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

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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  • Expect delays due to road construction.

    Road construction is underway from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. The road has very rough areas. All vehicles should proceed with caution. Mon to Fri expect up to 30 minute delays and slow travel for 7 miles. More »

  • Melting snow bridges and high streamflows create hazards for hikers, skiers, and snowshoers

    Be aware of hidden- and potentially fatal- hazards created by snow bridges and high streamflows on Mount Rainier. More »

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:

1200 feet

Hiking time, round-trip:

4 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 main 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 at 2.7 miles, a spur trail leads to Hidden Lake, one of the prettiest lakes in the park. No camping is permitted at Hidden Lake. The main trail ends at Upper Palisades Lake, one mile beyond this junction.

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 in abundance along the trail.


Backpacking:


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

Did You Know?

Northwest face of Mount Rainier and Emmons Glacier as seen from Sunrise.

Mount Rainier is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states at 35 square miles of snow and ice with Emmons Glacier being the largest by surface area with 4.3 square miles of ice. The Emmons is best viewed from Sunrise on the NE side of the mountain.