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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Divide Ranger District

Quick Facts

Palisade Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,400 Feet (2618.5 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,100 Feet (342.9 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,500 Feet (2961.3 Meters)
Trail Number: 761
Usage: Light
USGS Maps: South Fork West

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This trail goes north towards Blue Park and Long Park and was used extensively in the past to drive sheep and cattle to the high country. Today it is mostly used by hikers and hunters and livestock driving is done on the Alder Road. Along this trail you will see evidence of the Douglas fir stumps which were cut in the late 1800's for railroad ties.

Directions from South Fork: There is no public right-of-way through private property adjacent to Highway 149, therefore, this trail must be accessed via the Alder bench Trail (Forest Development Trail 799).Drive north on Highway 149 from South Fork. Turn right on River Road and travel about a mile, then turn left at Alder Creek Road (Forest Road 610). Continue until you reach the Alder Guard Station.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Early May through October .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Palisade Trail
ICON Horseback Riding On an old livestock trail
ICON Hunting In season

Related Activities
Alder Bench Trail - This is an old livestock trail, now open to hikers and horses. In the fall, hunters seek elk and deer on this trail.

East Bellows Trail - The trail provides good hiking access to Wheeler Geologic Area, Halfmoon Pass, and the La Garita Wilderness. Beautiful views and unique geologic features are the main attractions of this trail.

Farmers Creek Trail - Only a few decent camping places exist along the lower portion of the trail. Good scenery and access to Wheeler Geologic Area, La Garita Wilderness and the vastness of Wason Park.

La Garita - Phoenix Park-Halfmoon Pass Trail - Excellent scenery, a bounty of wildflowers and a good opportunity to see elk exist along this trail. Large open alpine meadows with scattered patches of old growth spruce/fir timber are a common part of the landscape.

Middle Fork Cut-Off Trail - The trail offers an alternative or circuit route to Machin Lake from the Middle Fork trail. It is steep and poorly marked; it has been staked for future reconstruction.

Wason -Wheeler Trail - Excellent views of Creede and several historic mines provided along the first 2.0 miles of this trail. Breathtaking scenery is enjoyed while standing at Inspiration Point.

West Bellows Creek Trail - Opportunities for good fishing exist along West Bellows Creek, but camping areas are rare in this drainage. Views of spectacular cliffs and rugged country can be seen while hiking up the narrow canyon.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Divide Ranger Station, 13308 West US Highway 160, P.O. Box 40 , Del Norte, CO, 81132, Phone: 719-657-3321, TTY: 719-657-6038


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