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Section 16/Palmer Trail

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Beautiful mountain scenery, spectacular views, old pine forest, mountain streams
Near:Colorado Springs, CO
Distance:6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:800 ft
Hike Time:3 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail

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 CTA on 6/16/2014
I encountered the bagged poop this weekend being left in the side of the trail. Then someone came around the corner and picked it up like he knew it was there. I think his dog dropped it right after it started and he did'nt want to carry it for 3 hrs. so he picked it up on the way back down. Not sure if that is etiquete or not, but at least he gatheed it

Reviewed by Vic on 4/28/2014
This has become my new personal favorite this Spring! Great workout at the beginning, open at first then shaded in the trees - beautiful! Lookout at the top about 1/3 of loop. Nice views on the rest of the loop. Good hike to get you warmed up for the rest of the summer season! I've heard the same about vandalism - do NOT leave valuables in the car. Enjoy!

Reviewed by AK on 12/9/2013
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Reviewed by KSA on 6/29/2013
I love this hike and is one of my all time favorites!!! The only thing frustrating is all of the dog shit on the trail!!! If you bring your dog then be responsible and pick up after your dog!!!!! And DON'T bag it and then leave it as that's worse!!!!

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:

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.

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

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