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.


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.

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