Trailhead / Access
There are several places you can start the Spruce Mountain Trail. The easiest is at the
Spruce Mountain Trailhead. This trailhead is about 2 miles from Palmer Lake on Spruce Mountain
The second way is to start at the Spruce Meadows trailhead and follow the Spruce Meadows
trail to the Spruce Mountain Trailhead. The Spruce Meadows trailhead starts at a parking lot
off a dirt road west of the interstate (I-25) at the Greenland exit. There are two parking areas.
One labeled Greenland Open Space and one a little further west labled Spruce Meadows Open Space.
There are trails that start at both locations. I parked at the Greenland lot but ran to the
Spruce Meadows lot (1/4 mile or so) as it has more facilities.
Spruce Mountain is part of the Greenland Open Space. Spruce Mountain is
a bluff area on the west end of the open space and the trail climbs from
parking lot area up to the top of the bluff and then follows a loop around
the bluff. The climb is a little steep but recently, and alternate route has been
built which is about a mile longer but much more gradual climb. The new switchbacks
make the area more accessable to mountain bikes.
The area is wooded and the trail is relatively flat on top. A little
caution is advised for those with small children in that there are cliffs along
most of the route around the top.
Spruce Meadows Trail head route - 9.0 miles
The trail starts on the west end of the Spruce Meadows lot and heads towards the west. You will
note a rocky hill in the distance...this is where you are headed. This section of the trail is
most grasslands and zig/zags its way to the hill. Just prior to the hill, you cross under the road
in a small narrow tunnel. Go through the tunnel and bear right on the trail. After about .4 miles,
you will join the Spruce Mountain trailhead.
Spruce Mountain Trailhead route - 5.5 miles
Following this trail will take you to a sign and fork in the trails. The other trailhead is in this
area. You want to follow the directions for the Spruce Mountain loop. This will take you up the hill and
then a branch in the trail. Right or left doesn't matter as this is a loop. At the far side of the loop,
you want to be sure you don't follow the trail down to the gate. This is a service road. From looking at
some views of the area, there may be a short trail that loops around the back side of the bluff but I have
not explored that yet. Some maps show it as Eagle Pass Trail. Other than that, the trail is fairly easy to follow.
There are awesome views off the rocks at various points on the trail, great for camera shots.
After completion of the loop, you can return to the Spruce Meadows trailhead the way you came or follow
the Spruce Meadows trail which will eventually lead you back to the trailhead. The combined loops would
give you about 14 miles. It is 8.5 as described here and 5.5 if you start at the Spruce Mountain trailhead.
The Spruce Meadows sections of the trail are open meadows so they will be subject to wind. It has been
my experience that in the winter, the winds tend to be 5-10 mph more that Palmer Lake or further south.