Are you tired of 98 degree Western Colorado heat? It's bad enough when you're running around town. It's even worse when you're climbing the side of a mountain. This hike, if you head out early enough, offers plenty of cool temperatures.

Have you ever hiked Palisade Rim? If you haven't, you really should. It's conveniently located at the east end of Palisade, just across the river. There's plenty of parking, and the trail is well established. In addition, it has a handful of other special features.

Take a look at the featured image in the video at the top. Do you see all the shade at the bottom of the image? The climb up Palisade Rim is on the west side of the Grand Mesa, and as a result, receives full shade throughout the morning. The photo above was taken well after 7 a.m. Unfortunately, as you can see in the photo, it was still pretty smokey.

When I set out Sunday morning sometime around 7:30 or so, it was almost cold. As a matter of fact, it was cold. It isn't until you reach the midpoint of the trail that it starts to loop around and you catch a little sunlight. Even as late as 8:30 and 9, it was still very cool.

There's another bonus to a morning hike on this trail. From 7:30 in the morning until roughly 9, I don't recall encountering another human being. It wasn't until I was almost back to the trailhead that I began seeing other people. Granted, by that time, foot traffic heading up the trail was almost like a parade.

It pays to get an early start on many Western Colorado trails. If you like cooler temperatures, even in mid-August, hit this trail early. That doesn't mean you have to be out there at the crack of dawn. For Palisade Rim, 8 a.m. will still guarantee you a cool hike. Not only that, you'll probably enjoy the privacy.

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