Palmer, Buckskin-Charlie, Niobrara, and Bretag Trail Loop

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Garden of the Gods

Palmer, Buckskin-Charlie, Niobrara, and Bretag Trail Loop is a 4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Colorado Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length4.0 miElevation gain449 ftRoute typeLoop
Kid friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingRunningDog friendlyPartially pavedViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (4)
Tips

This loop trail takes you on a walk around the main section of the formations that constitute the Garden of the Gods as most people experience it. Three primary trails connect to form a 4 mile loop: The Palmer Trail begins on the north side of the main parking area, heading west and then south. After a little more than a mile, a short 400 yard trail branches off to the Siamese Twins formation. Returning to the main trail, you'll cross the road and cut through the main park area's southern section on the Buckskin Charlie Trail. When this reaches the other side of the paved road loop, you'll cross again, this time heading for the Ute Trail, which eventually runs north to join with the Susan Breitag trail, and on back to the start point. If this sounds confusing, don't worry. The large formations in the center of the park are visible from all parts of the trail. Just keep circling them. Accessibility: This entire loop is not accessible. The paved portions of this trail are accessible as they are wide and mostly flat, but the sections where the trail turns to gravel there are also increases in grade. The fully accessible, all-paved portion is called the Perkins Central Garden Trail and that trail page can be found here: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/perkins-central-garden-trail

Directions: Exit I-25 at Garden of the Gods exit. Drive east to the end of the road where it "T's" into 31st St. Turn left (south) and drive to the Garden of the God's entrance sign. Turn right. Once inside the park, you'll have to turn right onto the tourist loop road. The first parking area you find on your left is the main one for the park. There are restrooms and water at this location. Tips: 1. Watch for traffic as you cross the roads. The drivers are tourists intent on seeing the sights in the garden, not watching for hikers. 2. This is a dry hike most of the time. Take water. However, if there's been rain, parts of the trail can be muddy. 3. Dogs are welcome on a leash.

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Reviews (1,190)
Photos (1,809)
Activities (941)
Completed (4,330)
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Greg Lichten
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Hiking

fun hike. clear trails. Not much mud or people. very peaceful out there today.

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Logynn Northrhip
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Hiking

Gorgeous, but super muddy on the non-paved trails like this one. In fact, that’s the only reason I gave it 4 stars. This place is even prettier in the winter. Love it covered in snow.

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Helene Engle
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful, clean and easy trail! Cool early morning with some dusting of snow. Perfect way to spend the morning! Worth the drive to COS!

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Alex User
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HikingGreat!

Mediocre hike. We went halfway and ended up cutting through the center of the park in order to see all of the rock formations up close. The trail was covered in stinky dog, horse, and sheep poop every couple of yards. The park was packed at 11:00 am, nobody wore masks. The views were alright, but there are better places in Colorado Springs to hike.

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Lorie & Sean Y.
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Hiking

It was amazing. Exposed trail with very little to no shade but the views made up for it

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Abby Hawkins
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HikingGreat!
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Devin Strickland
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HikingGreat!

Hikes on 4/3. Absolutely beautiful hike. I got to the park around 8am and was able to find parking pretty easily. Ran into a handful of people, but not super crowded at the beginning. By the time I was getting back to my car around 10:30am, I was running into tons of groups and couldn’t believe the sea of people walking into the park at the entrance. Overall a pretty easy hike. There are a few inclines and roots/rocks in the trail that might cause some trouble, but I saw lots of families with young children enjoying their time.

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Lindy C.
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Hiking

always great! lots of animal life. go early to miss the tour groups

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Barry Donohue
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Hiking

Trail that has great views, many hills, and can be near and far from the road. I'd recommend for easy hikers that want a challenge, but not over the top.

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Dakota Jordan
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Hiking

Heavily trafficked trail, lots of tourists but had some beautiful views. Pretty easy trail, nice Sunday afternoon hike.

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Robert Kubicek
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Joan Loftis
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Andrew Arthur
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Hiking

Too many people but beautiful

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Olivia MacDougal
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Hiking

Beautiful! No snow, a bit muddy. Not super crowded once you get off the main thoroughfare

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Joan Loftis
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Joan Loftis
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brandon huddleston
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Taylor Kusseling
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easy trail, lots of people. pretty views but not necessarily impressive

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Hernando Hernandez
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Hiking

Nice trail. Some busy areas. Few patches of mud and slippery rocks.

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Brian C Thompson
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Athena Witzel
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Hiking

Beautiful as always. Still ice and snow on most of trail.

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nick valdivia
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Garrett Huth
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Matthew Phillips
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Hiking

Little muddy. But overall great

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Riley Ruger
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Hiking

A lot of people,but it's a fun trail.

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Praneeth Naramsetti
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Olivia Watson
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Emily Lynn
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Adam Schwent
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HikingGreat!

Wide, well marked trails. We veered off this path to go out and back to see the Siamese twins as well which was very worth the little extra time to see. Saw several deer right off the trail as well. Great way to see the park vs just driving around it.

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Brad Hyatt
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Hiking

nice day; a little windy; watch out when crossing roadway - no one seemed to yield to hikers

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