Palmer Lake is a Statutory Town in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The population was 2,420 at the 2010 census. Palmer Lake was founded by General William Jackson Palmer in 1871 and was incorporated in 1889.
Palmer Lake is one of three communities in the Tri-Lakes region between Denver and Colorado Springs. The three lakes are Palmer Lake, Monument Lake, and Lake Woodmoor. Located off Interstate 25 near two major metropolitan centers, Palmer Lake is a growing community on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
Downtown Palmer Lake, though small, features cozy restaurants, such as O'Malley's Steakhouse and Pub on Colorado Highway 105, Speedtrap Coffee & Bistro, Dex’s Dogs Cafe, and LaRosa Mexican. There are also a library, town hall, and an historical museum. Visitors can enjoy a coffee shop, bakery, antique shopping, and boutiques. The Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, a nonprofit fine arts venue, features rotating art exhibitions and concert events with nationally-recognized artists.
The town's water comes from two reservoirs in the mountains behind the town and from wells. Both reservoirs and Monument Creek, which flows out of them, are considered part of the town's watershed. The town's namesake lake dried up completely during the summer of 2012 due to ongoing extreme drought conditions,. Local citizens investigated various ways to fill the lake and keep it healthy on a permanent basis. However, the town's Board of Trustees held a firm stance against transferring water from the reservoirs to be stored in the lake, asking "Should our water supply be protected for the health and safety of all of our citizens, or should it be utilized for mostly aesthetic purposes?" They provided no indication of what a valid purpose to keep they lake full might be. Downtown businesses and resident morale suffered greatly due to the lack of any surface water within city limits. By 2014, the lake was nearly dry again
Library services for the city are provided by the Palmer Lake Branch Library, located at 66 Lower Glenway in Palmer Lake.