Share:

Palmer Trail

Garden of the Gods National Natural Landmark

Southern Front Range, Colorado

Start Exploring
Palmer Trail

Share:

Advertisement
  • Hiker on the Palmer Trail, Garden of the Gods.- Palmer Trail
  • Dotted Gay Feather (Liatris punctata) along the Palmer Trail.- Palmer Trail
  • Palmer Trail, Garden of the Gods.- Palmer Trail
  • Musk thistle (Carduus nutans).- Palmer Trail
  • Dotted Gay Feather (Liatris punctata) along the Palmer Trail.- Palmer Trail
  • Aster along the Palmer Trail, Garden of the Gods.- Palmer Trail
  • Prairie sunflower (Helianthus petiolaris) along the Palmer Trail, Garden of the Gods.- Palmer Trail
  • Palmer Trail, Garden of the Gods.- Palmer Trail
  • Unidentified cactus (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Palmer Trail
  • Palmer Trail, Garden of the Gods.- Palmer Trail
  • Harriman's yucca (Yucca harrimaniae).- Palmer Trail
  • Prairie sunflower (Helianthus petiolaris) along the Palmer Trail, Garden of the Gods.- Palmer Trail
  • Palmer Trail, Garden of the Gods.- Palmer Trail
  • - Palmer Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Views along the perimeter of Garden of the Gods. Less crowds than main area.
Cons: 
Intense heat and sun exposure during the summer months.
Advertisement
Region:
Southern Front Range, CO
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
180.00 ft (54.86 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
2.60 mi (4.18 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,420.00 ft (1,956.82 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The behemoth red and orange towers that jut from the foothills of the ancient Rocky Mountains are an impressive spectacle and a must-see on a Colorado itinerary. The Garden of the Gods National Natural Landmark represents a rich slice of Native American, Western, and geological history, and its unique perch between the Great Plains and the foothills gifts it a varied and interesting ecology.

While the area surrounding the visitor center is typically a tangle of tourists, the Palmer Loop Trail provides a bit of a reprieve from the heavy foot traffic. Following the juniper forested hills on the western edge of the park, the trail is a moderately steep out-and-back style trail that connects the main parking lot by Gateway Rocks with the Siamese Twin Rocks 1.6 miles away, but can also be made into a loop hike by connecting with the numerous other trails within the park. Travel by horseback is allowed.

Views of the snow-dusted Rocky Mountains are a constant on this moderate hike, and the Garden of the Gods is always in sight. An estimated 65 million years ago (about 100 million years after dinosaurs meandered about the area), the old Pacific plate slammed into the North American plate, tipping the orange and rust colored rocks that were once behemoth sand dunes like the Great Sand Dunes found in southern Colorado.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(20 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
13 Members
Who's Done It
22 Members
Submission by
Contributor
208 Adventures Explored
183 Adventures Published
Team
1266 Adventures Explored
1264 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info