Summary: This beautiful trail begins in the desert landscape of Colorado's front range, and winds around the foothills until it begins to climb steadily into the mountains. Here the landscape changes to a thick forest of pine trees. Be sure to notice the great view of the Garden of the Gods to the north (at the beginning of the hike), and the many points on the trail that offer spectacular views of the city and of the Pikes Peak foothills. My favorite spot in the hike is the log bridge and mountain stream. In the fall, winter, and early spring the cascading stream is frozen solid as it rushes down the mountain.
This trail begins fairly steep, so pace yourself if you are not yet acclimated to the altitude and dry air. Also, during fall and spring, realize that even though it may be warm at the trailhead, the highest point of the hike is about 1000 feet higher, so you may be in significantly colder weather for a short time.
Trailhead: From Colorado Springs, take Highway 24 west and turn left (south) onto 21st street. Turn right on Gold Camp Road and continue straight through the four-way stop sign. The trailhead and main parking lot is on the right just a few minutes up the road, with overflow and large vehicle parking just past it on the left. (Lat:38.82243 Lon:-104.89042)
Trail Guides for Section 16/Palmer Trail:
Hiking Colorados Front Range
by Bob DAntonio (Globe Pequot Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: City of Colorado Springs Park/Pike National Forest 719-385-5944
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Laura Pate
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 8 Submit your own review
Reviewed by TJ on 1/27/2013
I do this Hike about twice a week. My personal Fav to keep in shape. I did a video review on Utube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsaJlxkqqL4
Reviewed by Dwayne on 12/5/2012
Start no so good, but it picks up after a bit and is very beautiful.
Reviewed by Alex on 4/14/2011
Great hike. But be careful! Had a window smashed out of my truck this last Saturday (4/9/11). We had a small cooler in the back seat. There has been many a vehicle vandalized at this trail. As others have warned, DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES IN YOUR VEHICLES. Just look around in the parking lot and you will see a lot of broken glass on the ground.
Reviewed by David on 3/21/2011
I have done this hike on several occasions and every time notice new things. I agree that the first portion is challenging but all in all great for getting the heart started. The only caution I do give is that you be prepared for mountain bikers. I will enjoy this trail more and more.
Reviewed by BNS on 9/6/2010
Great hike with my dog. Beautiful views. It really gets the heart pumping. I'm a little disappointed in other dog owners though. Seriously, if your dog craps, don't bag it and then leave it there! Really. Might as well not bag it. Not sure the logic there. Otherwise, the hike was great and the other hikers were all friendly.
Reviewed by Mark on 8/27/2010
***CAUTION*** Upon arrival to this trailhead, I found a lady that had just completed the trail brushing broken glass out of here vehicle. Someone had smashed in her driver side window and swiped her purse. I would advise anyone hiking this trail or surrounding trails not to leave valuables in their vehicles or at a minimum, put them out of sight. As for the trail... outstanding. Fairly good climb for the first quarter, but a nice steady decent the rest of the way. Very clean trail w/ great views. Very popular with the mountain bikers though.
Reviewed by Jake on 8/11/2010
I have hiked this trail 5 times in the last few months. Starting from the section 16 trailhead and ending at the oneway highdrive comes out to be about 6.2 miles. The initial tail assends usining a series switchbacks that lead you to the top of the trail. Beautful views and totally worth the effort. The remaining trail is a steady decent. Nice place to pick up the pace and get a good downhill leg burn.Kind of sucks to end this trail on the one way highdrive rd. but this is the last 15 min hike back to the trailhead secion16
Reviewed by Jake on 8/10/2010
I hiked this trail 4 times now. The last time took me 2h4m.Yes the initial climb is tough compared to other trails in the area. Good warmup to the Incline. 1st 1/4 mile does show evidence dogs. Not lot of people during the week but the weekend is busy. Enjoy and be safe.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Colorado Hiking, Colorado Trails, Colorado Hikes, El Paso County Hiking, El Paso County Trails, El Paso County Hikes