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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!!!!

1 day ago

Gorgeous

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.

gorgeous views from the top and great for fast running back down. last 1/2 mile up to the summit is a bit challenging but worth the twists and turns!

This was a nice, moderate hike. We had to park a ways up the road because there were so many cars.
We saw plenty of people on the trail, but many were backpacking, so the parking situation made it seem worse than it really was. The first mile or so is shared with the trail to Arapaho Glacier and shortly after the split is a lovely waterfall. We hiked up the waterfall area near the lake as well, and I'm bummed because we didn't realize there were more lakes! We didn't explore as much as we should have.

Great hike. My 12 year old killed it.

Views are excellent. Don’t stop at the lower diamond lake. Keep hiking and you will find middle diamond lake and upper diamond lake. Beautiful!

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!

my favorite trail

hiking
9 days ago

Hiked on a Saturday afternoon. It was very crowded with people and dogs. Beautiful wildflowers and a waterfall. We saw a moose. Narrow dirt road up to the trailhead with minimal parking.

Awesome, awesome trail. Scrambling at the top gets a bit hairy but worth it!

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.

hiking
11 days ago

Awesome trail with everything you could hope for in a hike. Waterfalls, mountain lakes and wildflowers were all stunning. Rough dirt road for about 5 miles to the trailhead. Good ground clearance in your vehicle recommended.

on Red Mountain Trail

hiking
11 days ago

4.5: Red Mountain Trail itself is nice, but getting the right trailhead from Ruxton to get on Intemann and to that one is confusing and a bit frustrating.

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

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.

camping
12 days ago

Great hike! We camped at the base of the trail head by off Fourth Of July road right on the creek. We arrived at 5pm on a Saturday and had no trouble finding a spot right on the creek to set up camp- started early to beat the rain. Less than a mile in we’re absolutely beautiful wild flowers lining the trail and naturally occurring run off water falls from the mountain top. True to it’s word distance- uphill heading out but moderate and easy for any intermediate hiker. Passed multiple groups who had seen moose but we were alluded once again... Best part of the hike: running into a pair of Llamas!

hiking
12 days ago

Perfect hike that is very close to the wonderful town of Manitou Springs. The view at the top is amazing and as a bonus, you also get to see remnants of the old dance hall and station when it was competing with the Manitou Incline.

on Red Mountain

hiking
13 days ago

4.5: Red Mountain Trail itself is nice, but getting the right trailhead from Ruxton to get on Intemann and to that one is confusing and a bit frustrating.

hiking
13 days ago

Very beautiful summit. The trail is definitely moderate, as some scrambling is required at the top but it is manageable without any special equipment. I would recommend this to out of town visitors who want to experience climbing a mountain and I will definitely be back! I would advise average to above average fitness level.

backpacking
13 days ago

My friend and I did this hike on Sunday (7/29) and stayed overnight about a mile east of Jasper Lake.

We left around 10 am and arrived back at our car around 1:30 pm on Monday (7/30). In total, we covered close to 14 miles round trip on our trek; traveling at roughly one mile per hour.

We tried to get a permit to camp at Diamond Lake, but were told that the Forest Service didn't provide the ranger station with any more passes for that camp zone. In any such case, we decided to get a permit to camp in the Devil's Thumb Zone of Roosevelt National Forest instead.

After completing the trek to Diamond Lake, we continued our journey up and over the pass that connects with the Jasper Lake/Devil's Thumb Lake trailheads. The incline to get up and over the pass from Diamond Lake is pretty strenuous, especially when carrying over 60 lbs. of camping equipment on your back.

The views from the ridgeline of the pass were spectacular, and after finding a spot to camp (about 200 yards down the hill from the where the Jasper Lake and Diamond Lake trailhead meet), we set up our tent and made the short jaunt (1 mile) over to Jasper Lake to watch the sunset.

It was an incredibly beautiful evening, and just as the sun disappeared beyond the mountains, the mist rolled in and it was as if we were trapped in the clouds.

This being our first backpacking trip, we did not prepare for the presence of wildlife near our campsite, and therefore had a late night visitor in the form of a small female black bear (125 - 150 lbs.). She came sniffing around our tent sometime around 3 am on Monday morning and then encountered her again around 8 am when we were packing up our stuff, surely looking for food. We will be sure to bring bear spray and keep our food in bear canisters on any future treks.

This was an absolutely majestic experience that I would surely recommend to anyone looking for a challenging backpacking adventure.

The three things I would say to anyone going on their first backpacking trip is make sure you pack as light as possible, have enough water for your time spent in the wild, and be prepared to encounter wildlife.

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful hike. 3 hours exactly (not including our time spent at the lake) and that was with lots of photo/snack breaks. The wildflowers and waterfalls were so pretty, and the lake at the end was so serene. One of my favorites!

Get there early! We arrived at 7:30 and parking was fine, about 1/3 full. By the time we left at 11:30 there were no open spots.

Lunch and nitro ice cream in Nederland are great treats afterwards :-)

I look forward to continuing the hike up to Upper Diamond Lake next time.

hiking
13 days ago

Great hike. Lots has been written about the hike itself, so I'll add a few comments on the drive to the trailhead:

- Unless you are hiking in winter with heavy snow on the road, there is ZERO reason why you would need AWD to get to the trailhead. The unpaved road is extremely rocky, which makes it bumpy, but you shouldn't need to worry about getting stuck. There is very little pitch to it.

- On the flip side, while you can make the drive in a normal car (I saw plenty of Accords, Civics, Corollas, Prius, even a few BMW 3 series), I would want something with high ground clearance, or you'll have to just crawl along the road to avoid bottoming out your suspension or scraping your undercarriage. We were in an SUV, and could take the road at 25mph no problem with the exception of a few areas.

- Lastly, if you are either unfamiliar with driving on unpaved mountain roads, or are one of the afore-mentioned drivers trying to crawl up in a normal car without tearing off your oil pan, please, please, please, pull over for traffic behind you and let them pass. There is no way to pass without someone pulling off the road, and you will easily delay everyone behind you 40+ minutes if you're doing 5mph or less.

hiking
14 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!

Great hike! Definitely would say the difficulty increases as you near the top, but the views are 100% worth the climb!

hiking
17 days ago

If you’re looking to get it all this is the hike. Lake, waterfalls, wild flowers, meadows and views. Go early during the week.

Great hike and views of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. The signage is lacking on the trailhead. Park in downtown Manitou and walk to Spring St. Take Spring St over the bridge and follow the road left to get onto the Intemann trail. This trail is indicated by a "trail" sign. Follow the Intemann trail for 0.7 miles until you reach a bluff where a wood post shows a sign for the Red Mountain trail. The trail is marked pretty well until you get to the big rock where the trail splits. Take the left fork!

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

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