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Palmer Divide Ranch Loop

 3.7 (29)

A great loop with lots of varied terrain in Douglas County's Lincoln Mountain Open Space.

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7,189' 2,191 m


6,971' 2,125 m


262' 80 m


260' 79 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (6°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Family Friendly Fair easy, unpopulated trails

Open dawn to dusk.


As described above, this is a nice, no-frills, non-technical mountain bike route in Lincoln Mountain Open Space. The trail has two distinct personalities. The eastern half of this route consists of easy cruising dirt trails, while the western half contains a manageable bit of twisty singletrack with a few simple obstacles to spice it up.

From the E. Jones Road trailhead (TH), follow the main trail (Access Trail to Junction of Palmer Divide Ranch Loop & Lincoln Mountain Loop) for approximately .25 miles. This is the main trail junction that allows you to access the Lincoln Mountain Loop to the left (south) or the Palmer Divide Ranch Loop to the right (north). For this loop, stay right at the sign. After another .25 miles, you'll reach a second split.

This loop is best ridden clockwise from the split, as shown. This will present the slightly more challenging portion first and leave the rider with a nice fast cruise back to the finish.

The trail climbs west along a gradual, vaguely technical, but fairly aerobic climb through scrub oaks and pines to the top of Dewey Hill from the split. The 'hill' is really a misnamed mesa that offers great views of the surrounding ranch lands. From Dewey Hill, the trail follows the top of the mesa before dropping back down into the valley. Highlights include a series of fairly easy switchbacks and a few rock obstacles of various types, including a couple of slabs and a few 6-12" steps. The route is undulating in a flowy, enjoyable manner.

The lower half of the loop consists of wide gravel undulating walking trails that twist nicely along West Cherry Creek. There are some great views from the valley - particularly southwest towards Pikes Peak. This portion eventually returns to the original split, from which you can return to the TH.

If interested, you can combine this loop with the adjacent Lincoln Mountain Loop for a longer ride.

All told, this is a good route for beginner-to-intermediate MTB'ers with a few minor obstacles and a small bit of climbing to keep it challenging enough to promote learning and cardiovascular fitness.

NOTE: This trail tends to get quite muddy if there is any moisture. If it's even slightly muddy at the trailhead, stop and find somewhere else to ride.


Shared By:

J Erik Hartel with improvements by Peter T

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 29 votes


  3.7 from 29 votes
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in Colorado


8 Views Last Month
2,946 Since Feb 28, 2014



Catch beautiful glimpses of Pikes Peak as you ride the Palmer Divide Ranch Loop.
Mar 16, 2017 near Woodmoor, CO
On the Rim of the Palmer Divide Ranch Loop
Feb 28, 2014 near Woodmoor, CO
Looking Southwest across Meadow towards Pikes Peak
Feb 28, 2014 near Woodmoor, CO


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 57 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Nov 22, 2022
Peter T
Aug 8, 2021
Corey Winkelmann
May 28, 2021
Nikki LC
Jan 21, 2021
Tyler Flynn
Extremely muddy on north side, bike got bogged down a couple time. Had to taxi multiple times due to mud and sections of solid ice. 7.2mi
Jan 6, 2021
Nikki LC
Muddy/slushy with snow patches.
Dec 22, 2020
J Erik Hartel
Needs to dry out.
Nov 7, 2020
Kay Green
Oct 24, 2020
Joshua G