Press "Enter" to skip to content

Lower Palisade Plunge & Palisade Rim Trails

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Well, you could say that 2024 has not started off on the right foot for me! On New Year’s Day I was planning on hiking in the Colorado National Monument to start off the new year right, but when I went to leave early in the morning my Jeep wouldn’t start. I was pretty positive that it wasn’t the battery and could hear that the engine was making a loud knocking sound as it was trying to turn over, so my heart sank as I realized there was most likely something wrong internally to the engine. So much for my first hike of the year! Later in the day when it warmed up a bit outside I made sure the battery was good and that there wasn’t something simple wrong, and then I had my Jeep towed over to the dealership so it could be looked at. Luckily, my Jeep is still just barely covered under the Powertrain Warranty. Anyway, since my Jeep is still waiting to be diagnosed I was stuck at home this weekend, but was able to borrow Diane’s car on Saturday morning so I could at least go on a local hike. I was hoping to get in a hike with some elevation gain as training for a longer upcoming hike later this month, so I decided to give the lower Palisade Plunge Trail a try. The last time I had hiked the nearby Palisade Rim Trail the Plunge Trail didn’t even exist, so this would be all new terrain for me.

There was a light dusting of snow on the trail this morning which made some of the rocks slick, but I was the first set of tracks in the fresh snow.

Along the Wall

The trail started off in a nice little scenic canyon, which I wasn’t expecting.

Palisade Plunge Trail

There was some nice reflected light in a couple bends of the canyon.

Lower Canyon Light

Trail Light

Quite a bit of work went into constructing some parts of this trail.

Lower Palisade Plunge Trail

The canyon started to narrow up a bit before the trail switchbacked out of it.

Canyon Narrows & Snow

Once I was out of the canyon the views opened up.

Canyon Overlook

Looking across to Mount Lincoln.

Mount Lincoln

Grand Valley View

Grand Valley View

Mount Garfield

Mount Garfield

As I climbed higher and the temperature warmed up, I started to encounter some mud and decided to turn around after hiking about 3 miles with 1,300 feet of elevation gain.

Palisade Plunge Trail View

On my way back down I took the upper connector to the Palisade Rim Trail so I could return down a different way.

Connector Trail View

I stopped to visit the petroglyphs along the way.

Deer Petroglyphs

Palisade Petroglyphs

Here’s one final view as I made my way back to the trailhead.

Descent View

>> Lower Palisade Plunge Trail Photo Gallery


    JOHN MCCOPPIN III February 1, 2024

    Hi Randy….hope the problem with your Jeep was not too serious! Tom McC, McQueeney, Texas

Leave a Reply