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Palmer Trail - Section 16 Loop

Difficult
 4.2 (45) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A Colorado Springs Classic, challenging climb with a screaming descent.


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Map Key

5.4

Miles

8.7

KM

85%

Singletrack

7,847' 2,392 m

High

6,629' 2,020 m

Low

1,263' 385 m

Up

1,277' 389 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Andrew Judkins

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 45 votes

#278

Overall
  4.2 from 45 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
4%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#83

in Colorado

#278

Overall
224 Views Last Month
17,499 Since Oct 15, 2013
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
0%
93%
7%

Photos

Amazing view after a long climb!
Aug 23, 2016 near Manitou…, CO
Casey sending some tech.
Jun 19, 2019 near Manitou…, CO
View east from Palmer Red Rock loop
May 22, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
Looking down on Colorado Springs, almost to the top of the loop...
Aug 23, 2016 near Manitou…, CO
Some of the fastest sections of trail will have obstacles like this to slow down for and avoid.
Oct 16, 2013 near Manitou…, CO
The tech on the Section 16 Trail gets a little rough and dusty.
Apr 15, 2017 near Manitou…, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 5 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jun 8, 2020
Grant Espinosa
17mi — 2h 00m
Apr 1, 2020
Austin Holler
5.4mi
Nov 17, 2019
Kenny P
Sep 4, 2019
Austin Holler
Aug 16, 2019
Mike Beck
that was hard.
May 18, 2019
vaughn beckman
Apr 20, 2019
D BB
Go clockwise! Section 16 is very technical. 5.4mi
Apr 8, 2019
Jason Memmer
First ride!