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Palmer Divide Ranch Loop

 9 votes

3.6 Miles 5.8 Kilometers


253' 77 m


-262' -80 m


7,190' 2,192 m


6,970' 2,125 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (6°)



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

J Erik Hartel


Open dawn to dusk.


As described above, this is a nice, no-frills, non-technical mountain bike route in the new 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.

From the split, the trail climbs west along a gradual, vaguely technical, but fairly aerobic climb through scrub oaks and pines to the top of Dewey Hill. 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 too 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.


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3.6 from 9 votes

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Nov 23, 2017
Paul Headden
Jun 17, 2017
Frederick Ammons
May 14, 2017
Karen Kammann
Apr 8, 2017
Josh Sprague
Loved the ride with my 3 and 5 year old! 4.3mi
Apr 3, 2017
Josh Sprague
Stumbled onto this in the middle of an 83 mile gravel grinder ride. I only road 4 miles or so as it turned muddy, but it's beautiful! 4mi — 0h 25m
Mar 17, 2017
Julianne Peters
Mar 16, 2017
Julianne Peters
Nov 2, 2016
J Erik Hartel

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 9 votes


  3.6 from 9 votes
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in Colorado


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For a little more technical route, use the Rim Connector trail and stay on the western part longer. For more of a cruising ride, include the eastern part. The western part of the trail is slightly harder in the counter-clockwise direction. Nov 4, 2016

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