Palmer Trail (Section 16)

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Bear Creek Cañon Park

Palmer Trail (Section 16) is a 5.7 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: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,292 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

snow

hiking
3 days ago

I did this counterclockwise and my knees are grateful. The steep incline was done in the first couple miles, after that it was a very gradual decline. Unfortunately for me, that made it a little boring, so next time I’ll prepare for trail running the downslope. All and all- great hike and not too crowded.

hiking
4 days ago

I love this trail! Beautiful views and a nice trail. I agree with a previous comment to go counterclockwise. Get the incline over with and enjoy the rest!

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike! Go counterclockwise to get the steep part over with first. Nice mix of trees and views!

hiking
6 days ago

Beauty views. The incline for the first third is a bit tough, but after that it is mostly flat and shaded. There are mountain bikers and it looks like horses frequent this trail, and the trail overall is pretty narrow— just something to consider on busier days.

hiking
6 days ago

Good climb up on the more difficult side. We did it packing in a 15 month old so it was interesting. Great views and worthwhile hike

hiking
8 days ago

Great hike with views. The first two miles are a medium steep incline and halfway is around the bridge and mini waterfall. It’s then a mild decrease down through the Forrest with lots of shade. Once you get to the gate shift up the road to the left.

recorded Palmer Trail (Section 16)

hiking
rocky
9 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

Hiked this trail 5/19...was originally planning another trail but that park was closed off. I recommend going counter clockwise because it’s way steeper that direction, but an easier descent. Seems like it would be easier to fall if you descended the steeper part since the rocks are a little loose. The trail overall is really nice and has pretty views at the top!

hiking
12 days ago

Wow, was I pleased with this hike! First two miles was grueling, steep, and all uphill. Views were rewarding and the trail is mostly shaded. Enjoyed a snack at the top and enjoyed an easy trek down. I’m not a very experienced hiker, I definitely worked hard, but the trail certainly wasn’t too difficult.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
12 days ago

Good hike but lots of people in the trail. Parking was very hard to find.

13 days ago

This hike runs about 6 miles. Expect bright sun in the first mile. The next mile takes you into the trees and it gets steeper. But the reward when you hit the overlook is beautiful. We got there at 8 a.m., and it was already difficult to find parking. Have fun!

hiking
13 days ago

Great trail. Heavily trafficked by other hikers and bikers, get there early or go during a weekday.

hiking
19 days ago

Good 6 mile hike! We did not start from the main parking lot, we started a little further up. If you go that way it is all uphill for 1.5-2 miles. I’m 6 months pregnant, but even my fairly in shape husband was breathing pretty hard! After you hit the 2 mile mark it’s easy going! Defining more of a beginner hike after the 2 mile point, but before that is intermediate for sure. So either be prepared for that incline or start lower down at the bigger parking lot. That will give you a gradual incline up, but then you will have to go downhill for the last couple miles. I haven’t done it that way so not sure how challenging that is! It took us 3 hours - I took a couple breaks during the beginning and we stopped for pictures at the top.

hiking
20 days ago

Great trail! Definitely on the easier end of the moderate category, but a great getaway right outside of the city. Well-marked, well- maintained and didn’t feel lost at any point. Spend some time at the top taking in the views! Also not as crowded as expected on a Friday morning!

hiking
no shade
20 days ago

If starting from the east, exposed for the first third. the views on the top are beautiful! worth it. we went down and finished the loop and felt like it went on forever! My dog enjoyed it, exhausted afterwards (18 pound Aussie doddle)

hiking
20 days ago

The incline was tough for me but I made it. Great hike.

20 days ago

Did this today and it was great. It took us 2.5 hours with no breaks. First 1.5 miles are almost all uphill. For a easier start, you can walk down to the main parking lot 2 blocks from the trailhead, and start your loop there. We had three different groups ask us if we saw a bear. We unfortunately didn't see any, but keep an eye out.

hiking
20 days ago

Great views. Ensure to start the trail at the proper trail head; the first 1/3 ascends fast then the next 2/3 is a gradual decline. The trail is well marked.

hiking
rocky
20 days ago

First about mile and half is straight incline — views are awesome. Took me about 3 hours

hiking
24 days ago

5/3/2020: Quality hike! Approximately first 1/3 of trail is fairly steep and exposed. Great views, fresh air and a good workout but not too intense. Be on the lookout for dogs, mountain bikes and horses!

hiking
24 days ago

Love this hike! It’s a workout the first 1.5 miles but the view is killer. When you hit the fork stay to the left. The trail shoots you out to a dirt road and then back to the main road if you decide to do the loop. Less steep than going back the way you came.

hiking
25 days ago

Really great trail. Fairly steep on the first 1/3-1/2 of the loop (if you start from the east side) and then a nice decline for a downhill run on the back side. Also extremely well marked and maintained.

hiking
27 days ago

Truly one of the best hikes in Springs

hiking
27 days ago

Great hike and really well marked trail! If you start at Gold Camp, it’s a tougher section for the first mile or so but after that, pretty casual hike! Nice views a couple of miles in!

29 days ago

Love this trail. No snow and this is from GoldCamp Road. I love this because it's steep and when I don't have time to do harder hikes or the loop. I go up and then go down. Wear good hiking boots because it's gravelly at the end and coming and back down. Good workout and nice views at the top. And yes gear to left when you hit forks

hiking
1 month ago

Fun little hike, good for a casual day hike or with kids. Cool views around the half way point. Overall, not very challenging.

hiking
1 month ago

Hard climb on the way up, but the scenery is beautiful. Keep left on the way up as there are multiple trail forks. Would definitely recommend this hike!

hiking
1 month ago

This is on of my favorite loops in the springs. You get wooded areas, open areas, places that are good for running and just enough elevation gain for my liking.

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