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Palisades Lakes

Mount Rainier Area

Location

Mount Rainier Area -- NE - Sunrise/White River
View map below

Length

7.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1800 ft.
Highest Point: 6150 ft.

Rating

3.74 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2011
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
 
 

Seven lakes, seas of wildflowers, summer huckleberries, a bevy of wildlife and a good chance of quiet solitude await you on this seven-mile out-and-back hike. What more could you ask for?

While the throngs of summer visitors are heading to the end of the road at Sunrise Point, pull off into the corner viewpoint parking area near the top. The trail starts across the road and heads downhill to Sunrise Lake, the first of many you’ll encounter. It’s nice, but keep going. Passing over rocky sections of trail, listen and look for pikas; if you’re quiet you’ll be able to spot them. At 1.5 miles is Clover Lake. Here you’ll find an array of wildflowers surrounding the lake. Again, nice, but you’ll want to keep going.

Continue past a small grove of skeletal silver trees and come to Tom, Dick and Harry Lakes’ Dick Camp. It’s often buggy here, and the camp is nothing spectacular. The real gem is the 0.5-mile side trip to Hidden Lake—you will not be disappointed! In the morning light the reflections of the Upper Palisades rocks and Marcus Peak are a sight to behold—and you just might have this place all to yourself. Camping is not permitted here, but you can take a dip in the lake or scramble up Marcus Peak for higher vistas.

After you’ve had your fill at Hidden Lake, return to the main trail and continue to Upper Palisades Lake, less than a mile farther. Along the way you will cross a field of lupine with the Palisades rocks towering above. If you start early enough to get here during morning light, the scene is especially magical. Now on to Upper Palisades Lake, the prettiest of all the lakes, replete with lots of wildflowers, big boulders and sandy shores. The water is crystal clear and refreshing—but cold! Several marmots live here. Look for them sunning on the boulders or near their burrows.

WTA Pro Tip: Scramble up to Brown’s Peak from Upper Palisades Lake to see some big views of Mounts Rainier and Adams and the Enchantments Range.

 

Palisades Lakes

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.9175, -121.5878 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area -- NE - Sunrise/White River

Mount Rainier National Park

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Mt. Rainier National Park Trails (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails Mount Rainier East No. 270

Getting There

From Enumclaw, drive SR-410 38 miles to the White River park entrance. Turn right onto Sunrise Road for 13 miles to viewpoint and trailhead parking.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
 

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Palisades Lakes

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