Explore the area above the Palmer Lake Reservoirs

Hi Secular Hikers,

The hike for Monday, May 5th will be exploring the area above the Palmer Lake Reservoirs.  We will be going past the reservoirs exploring trails going off Balanced Rock Road.

Some of us will be carpooling from the Woodmen Valley park-n-ride. To get there from Interstate 25 and Woodmen Road, go west to the first stop light, turn left (south) on Corporate Drive, turn right (west) at the first intersection onto Mark Dabling Blvd, take an immediate right turn into the parking lot.  We will be leaving this parking lot at 8:15 AM.

There is a good chance that there will be snow and ice on the trail.  I highly recommend that everyone on the hike have micro spikes for their boots (available at REI).

Some or all of us will be going out to dinner after the hike at various restaurants around the area.

For the people who live north of Colorado Springs: You may want to meet the rest of us at the trailhead. From Highway 105 in Palmer Lake, go west 0.3 miles on South Valley Road, turn left onto Old Carriage Road. Go down this steep narrow one way road 0.1 mile. The trailhead is at the bottom of the hill. An overflow parking lot is a little east of the trailhead heading towards South Valley Crescent. The rest of us will be arriving around 8:45 AM.

Please bring enough water and snacks for the hike.

Please let me know if you plan on attending the hike and where you will meet us. If you change your mind, please let me know that also.

Rich [masked])

p.s. It costs me $72 twice a year to be a meetup organizer.  Would you please consider helping by sharing this expense?  If I receive about $0.50 per person (including guests) per hike or (to avoid a bunch of quarters) $1.00 per person about every other hike you attend, I would come out roughly even.

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  • Rich B.

    Our total elevation gain was around 2000 ft. to 2500 ft. The most difficult part of the hike was the 1150 ft. decent of the north side of Chautauqua Mountain.

    2 · May 5, 2014

  • Rich B.

    We went up past the reservoirs to the lower end of Balanced Rock Road then to a very pretty spot with very large rocks next to North Monument Creek. Then back tracked a few minutes to a trail that went up a ridge heading towards a higher point on Balance Rock Road. We then tuck a right at a fork in the trail that I have never been on. This trail headed mostly in a westerly direction and was located between North Monument Creek and Balanced Rock Road. After a few miles, the trail eventually went up to Balanced Rock Road. After lunch we took a side trail heading south with a good view of Mount Herman and Mount Herman Road. We turned around and went back to Balance Rock Road and back down to a side trail heading up to some very large rocks and then back down to Balance Rock Road just past a side trail (that we did not go down) that heads steeply down to Chautauqua Trail 715. We then went up a another new trail for me to the top of Chautauqua Mountain and down to the cars.

    1 · May 5, 2014

  • Gene O.

    This was definitely the hardest hike I've ever done. Though only 11.3 miles in length over seven hours, there were many steep hills along the way. I can't begin to estimate the total vertical distance we covered. 4000 feet? Perhaps Rich can offer an estimate.

    The first hour or two of the hike was simply gorgeous. I really enjoyed this part of the hike, in spite of the really steep hills we encountered.

    We heard gunshots coming from Rampart Range Road.

    The last trail of the day, dropping down the east side of the mountains near Palmer Lake, was just brutal: lots of scree on steep grades (I fell twice and slipped numerous times); lots of rocks; lots of switchbacks; needed to cross a twenty-foot wide creek with lots of running water over multiple, semi-exposed rocks to get to the trailhead side. The one good aspect to this trail was its terminus almost on top of the trailhead.

    I was over my head for about half of this hike, but I survived to try again another day!


    1 · May 5, 2014

    • Gene O.

      I consumed 120 ounces of water on this hike, or just under one full gallon.

      1 · May 5, 2014

  • Gene O.

    I will join the group at the trailhead.

    April 29, 2014

    • Gene O.

      Rich, is your issue with the spiciness of the food, or Mexican cuisine in general? If the former, we can probably find a Mexican restaurant with mild food choices.

      May 2, 2014

    • Rich B.

      I am sure I can find something to eat.

      May 3, 2014

  • Finn

    Grumble. I am going to miss all these cool trips. Maybe at some point there can be a potential future list so those of us who are slinging burgers for a living can request time off. ;}

    April 29, 2014

    • Rich B.

      I would love for you to be able to join us on some of these hikes. How far ahead do you need to request a day off work?

      April 29, 2014

    • John and Kym S.

      As it is every Monday, perhaps Finn could pick the Monday and Rich could plan a hike that she might fancy.

      April 30, 2014

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