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Palmer Trail - Section 16 Loop

Consensus:    (details)
 4.0 from 3 votes
  Difficult from 3 votes
Your Opinion:
Rating: -none- change
Rank: #7 in Colorado Springs
#87 in Colorado
#579 Overall
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“A Colorado Springs Classic, challenging climb with a screaming descent.”
Andrew Judkins on Oct 15, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
5.4 Miles 1,263’ Ascent 7,847’ High 8.9% Avg Grade
85% Singletrack -1,277’ Descent 6,629’ Low 22.2% Max Grade
This trail makes you forget that you are just a few miles from a metropolis. Great views and excellent riding.

Crowded with hikers on weekends/holidays. Erosion on the descent has made that section loose and challenging.
Need To Know
Start in Red Rock Canyon for more singletrack and elevation gain, or link it up with High Drive, Captain Jacks, Columbine, Buckhorn and Bear Creek for an epic day of climbing.
Get to the TH by driving south on 26th Street from Hwy 24. Turn right on Gold Camp Rd at the 4-way stop, TH will be on the right in about a mile. If the lot is full there is more parking further up the street, full lot = bad day to chase KOMs.

Start by riding south on Gold Camp Rd, turn right at the intersection to head up High Drive (bike/horse gate on right side). Grunt up High Drive for 3/4 miles and find the new (summer '13) entrance trail on your right (THANKS Medicine Wheel). It is about .1 miles past the old metal entrance gate.

Climb the winding singletrack for 2 miles until you reach a saddle and an intersection. Left takes you 1/3 mile up to private property at Crystal Park Rd. Turn right and catch your breath while you flow along the ridge for a mile to a fantastic viewpoint.

If you borrowed your brother's Huffy, turn around and descend the way you came (watch out for hikers behind blind turns). Otherwise cowboy/cowgirl up, drop your seat, strap on your elbow/knee pads and charge down Section 16 Trail. It is easier to see hikers on this part of the trail, but stay on your toes and control your speed. Stay right at a the 3-way intersection with Intemann Trail (you may not see it if you are still going warp-speed).

Plow through a few short technical sandstone sections and go straight at the 4-way trail intersection. This will drop you down a chossy luge to Gold Camp Rd, where you can turn right and ride .1 mile to your car. You can also turn right at the intersection, but you'll have to deal with hikers and stairs.
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PHOTOS of Palmer Trail - Section 16 Loop
 2.7 from 3 votes
Some of the fastest sections of trail will have obstacles like this to s... (Manitou Springs, CO)
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