Palmer Trail - Section 16 Loop

 23 votes

5.4 Miles 8.7 Kilometers



1,263' 385 m


-1,277' -389 m


7,847' 2,392 m


6,629' 2,020 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (18°)

All Clear

30 days agoUpdate

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

Andrew Judkins


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.


Rate Featured Ride


4.1 from 23 votes

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Jul 12, 2017
Charla Wright
Jul 4, 2017
Kira Kariker
Jun 23, 2017
Allen Tanner
Apr 18, 2017
Chuck McQuade
Section 16's steep loose downhill (after the intermann junc its great) was least favorite part - so loose and overworn - the rest is great however
Nov 11, 2016
barry cook
Sep 2, 2016
Scot Stuart
5.7mi — 1h 21m
Oct 8, 2015
Patrick Yarbrough
Great short-ish loop! — 1h 07m

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Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 23 votes


  4.1 from 23 votes
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in Colorado


382 Views Last Month
10,684 Since Oct 15, 2013
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All Clear 30 days ago

Getting forecast...

Who was the scoundrel that shut down a portion of the 1904 General Palmer trail at Crystal Park? And why? And what can be done about it? Was there documentation at the time?? May 19, 2014

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