• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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Palisades Lake Trail

Trail route from Sunrise Ridge, White river entrance, to Palisades Lakes/ NE.
Map of the Palisades Lakes Trail from White River entrance. Use of a topographic map of the area is recommended.
 

Trail Description:

Distance, round-trip:

7 miles

Elevation gain:

1800 feet

Hiking time, round-trip:

4-5 hours

Wilderness camps:

Dick's Lake
Upper Palisades Lake

Drive 10.5 miles beyond the White River Entrance to the parking area at Sunrise Point. Find the trailhead at the point's east end.

After a steep .5 mile descent along a slope which holds snow into late July, hikers have the choice of taking a short spur trail to Sunrise Lake or continuing on the main trail toward the Palisades Lakes. The trail goes up and down for the rest of its length, passing Clover Lake 1.5 miles from the trailhead. It continues past Tom, Dick, and Harry Lakes and ends at Upper Palisades Lake. One mile before Upper Palisades Lake a spur trail leads to Hidden Lake. No camping is permitted at Hidden Lake.

This trail was named for an interesting rock formation called "The Palisades" which towers over the lakes near the trail's end.


Along the Trail:


Although the Sourdough Mountains successfully block any view of Mount Rainier from this trail, hikers can easily spend all day enjoying the array of lakes, wildflowers, or huckleberries in season. Look for pikas and marmots in the talus slopes. Elk can often be heard bugling during the rutting season of early autumn and can sometimes be seen along the trail.


Backpacking:


Camps are located at Dick Lake and Upper Palisades Lake. Treat water before drinking. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails. Obtain a backcountry camping permit for overnight stays.

Did You Know?

Excerpt from a page of Kenneth Arnold's report showing notes and sketches of the

On June 24th, 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold sighted nine strange objects "flying like a saucer would" passing by his plane as he flew near Mount Rainier. His encounter is considered the first widely reported UFO sighting, and triggered many similar accounts of "flying saucers".