See sweeping views on Palisade Rim Trail hike
Want to go on a hike but don’t have the time or energy for an all-day trek on a remote trail? If so, the Palisade Rim Trail could be your answer.
Accessed off U.S. Highway 6 just before the road joins Interstate 70 east of Palisade, the Palisade Rim Trail is a relatively easy 3-mile loop that can be completed in a hike of two or three hours.
The trail was opened in spring 2012 and eventually will be part of an 8-mile loop system of singletrack open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders.
Small children may struggle on the hike because of the climb and larger rocks, but overall the hike is appropriate for nearly anyone looking for a quick loop to elevate the heart rate and get outdoors.
The rewards are sweeping panoramic views of Palisade orchards and the Colorado River and the petroglyphs on red rocks.
Be mindful not to throw anything out along the dirt path, as vegetation preservation and restoration is under way along the trail.
The trail is relatively well-marked, beginning at the bottom, where you will go uphill past a canal and negotiate numerous switchbacks toward more red rock and canyon formations.
The sound of the interstate can be heard in the distance, a reminder that you’re never that far removed from civilization.
Once you reach a fork in the trail, marked by a small brown post and actually the start of the loop so you can go in either direction, the sound of traffic gives way to birds, crickets and wind moving through the sagebrush and trees.
Follow the loop clockwise, ending at the rock petroglyphs, before heading back down.
Don’t be surprised if the hike from the bottom of the trail to the petroglyphs takes nearly 90 minutes to two hours. The descent will go faster for those in a time crunch.