Explore Running local - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Perfect morning hike. We started around 9:30 and there was plenty of parking by the trailhead. The way up was a good workout (moderate due to the incline), with a great view at the top, and nice, shaded and easy descent down. If I lived in the area I would frequent this trail. Seemed well liked by runners and mountain bikers.

This is definitely a great trail. but if you are hiking all the way to the falls it is not moderate. and yes it is longer than stated. beautiful vistas.

I ended up taking the Palmer Trail today almost by accident. I was at a corner trying to decide, if I should go down towards Red Rock Canyon or up the Palmer Trail. A trail runner came by and encouraged me to go up, take it slow and enjoy the views. So I did. I questioned my sanity going up the rocky side since I live in the Austin,TX area and on 1000ft. But by the time I got to the top with taking a break on the uphill, I was sold on this trail. This trail is what I have missed since moving from the area 11 years ago. I liked the challenge going up the rocky part, sitting and taking it all in at the top, the views on the longer downhill slope. To me it was the perfect trail to celebrate reaching 2000 miles of hiking for the year today. PS: For those that have problem with finding the trail they are on: turn on the alltrails app, pull up the trail you want to hike and the location on your phone and the blue dot will tell you where you are...  I never lost reception on this trail, plus it is NOT hard to follow once you start on the rocky incline...  I would like to add that the longer downhill part is easy or moderate, but that rocky incline was probably somewhere between moderate and hard!!!!

Hiked the trail a few weeks ago. I thought it was really lovely- with some pretty stunning views of the evergreen-covered hills and a very nice, small waterfall with wood bridge. The first half or so was somewhat steep, but the descent was a really nice grade.

Great for dogs. Fairly well trafficked.

walking
7 days ago

Lots of people, but worth it because beautiful and unique rock formations. Make the trip if in the area. And it’s free.

Great hike. My 12 year old killed it.

Beautiful hike and great way to start the day. It was a little more difficult about 1/2 way to the top but worth it. We loved walking along the creek - very peaceful!

Gorgeous! And easy with kiddos.

Great hike with many trail options ranging in difficulty. Watch out for rattlesnakes!

The one downfall with this hike is that there is NO way the signs are correct. This hike is way longer than 6-plus miles. You can even see where people wrote the longer distances in pencil on the signs. Besides that, great hike.

Great trail. Well marked. Pretty steep near the top. Dead ends at the falls. Actual falls are average. Give yourself half a day.

one of the best I've found in the Springs so far!

hiking
16 days ago

Such a great hike in the middle of the city! A little hot in the open stretches so bring lots of water. Wonderful views, you forget you are in the middle of town.

My second trip to CS from Dallas and led my family of four on this trail based on number of good reviews on Alltrail. It took us little over 4 hours to finish. Yes, we were out of shape for this kind of trail. First couple miles were tough because of elevation change and heat. But we took breaks often. Bring lots of water, sunblock, hats to protect yourself from sections with no shades. Scenery was nice but there are better places. Anyway, great hike overall! Oh, I relied on Alltrail and Google map to navigate. Also, there were plenty of other hikers to ask and get direction.

This loop is great for burning calories while enjoying the forest. I recommend it for anyone who wants to get in some good and quick exercise walking or running. I think it would be aa good hike for folks who may be getting back into shape or are visiting and not used to the altitude. Remnants of past fires are still visible, but the area is regenerating nicely.

hiking
17 days ago

I wish there was more signage to let the hiker know the distance to the falls. That’s my biggest disappointment in this hike.

The trail itself is nice because you’re walking next to the creek for a good portion of the wooded trail.

I suggest hiking boots for ankle stability if that’s an issue for you. Bring snacks and plenty of water.

Great hike, with a nice payoff at the end. The view of the city and of the falls is outstanding. For a good portion of the trail the sound of rushing water is present as is the sound of birds and the wind in the trees. We spotted a rufous hummingbird and a host of tree swallows. We also heard countless other various birds along the way. But we weren’t there for the birding, so it was simply an added bonus.

It’s a fairly taxing hike for a middle-aged guy in ok shape (me!), but the 20-somethings we encountered along the way seemed to handle it without issue. I wouldn’t bring younger kids—mostly because the elevation change the last half mile could be difficult, and the overall length could be too much handle as well. I’m assuming that’s why, once we left Gold Camp Road at the trailhead, we didn’t run into anyone who appeared to be under the age of 16. I’m certain my 6 & 10 year old wouldn’t have lasted even though they are both extremely active in sports.

Overall, I recommend. Give it a try and see what you think!

Awesome hike, great views and far less crowded than the paved walking areas.

hiking
27 days ago

Great for an easy evening run/hike, or nature walk with kids. Only downside- trails not marked well.

Cool trail through the pines and then up Cheyenne Mountain. I took the side trail up to the antennas and it was very steep but opened to a beautiful aspen meadow that was very quiet and calm. Certainly would not call it heavily trafficked as I only saw one other person all day.

I love this trail. It's great exercise and it's beautiful! It's hard, don't believe moderate!!! But so worth it!

This hike had everything! Challenging parts, easy parts, a high view of the mountains and the city, and even a creek with a small waterfall. Completed the hike in 2 hours however I did run down the mountain since it was very easy decline. I’m exhausted but feel very accomplished.

I have to agree it’s unfortunate that Stephen had a rough go of it. This is one the best trails in red rocks. Yes the first mile or so can be hot but after that you are in beautiful woods that are shaded and yes it is steep. The run down the back side is a perfect elevation gain up or down. Yes you do hit a dirt road at the end for about a mile but it’s still a beautiful road and well worth it.

This is a terrific trail system with many offshoots. Make sure to take any of them, you really can't get lost and it makes the run, hike or bike almost limitless. Worth the trip!

I stand by my review written for folks not familiar with the area. Specifically #3: "Nothing along the route will tell you where to go or how far you've gone. The trails are labeled with numbers not names which if are not familiar with the area are not terribly helpful." Note the trail map attached to this page also does not use #s. If I got lost so easily, others out of towners may as well. Compare to the Columbine trail I hiked the following day which is well marked, easy to follow and much more interesting.

For everyone looking at Stephen Fisher's review, He did not actually do the Palmer Loop. He got lost and went up High Drive, which is a dirt road. If he had paid attention to the signs, maybe done a little research he would have enjoyed his experience and actually hiked the Palmer Loop. Its unfortunate when people get lost and can't write a proper review, but look at all the others under his and you'll see that is a great 5+ mile hike/walk. Great scenery throughout the ascent and at the top.

1 month ago

Nice that it’s so accessible, frustrating that trails are hard to follow - partly due to very poor signage and partly due to inherent difficulty with trails that pass over rocky outcropping. Tried this loop 5 times and actually stayed on the intended path twice.

It was ok. I think I like red Rock canyon more

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