Mount Garfield

HARD 151 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Mount Garfield is a 3.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Palisade, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,945 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Terrific views, wild horses, and a short gnarly climb/scramble up to the top to overlook Grand Junction. This trail is steep and can get hot on summer afternoons, depending on the time of year you may want to do this hike in the morning.

it is a challenging hike indeed. read lots of reviews here and therefore thought we were prepared, but it still suprised us! gotta say it is hard both in terms of legs&butt workout and heart and breathing excercise. but it is so so so worth it! not really a long hike, even if you go slow, changing sceneries, and absolutely mindblowing viewas of the valley.

we started 17.30 from palisade 42 trailhead, it took us 1.5 hours to go up, 55 minutes to go down. after we were done i felt like there was something we could do better to make it an even more pleasurable experience and i really wanted to share it:

- in the beginning go REALLY slow. if you think you're already going slow - still, go slower. Because the first part is for sure the most challenging and exhausting, and it takes a lot of energy away from you. we saw very fit and young guys turning around and going back down on that first steep part - just cause they took too fast a pace. doing it cartoonishly slow will give you a chance to really enjoy the hike and restore your energy quickly after that first part - and i promise the further it goes the easier it gets.)

- there IS an no climbing option. just before the very top, where the rocky surface begins and you face the wall up, the trail splits in several branches - they all lead up. if you dont feel comfortable climbing, just find one that doesnt require it)

- dont be as scared to lose the trail as we were because of comments here, they all end up in the same place if you keep your eyes on your final destination and dont turn to the obviously opposite directions.

- dont worry about going down and try to enjoy it - it is not as hard at all, except for sliding a lot - just be ready and wear good shoes.

- find a way to secure your hat (you NEED A HAT) - it is VERY windy on the trail. especially the top part is like walking under the plane engine.

- dont do it on sunday. we very randomly chose saturday and were so happy. cause it literally took us the whole sunday laying on the couch to rest after that hike

- look out for snakes when youre grabbing :)



primarily we wanted to go early morning cause of the heat and we were worried about going down in the evening, since so many people here said its easy to lose the trail - but accidentally ended up doing it evening and i think it is better to do it that way because it gives you a chance to have all of your way down in shade of the mountain, which changes the sensations a lot.)

hiking
2 months ago

It is a challenging hike, up very steep paths in the desert. Start early, and bring lots of water.

hiking
2 months ago

I agreed to do this hike with my wife, who conditions daily; I don’t. This is not a trail to do on a whim without conditioning or at least being in shape. I did it, but not without a lot of stops for air and rest. Be prepared to go early in the morning with water and bug spray. It’s amazing to see how high we climbed. WEAR GOOD KNOBBY HIKING BOOTS...the decent down can be tricky without good traction in the shifty soil and loose rock.
Take your time and enjoy the view of the beautiful Grand Valley!!!!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail really offers some incredible views and is a great workout. But it’s a tough hike! The elevation gain is one thing, but this hike has some technically challenging points, and honestly as someone who isn’t afraid of heights... it had me holding my breath at certain points. Bring lots of water and sunscreen, make sure you have good supportive hiking boots. I’m on the fence about trekking poles, at some points it was so steep having my hands free was more helpful. Overall it was beautiful and I’m so glad I did it, but be wary if you haven’t worked your way up to it, come prepared, or have a fear of heights!

hiking
2 months ago

I have wanted to do this hike for a couple of years now. I made it to the top and back down. The trail could use more markings to make it easier to follow. I have a fear of heights so coming back down the fin was the most trying and terrifying of the whole trip. it took us 6 hours to go up and back. I could have used more water. 5 liters was not enough.
A great hike, glad it did it but will not do it again.

hiking
2 months ago

I’ve been looking forward to the hike for a year and waiting to improve my skills to do it. Even after many other hard local hikes, this tops the cake. Reasons for frustration: the trail is terribly marked. I was off trail a few times. The steepness. Most of the time, I don’t mind going up forever if I can easily come back down, but for Mt. Garfield, it was probably harder coming down. Not only is it steep, but the dirt and rock is so loose that you slide and fall a lot. With that, have good shoes, get there EARLY, bring more water than you think you need, and bring a friend. Beautiful, gorgeous views. I’m proud I’ve done it, but never again!

3 months ago

Stunning hike with fantastic views but man is
It steep! That was a little nerve racking! Glad I made it all the way up and back without falling!

hiking
3 months ago

This hike is beautiful, and I recommend it for the views and challenge. Preparation: Set aside at least 2.5 hrs if you’re not in good shape, have water, and apply sunscreen. This will take longer than you might expect due to the steep slope and care you’ll need to take with your footing during the first mile particularly.

Near the top (1.4 miles up), I couldn’t figure out where the main trail goes. There may be simpler route, but the path seemed to take me to a small cave (10 ft deep) that had an opening at the top, which was just large enough to squeeze up out of. Coordinates of the cave: 39.1267938,-108.4047540.

3 months ago

Well not well marked but was a excellent hike with some awesome views

3 months ago

I’ve done this hike twice, once with my 12 year old son. Both times it was amazing. Definitely difficult going up the first part, super steep and strenuous. The second time doing this hike I paced myself with a very slow speed and was able to do the first half without having to stop once. The first time I tried going faster and would burn out fast and have to stop to rest. This hike is so worth it when you reach the top so don’t give up. And yes coming back down is harder than it seems with the loose dirt it’s easy to slip.

3 months ago

It was so worth it!

4 months ago

local trail, I feel like too many inexperienced hiker use this trail and they leave their negative energy on the path. I feel like the mental struggle to complete this trail is more than it should be. This could be a good hiking season kick off trail.

hiking
4 months ago

New Eater Tradish

hiking
5 months ago

well worth any struggle faced. take it at your own pace. remember to come back!

hiking
5 months ago

Short but strenuous in some areas especially right from the get go. Great views! Minor issues with following the main trail, maybe one cairn but nothing to be concerned. Going down from the summit was fine for the first half but last half was a bit slippery (dry and loose gravel). I had proper hiking boots and treking poles but still slipped a few times. I would bring some water, at least a liter...saw many who didn't bring anything. Sunscreen! Also, know your hiking manners! I was passing 2 young guys blocking the path, wouldnt move and were on the phone. Fortunately, they didn't ruin a great hiking experience!

hiking
5 months ago

Definitely a tough hike. It's very steep in places and the ground isn't always completely solid underneath you. There is also no shade and it can get very windy towards the top but the views are absolutely worth it. If you're from a lower elevation area like me this hike will probably challenge you. I highly recommend using trekking poles on this hike. The descent can get sketchy without them.

5 months ago

Recommend not to do when it’s snowing
But still an amazing hike

6 months ago

Cardio..... lots of people do go early

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike for both my dog and i. Start hiking right before sun rise and you wont regret it.

hiking
8 months ago

Great strenuous hike. Beautiful views. Unfortunately did not see any horses, maybe next time.

8 months ago

definitely a strenuous hike, but well worth it. The views are amazing! Allow more time if it's your first time hiking this trail for picture taking.

8 months ago

My friend and I hiked this trail together and although it is advanced we both loved it! Views at the top overlooking the valley are incredible! Watch your footing coming down, very tricky terrain. Will do this one again!

hiking
8 months ago

Super challenging but definitely worth it! The views are amazing. Be prepared!

hiking
9 months ago

Tough, but the views are so worth it! I love seeing the wildhorses. I don’t recommend it in the summer. It’s stifling up there.

hiking
10 months ago

Off the hook fun and challenging. My 5yo son has been begging me to go, and just this week, trucked up to the top without any probs. Hella sweet views and we’ve seen horses a couple of times.

10 months ago

The end result is worth it!

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked with Jay. Super hard! It is pretty much straight up. Wind was the only thing in the forecast for us today so we thought it was fine, it is soooo windy up there! There is one spot on the hike that is like a wind tunnel and we had to crawl through to get out of it! The view is really amazing and it's cool to walk around the top. Sadly we didn't see any horses :( Glad I did it so I could say that I did and never have to again!

hiking
10 months ago

loved this hike.

10 months ago

It was steep. It was beautiful. The views were spectacular. It did not even take two hours to get up and down, however, I stayed up there for about 45 minutes to an hour. On my hike up and my hike down I saw the wild horses. There are so many places to stop and take beautiful pictures. I started my hike around nine in the morning and it was never too hot. The views are worth every step.

11 months ago

Difficult hike but absolutely worth the effort. Just go early before the sun gets too hot (our mistake)

Load More