden and lots of Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine trees. The nature center teaches visitors how life adapts to the high elevation environment in this alpine tundra. It’s a great spot for both kids and adults to learn about Colorado’s unique environments and the ways life thrives at high altitudes. 

Idaho Springs

Browse shops in this historic mining town or raft nearby Clear Creek

Local shops and restaurants in Downtown Idaho Springs
Downtown has some great shops and restaurants (photo: Francisco Blanco / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 567-4382 | Website

Idaho Springs is less than half an hour from Evergreen and has a host of fun activities for families and adventurous adults! You can take a short walk to the Charlie Taylor water wheel, which you can see from I-70, or soak in the nearest hot springs to Denver. Tour the Argo mine, take a rafting trip on Clear Creek, or browse the shops downtown. 

Echo Lake Mountain Park

Fish or rest at this mountain lake on the way to Mount Evans

A father with his son resting on a bench in Echo Lake Mountain Park

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (720) 865-0900 | Website | Hours: Sunrise – sunset daily | Entrance: $10 vehicle fee

Echo Lake Park makes a great stop on the way to Mount Evans. Take a breather after the winding mountain road and enjoy the amazing scenery. Enjoy a picnic lunch or pick up food and souvenirs at the Echo Lake Lodge, a historic building built in 1927. 

Beaver Brook Watershed

Hike through the foothills and forest paths

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Sunrise – sunset daily

This loop trail is just over 5 ½ miles and passes a lake, lots of forests, and plenty of spots where deer and elk like to visit. It gains just over 1,000 feet in elevation, making it a moderately challenging hike for older kids or adults who want to get their blood pumping. It’s also a popular spot for mountain biking as well. 

Revival Brews

Try a local beer and some tasty pub food

The Revival Brews signage on the outside

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 670-3224 | Website | Hours: 3 pm – 9 pm Wed – Fri, 12 pm – 9 pm Sat, 12 pm – 8 pm Sun, Closed Mon & Tues

Revival Brews is just on the edge of downtown Evergreen, and a great place to eat after a hike. They feature Colorado beers, along with some craft brews from farther-flung places. They also have a pub menu with burgers, wings, salads, and a kids’ menu. 

Ski Country Antiques & Home

Browse European antiques at this family-owned shop

The Ski Country Antiques & Home building on the outside

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 670-8726 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm Mon – Wed, Fri & Sat, 12 pm – 5 pm Sun, Closed Thursdays

This antique store focuses on northern European antiques, and the family that owns it takes frequent trips there to find new treasures. You’ll find everything from furniture to small home goods in the store, and it’s a great place to while away an afternoon. 

FAQs on What to Do in Evergreen

View of running water on a river in Evergreen

What is Evergreen, Colorado close to? 

Evergreen, Colorado is close to the town of Morrison and Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. Evergreen is about 40 minutes from downtown Denver. The town is also close to the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway, and to lots of hiking trails and scenic drives. 

Is Evergreen, CO worth visiting?

Evergreen, CO is worth visiting. Though just a short drive from Denver, it’s a picturesque mountain town in the foothills. Visitors can paddleboard, fish, golf, or wander the quaint downtown area. In summer, one of the best farmer markets in the area sets up in Evergreen each week. 

What is Evergreen, CO known for?

Evergreen, CO is known for Evergreen Lake. The lake is home to year-round outdoor activities. In summer, you can walk around Evergreen Lake, or paddleboard, kayak, or fish. In winter, visitors enjoy ice skating and ice fishing on the lake. Regardless of the season, watch for wildlife including elk, muskrats, and a variety of birds. 


Evergreen is the perfect spot for a getaway, whether you’re coming from Denver or farther away! Hopefully, this list of things to do in Evergreen has inspired you to visit this adorable Rocky Mountain foothills town for the first time, or to try something new.

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