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Palisade Rim



8.7 mile 14.0 kilometer loop
95% Singletrack


Ascent: 1,324' 404 m
Descent: -1,329' -405 m
High: 6,031' 1,838 m
Low: 4,760' 1,451 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)


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Trail shared by Andrew Judkins

Techy singletrack with amazing exposure and phenomenal views.

Andrew Judkins

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


Exposure on-par with Moab's Porcupine Rim, but with fewer people and more singletrack.

Need to Know

Bring plenty of water. Avoid the upper loop after rain. Watch where you are going, falling in some spots could be fatal. Stop by the Palisade Brewing Company for a pint after your ride. Visit Rapid Creek Cycles in Palisade for current trail conditions.


Park at the river launch site approx 200 yards north of the trailhead. The trail begins next to a large gate, start the climb up and around the irrigation ditch.

The initial 800 foot climb has just enough switchbacks to keep you on the bike, with plenty of short technical challenges to keep your attention.

At the top of the first climb, catch your breath and enjoy the view of Colorado's Wine Country. If you plan on doing both loops you have another 700 feet of climbing ahead of you, but it comes over more miles than the first climb.

Back on the bike, keep heading uphill and take a left at the intersection (trail is great in both directions, but flows better this way). Crank another mile over varied terrain to the upper loop connector trail. Take a left here to access the challenging upper loop, or stay right if you only want the lower action. Look off to the right and admire the petroglyphs on the sandstone (look, don't touch please).

Charge up the connector trail for 0.8 miles to reach the upper loop, and again go left at the intersection. This 4 mile loop has it all: rocks, dirt, shale, berms, twists, short climbs and plenty of cliff exposure. The highlight for most riders will probably be hammering down the west side of the upper loop, don't let the exposure rattle your nerves.

Head down the connector trail and rejoin the lower loop near the petroglyphs. The second half of the lower loop offers more rocky challenges, but with less exposure than the upper loop.

Now lower your seat a few inches and prepare to drop 800 feet back down to the parking lot (control your speed and watch out for hikers and shear cliffs).

History & Background

The history of this gem can be found at Rapid Creek Cycles

Biked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed


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May 5, 2020
Sarah Simonic
Nov 24, 2019
Ben Holzschuh
Nov 10, 2019
Alex Lheritier
Oct 19, 2019
Tim McCabe
Aug 21, 2019
Tim Wenger
Lower loop only. 3.5mi
Jun 17, 2019
Herb Sanabria
Jun 13, 2019
Derek Sowell
Beyond my skill level so did a lot of hiking. Trail a couple ft from 1000ft cliff at points. Everything is walkable. Exposure on city side. 8.3mi — 1h 51m
Jun 2, 2019
Cindi Hillemeyer

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 85 votes


in Palisade


  4.2 from 85 votes
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in Palisade


in Colorado


573 Views Last Month
33,550 Since Oct 9, 2013



Nate Hills and Botsy Philips having fun on Palisade Rim!
Jun 14, 2016 near Palisade, CO
Palisade Rim Trail runs along the edge of the cliffs on the right, it's a long way down, hence the "Need to Know" section says to watch where you're going.  Nice views though.
Sep 17, 2014 near Palisade, CO
Riding one of the many tech spots on Palisade Rim.
Apr 23, 2017 near Palisade, CO
Descending into the canyon for some steep slopes and cliff exposure on Palisade Rim.
Mar 30, 2017 near Palisade, CO
Petroglyphs at the trail intersection - make sure to be respectful!
Mar 30, 2017 near Palisade, CO
Overlook of Colorado's Wine Country from the top of the 1st climb.
Oct 9, 2013 near Palisade, CO

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