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Palisade Rim Trail

 4.5 (17)


8.8 Miles 14.2 Kilometers

1,514' 461 m


-1,515' -462 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (22°)

6,042' 1,841 m


4,748' 1,447 m


Shared By Andrew Walters



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High exposure hiking right along the cliff's edge above the lush orchards of Palisade.

Andrew Walters

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Wildlife


The Palisade Rim Trail is a recently completed project that offers great views, petroglyphs and serious cliff-side hiking. The trail can be done as an out and back, or just the lower loop can be done, but the entire experience is a Grand Valley classic.

Need to Know

Park at the boat launch on HWY 6 just north of the trailhead rather than the shoulder of the road (illegal). Then head back south towards the trailhead and the start of the trail will be easy to locate. As with most trails in the area avoid this one after rain, especially the upper loop.


From the boat launch parking, go south along the road for a couple hundred yards to a large gate where the trail starts and follows an irrigation ditch for another couple hundred yards. The trail then starts climbing, steeply at times up great singletrack with some technical rock features along the way. This first section is the steepest on the loop.

The first climb follows great singletrack and technical rock sections across dry washes as it switchbacks up ~800 feet to the upper loop connector trail. The trail is great in either direction, but for simple navigating and great views, take a right at every junction and you'll see all of the highlights.

When you reach the Upper Rim Loop, you'll see signs indicating petroglyphs just off the trail near the junction. Check them out now if you want a break on the climb, or on the way down if you don't want to break your flow. Follow signs for the Upper Loop and then stay right at the next junction. Amazing exposure along the rim awaits as you hike over rocky shale, packed dirt and slickrock. The back side of the loop heads away from the cliff's edge and weaves in and out of washes to bring you back to the petroglyph junction. Head right again to see all of the trails and you'll also get a better view into some of the side canyons. Stay right again at the final junction to end up back at the road.


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Your Check-Ins


Aug 25, 2018
Tyler Hincy
The trail can be done as a lower and upper part. I only did he lower due to time constraints. However, the petroglyphs are easy to spot and are neat. 4mi
Jun 30, 2018
Megan Ferris
Amazing sunset hike - bring a good headlamp for the trek down. 5.3mi
Jun 22, 2018
Jen Kearns
May 4, 2018
Karl Schloer
Apr 27, 2018
Katy Tuckerman
Ran the “Lower Loop”
Apr 18, 2018
Kent Nienaber
Did the lower loop. Great views. 3.2mi
Apr 15, 2018
Machelle Williams
Apr 7, 2018
Machelle Williams
Hiked lower rim only today. Started at 10 at boat launch, back to same at 12:05 3mi — 2h 05m

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 17 votes


in Palisade


  4.5 from 17 votes
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in Palisade


in Colorado


235 Views Last Month
5,847 Since Jul 14, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



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