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Palisades Lakes

Mount Rainier Area > NE - Sunrise/White River
46.9175, -121.5878 Map & Directions
7.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1,800 feet
Highest Point
6,150 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Upper Palisades Lake. Photo by Steve Wishbone. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Dogs not allowed
  • Good for kids
  • Lakes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
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Seven lakes, seas of wildflowers, summer huckleberries, a bevy of wildlife and a good chance of quiet solitude await you on this 9-mile out-and-back. What more could you ask for? Continue reading

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Hiking Palisades Lakes

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.

WTA worked here in 2011!

Hike Description Written by
Janelle Jones Walker, WTA Correspondent

Palisades Lakes

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.9175, -121.5878 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

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.

More Hike Details


Mount Rainier Area > NE - Sunrise/White River

Mount Rainier National Park

Guidebooks & Maps

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

Green Trails Mount Rainier East No. 270

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Palisades Lakes

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