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Palmer Trail (Section 16)

MODERATE 535 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

hiking
2 days ago

Perfect morning hike. We started around 9:30 and there was plenty of parking by the trailhead. The way up was a good workout (moderate due to the incline), with a great view at the top, and nice, shaded and easy descent down. If I lived in the area I would frequent this trail. Seemed well liked by runners and mountain bikers.

hiking
5 days ago

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!!!!

hiking
6 days ago

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.

13 days ago

Great hike. My 12 year old killed it.

16 days ago

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

hiking
16 days ago

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.

25 days ago

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

28 days ago

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

28 days 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.

28 days 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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

mountain biking
1 month 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
2 months 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.

2 months 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.

2 months 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
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

So much fun! Beautiful scenery and a moderate challenge.

hiking
2 months 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
3 months ago

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

4 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
4 months ago

4 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.

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