“A multi-track trail that travels west through the lodgepole/fir forest of the Royal Gorge open space area.”
— George Lamson
Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
A valid trail pass is required from the Royal Gorge ski resort for winter skiing.
This multi-track trail is a ski trail in the winter and a popular hiking trail in the summer. It winds east from the Serene Lakes watershed into the Palisade watershed through the lodgepole/fir forest of the Royal Gorge open space area on Donner Summit. The trail is part of a network of trails that provide access to the open space area (see map for connecting trails).
The start of the trail connects to the Reindeer Trail
via a short connector trail and it is the part of the route for accessing the Lyle's Lookout Spur Trail
(see map). The trail is open to hiking, running, mountain bikes, and skiing. It can be traversed in both directions and is open to hiking, running, and skiing in the winter. The trail is clearly marked by ski trail signs and is carpeted with wildflowers in the summer. The west leg of the trail is rocky and slopes down steeply to the Palisade Creek. This part of the trail is exposed and can be quite warm in the summer.
The nearest trailhead parking at the east end of the trail is at the Summit Station trailhead on Kidd Lakes road (no services) at the northwest corner of the Serene Lakes community. At the west end of the trail, there is a parking area on Kidd Lakes Rd where it crosses Palisade Creek.
Flora & Fauna
The trail cuts through a lodgepole/fir forest and during the summer is populated by a large collection of Sierra wildflowers. The forest is the home to deer, ground squirrels, bobcat, martens, bears and the occasional mountain lion.The rare wildflower Kellogg's Lewisia grows in the rocky soil at Palisade Creek near the west end of the trail.