Palisade Basin is a 17.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Big Pine, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from July until October.
I did not hike the complete loop, which is good, because a backpack over Gun Sight Pass may have required some rope. I hiked from my Dusy Basin camp, through Knapsack Pass into the Palisade Basin. From there I climbed over Gun Sight Pass, then up the valley towards Mt. Sill. Made it over halfway to the top of Mt. Sill, then the Palisade Crest clouded, and I turned back. That was a bummer, but thunderstorms came about 1 1/2 hours later. For a change, I made a good decision.
This was a hike you rarely have a chance to do, and I'm glad I did. Looking straight up at Middle Palisade from its base is breathtaking - really breathtaking. One of the surprises along the head of the Basin, was the tiny, black frogs swimming around in the nearly freezing, snowmelt ponds. I didn't know frogs lived in cold water, too. Columbine peaked out from the cracks in the rocks. Twice I came across Mountain Lion tracks. But what made this an absolutely grand hike, was the raw, eternal, and truly awesome feelings brought from hiking off the beatan path. I wish I took more pictures, but I walked about with by jaw open the whole time. Put it on your wish list, you won't be disappointed.