Near Palmer Lake | 20 Miles | 7,188 Feet | Out and Back
Ride up the single track trail to the intersection with the dirt road which takes you up a moderate grade past the lower reservoir (about .6 mile) and then the upper reservoir (an additional .5 mile). From the weather station above the dam at the upper reservoir ride down the hill alongside the reservoir to where the road goes around a small finger of water. At the tip of the finger is a side trail to the right. Take this side trail to a fork near an old beaver pond and go left at the fork. This takes you through an old aspen forest. The trail will very soon turn sharply to the right. At the turn look to the left toward the base of the hill in front of you, this is the start of the Winding Stairs Trail; — the first hundred feet or so is overgrown with vegetation and the trail is not very obvious, but it will soon turn into an old rutted jeep trail. This goes up a number of fairly steep, washed out switchbacks with deep ruts and erosion and you’ll probably do much of this on foot; luckily this won’t last too long (about .3 mile). Once your at the top of this it gets much better with rolling hills and nice views of interesting rock formations. This trail will eventually intersect with and end at Rampart Range Road.
For accurate trail information, pick up Pocket Pals Trail Map #13, Rampart Range Wildlands