Palmer

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 3.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 6324 - 6572 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Parking Lots 2, 3, 4, 5, 11 or 13.
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic trail




The Palmer trail is located in the Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The north end of the trail begins across the road from Parking Lot 2. From there it follows a primitive trail that takes it around the west side of the Central Garden area all the way down to the Siamese Twins rock formation where it comes to an end. Short spur trails lead over to various other parking lots along the way that also provide access to the trail.


The Palmer trail starts out across the loop road from the main parking area Lot 2. The Bretag trail which takes the right fork also begins here.


Following the left fork the Palmer trail starts out smooth but becomes much more primitive as it continues.


While the loop road is never very far away most of the time the trail is secluded from view by a variety of vegetation.


Hikers are treated to views of the Central Garden area that most visitors to the Garden of the Gods will never see.


The primitive nature of the trail makes the hike somewhat of an adventure.


Near the mid point of the trail it flattens out a bit and comes down to the level of the loop road. Through this area there are many spurs that lead over to some of the other trails and parking areas.


Travel is restricted mostly to the trail itself to help preserve that surrounding environment.


As the trail nears its southern end the hulking mass of Pikes Peak (14,115 feet) comes into view.


The Siamese Twins are a real treat as the trail comes to an end. There are several hoodoo type formations at various places along the Palmer trail but the Twins are the crème de la crème.


The end of the Palmer trail is right behind the Siamese Twins. That trail can be followed in either direction to get to the Siamese Twins trailhead where the Palmer trail hike can also begin from.


The main parking lot, Lot 2, is usually jam packed with vehicles. People are continually coming and going but it is difficult to plan on finding a place to park. We rode our bikes into the park from the Visitor Center and chained them to a sign so we could hike the Palmer trail. Other than not having a bike rack parking wasn't an issue for us. The Palmer trail is a good hike that gets you away from the crowds and allows you to see the Garden of the Gods from a completely different perspective. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.