Susan G. Bretag Trail and Palmer Trail Loop

MODERATE 158 reviews
#4 of 30 trails in

Susan G. Bretag Trail and Palmer Trail Loop is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Colorado Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.5 miles Elevation Gain: 321 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

The Palmer Trail is a less-traveled route in the Garden of the Gods that travels along the forested hills on the western edge of the park. Still great views of the rock formations, but without nearly the tourists.

hiking
12 days ago

We had a great tile but couldn’t find the first trail and had to take a second trail after the Palmer trail seemed to just end

hiking
no shade
rocky
27 days ago

Completed 7/27/19. True to its word; a moderate, somewhat rocky at times trail that takes you around the perimeter of the park away from the main tourist trails closer to the rock formations. We took a detour and hiked up on of the formations to get some better views. Definitely bring plenty of water if you’re hiking mid day in the summer as there is limited shade on the first half of the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Plenty of great views, we did this hike with a small child with a carrier (not a stroller) and it wasn’t too difficult. There are some slight upgrades but you can take it slow and the path is partially paved and well trafficked. Would recommend!

hiking
2 months ago

Really enjoyed this trail. Away from the crowds and you still get to enjoy the beauty of the park.

2 months ago

Took this trail over the Memorial Day weekend when the park was extremely busy but much of this trail did not have heavy traffic, in particular the sections of the Scotsman Trail and the Palmer Trail. From the Palmer Trail we got some spectacular views of the formations from a higher elevation. Saw deer and a rather large snake at the side of the trail. Not the trail to take a regular stroller on. One couple tried with great difficulty. People kept their dogs on a leash. Trail was dry the whole way.

hiking
4 months ago

I did this loop in a clockwise direction, starting at 7:30am on a Friday in mid April. The weather was cool but pleasant and the trails were mostly dry. The Good: Amazing views everywhere, no fees, family friendly, well-maintained trails, and a really nice visitors center just up the road. The Bad: Crowded. Arrive early or you might not get a parking space (the lot at the TH was full when I left at 9:00, with a steady stream still arriving). Also, parts of this trail cross the road, and others are close enough to see and hear all the traffic going through the park. IMO, it lessens the experience a bit to see so many roads and parking lots in the middle of such a beautiful, otherwise natural setting. But I guess they call that progress. Overall this was a nice little stroll through a pretty spectacular setting. It’s touristy, and I wouldn’t even call most of this loop hiking, more like walking. But definitely worth the trip out if you find yourself in the area.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike on the outskirts of Garden of the Gods. Started with parking at the welcome center (which has an amazing view of the entrance...plus all the other closeby lots were full). Passed a few people but not a lot. Amazing views overlooking sections of the garden, and then it leads right into it. Overall, definitely a great trail to take when heading into the park.

Great trail to see the formations from a little distance. Not crowded on this weekday.

hiking
5 months ago

The views! There was still a little snow on the trail, but with the right foot wear it’s worth checking out. This will definitely be one of my regulars.

10 months ago

A terrific trail to view and appreciate the beauty contained within Garden of the Gods Park. Not only outstanding scenery but definitely less traveled than the central garden paths. Be certain to keep a watchful eye out for Bighorn Sheep on the Northern portion of the trail. Plenty of photo opportunities along this trail featuring plenty of fabulous red rock formations.

hiking
10 months ago

The Palmer Trail and the Susan G. Bretag trail wrap around the outside of the park to offer some great distant views of the rock formations! Great opportunity to get away from the crowds.

hiking
11 months ago

So beautiful. Park in the Nothtrailhead Parking lot and cross the street to start the trail. :) if you start on the right, you'll come out on the left and vice versa. follow some of the recordings.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Beautiful views of the formations. Early morning or weekdays are the best way to avoid heavy traffic.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Great little trail with one great view after the other.

hiking
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Not a very difficult hike. Park is pretty crowded and this trail is a nice break from the people.

hiking
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

I started from the north parking lot and went through the inside/middle area to get some quick shots of the formations, then went to the outside trail (non-paved one) to complete the loop. I included the Rocks and Vistas Garden Loop + Garden of the Gods Loop + Siamese Twins Loop within my hike. There wasn't many people on a Tuesday morning due to the high winds and snow so it was fairly empty. A great trail overall but definitely more of a touristy/nature style walk/hike instead of an actual hike. Also, on the outer loop where horses are used there is a lot of poop on the trails.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Hardly a hike but of course beautiful. Crowded due to tourism but what can you do, it’s quite the sight to see.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I would give it 5 stars for the views, however, have to take one back for being crowded and at parts, too "touristy", which is a good thing if you are a tourist, I suppose

hiking
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Easy hike, moderate crowd, very well marked trails and easy to follow maps. Beautiful scenery!

hiking
Monday, January 15, 2018

Love this trail! Gorgeous views and easy enough that my 4yr old can enjoy it.

hiking
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Spectacular view, easy to moderate trail.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Beautiful!! These amazing rock formations will make you believe that there is more to human life.

hiking
Sunday, October 22, 2017

Not crowded at all so I loved that!

hiking
Sunday, September 03, 2017

So beautiful here!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Fun trail. Not hard, great for visitors. Beautiful scenery. It was busy but not too busy.

hiking
Thursday, August 31, 2017

So beautiful!! A must-visit park for those visiting!

hiking
Thursday, August 24, 2017

This trail should be rated easy. Gets crowded in this park; this trail is a little less tourist-y but not by much.

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