Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Palmer Red Rock Loop

With sunny skies, temps in the 70s and a clear schedule there was no way I wasn't getting out for a hike today.  The selection -- the Palmer Red Rock Loop in Colorado Springs' Bear Creek Cañon Park.  Even the moon was still out to greet Ginny and I as we hit the trailhead at 9:45.

The trail ascended sharply through some switchbacks, then a side path led to some nice overlooks.  I believe this is Mount Garfield to the southwest.

The sun was actually beating down pretty hard on the exposed sections of the trail.  This would be a pretty brutal hike in the heat of summer.

The trail's middle section followed a ridge line that provided some broad views of the southern Colorado Springs area to the east.

The descent meandered back into a couple of heavily shaded canyons, with a small stream still managing to run down through the rocks in one.

I was a little surprised that with all the different signs at the trailhead there wasn't one that actually mentioned the name of the trail.  Still, the description in 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Denver made it clear we were in the right place.

It took us almost exactly three hours to cover the 5.72 miles and 1,400 feet of elevation gain, with a couple of photo stops.  I haven't taken enough advantage of the Colorado Springs area, which is actually about the same drive for me as most of the stuff around Boulder that I've visited so much over the past few months.  Nice to have such great options in both directions from my house!

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