Palmer Trail (Section 16)

MODERATE 504 reviews
#1 of 6 trails in

Palmer Trail (Section 16) is a 5.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Colorado Springs, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,289 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

old growth

rocky

12 hours ago

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

13 hours ago

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.

15 hours ago

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.

hiking
2 days ago

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.

hiking
4 days ago

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.

hiking
7 days ago

Terrible. Thought this would be hike with some woods and nature. NOT. At all. For out-of-town hikers the following advice: 1) Over half of this route is over gravel or paved roads with no shade. 2) 1) The first two miles is quite a climb with NOTHING of interest to see. All wide gravel road. The traverse in the middle is nice. The last section you can get same views simply driving Good Camp/Skyline Road. 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 and trail numbers are not terribly helpful. 4) Either the distance shown is very wrong or we hit Skyline Drive at a very different location than shown. From where we intersected Skyline Drive/Gold Camp Road it was 3 miles (an hour walk) back to the starting point over two miles of which was along paved road. Awful as first hiking experience this trip to Colorado.

7 days ago

I’m a beginner but in great shape at 60. It was challenging being steep for about a mile. But I rested and was rewarded with spectacular views at the top. Soooo rewarding. Hung out up there and had lunch. Saw a couple of beautiful birds at the top. Red and yellow but couldn’t get the camera out in time! Loved this hike. I was alone and it was pretty well marked and a straight forward loop. Bring map and compass. Really nice gradual decent made it easy going down. I recommend counterclockwise and get the steep out of the way. At the very end go left to the parking lots. Not right. Great hike.

13 days ago

Challenging trail with a great reward at the top with the views. I liked it counterclockwise to climb steep first and then the gradual decent coming back. Have a seat at the top, T intersection and you may see the beautiful birds I saw. Great overall.

hiking
15 days ago

Quite a climb through the forest, but so worth it! The views are gorgeous coming down.

16 days ago

Beautiful trail. A bit of work required on the first third then all flat or down hill after that.

16 days ago

Climbing portion is somewhat difficult if you are from sea level. Beautiful and rewarding views!

mountain biking
22 days ago

Bike this clockwise! Start on High Drive instead of Gold Camp Road. It’s an amazing downhill ride, but you should have intermediate skill level before tackling this. As long as you watch out for other people on the trail, you should have an awesome ride :)

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorite hikes!! Makes you work for it the first couple miles but definitely is worth it because the rest of the loop is so beautiful. Took a solid 3 hours with some breaks in between. Will definitely come here again. I recommend this trail if you are moderately in shape, but if you aren't don't be discouraged because this hike is worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Great climb up! The path back down is easy which is great bc it allows you to slow down and enjoy the beautiful views.

1 month ago

GREAT TRAIL if you are looking for a few hours with great exercise. Took our dog who was able to do it with no problems. We enjoyed it.

1 month ago

After the first half mile or so, it gets steep and I started feeling it. Views are great throughout the trail. It can get hot and exposed if you start closer to mid-day, so if you’re taking your dog, just factor that in.

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this trail! It was one of my favorites! It had awesome views the whole way!

hiking
1 month ago

So much fun! Beautiful scenery and a moderate challenge.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail. We started at lot one and took the steep incline first. I would gladly do that again. Our tracker said 6 miles from car to car which was fine. Breathtaking views through the whole thing. Can’t wait to do this one again! It just became my favorite local trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Steep in the beginning but levels out for a nice, moderate hike

3 months ago

If anyone finds a GoPro on this trail. I think I may have misplaced it out there. My number is 913-274-5686. It’s a long shot, but I just wanted to post something here just in case. Other than that, beautiful views and nice trek to the top.

trail running
3 months ago

3 months ago

Little steep on the first couple of miles but then evens out to a slight down hill for the next 3 miles. Great path for a trail run on the down side.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. Will hike it in the other direction next time to switch it up.

3 months ago

Enjoyable trail that has a little bit of a rough incline but is easily doable :)

hiking
4 months ago

Just be aware this trail is dangerous at points steep rocky climb, with plenty of places to fall . So be careful take your time and enjoy the scenery!

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. If you want to do the loop I suggest going up the rocky switchbacks.

4 months ago

Great causal trail :)

4 months ago

Love this trail. Its hard, but I love it!

4 months ago

great trail! not too hard not to easy. clocks in as 5.8 miles

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