Palisades Lakes Trail is a 7.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sunrise, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until September.
From Puyallup, east 52 miles on Highway 410 to Sunrise Road in Mount Rainier National Park. Turn right and drive 13 miles to Sunrise Point and the trailhead.
My friend and I hiked into the Lower Pallisades Lake this last Saturday for some fly fishing. This lake has been a favorite of mine since it is so hard to get too, only saw one other set of footprints on the lake shore, I caught and released 11 brook trout sizes varied from 3" to one that was pushing 11" - pretty good for high mountain trout. Flowers were really only still around on the higher ridge tops, but still beautiful. It was seriously windy and from the lake we watched the clouds racing by and could hear the wind howling in the ridge-top trees which was an added bonus. The lake is frigid even in late August, had to throw on some layers to warm up after being in the float tube for over an hour. We hiked out of the lake summiting just east of the lake, there's only game trails and the ridge is seriously steep. There's a trail that heads down from the overlook just past the Upper lake - but that isn't a recommended path down - as we literally scrambled down the mountainside zig-zag-ing our way down to the lake. Not a lot of fun with a inflated float tube attached to ones pack. I would try to find another way down by the western end of the upper lake - and following game trails down from there.
Did a single night right after work. It cooled rapidly after sunset and was very warm by mid morning. calm peaceful and quiet.
We just spent an overnight at Upper Palisades and the trail in was a bit loose and dusty the whole way in. Bugs were really only a problem till you reached the meadows headed into upper palisades. While camping at the lake we had no issue with bugs. The lake has gone down quite a bit in the last couple weeks and had been warmed up a bit.
Wildflowers were absolutely beautiful and if you can hike the ridge above upper palisades it will make for some beautiful evening views of the valleys.
06/07/15 - Sunday - This trail can be broken up to suit your difficulty level. There are several lakes that you will pass: Sunrise, Clover, Tom, Dick, Harry, Lower Palisades and Upper Palisades Lake. It's a beautiful hike that starts out downhill and skirts around Sunrise Lake on its way to Clover. Several large and small meadows are crossed which will be stunning in the summer and fall. Bear also like this area in the fall because of the berries, so be aware. We startled three elk standing in a small pond on the way back as we exited some trees and they took off like a freight train about 40 yards from us. Bring some extra shorts… Early morning would be the time to visit for photography. I was shooting into the sun most of the time as you can see from my posted photos. There are no views of the mountain from any of these lakes, so don't go there expecting that. No bugs and no snow to worry about.
More on my hiking blog at cairnguru.com
06/07/15 - Sunday - To reiterate what Dave Post wrote, this hike is near Sunrise. Many of the hikes in this area are incorrectly labeled as "Paradise Inn". I've suggested to AllTrails that this trail page be combined with the Upper Palisades Lakes Trail because it is the same. I will write a full report on that page: http://alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/upper-palisades-lake-trail
More on my hiking blog at cairnguru.com
Lots of Alpine Lakes along this trail. Fantastic wildflower display in August. Three areas with moderate elevation changes. Bring a change of socks, plenty of water, and good strong bug juice. Some areas you'll be accompanied by a host of Mosquitos. Taking the detour to see Hidden Lake off of the main trail is worth it - good place to take a meal break. Enjoy and Happy Trails.
Just a note here. This trail is near Sunrise, not Paradise (see "getting there") I've done several hikes in the Sunrise area and hope to do this one soon.
This hike started at the top of sunrise parking lot, just below Sunrise visitor Center. Hiking down sunrise ridge you drop down to sunrise lake, keep in mind you have to accend back up this trail to get back to your car.
Heading along the trail you continue you accend and decend a few times reaching Clover lake, the larger of the lakes you hike by, including tom, Dick and harry. Climbing up from clover lake was easy but beyond it is a deep decend into yet another valley, this one being steeper than the first ridge. all along the trail is meadows little creeks and trees. the views of the sourdought mtns. is unique as it had plenty of avalnches over the years. You contine beyond a primitive camp ground at Dick lake and over a large sub alpine meadow before dropping down to Palisades Lake, a jewel in the Park.
a perfect lunch break and or a quick relaxing nap before heading back. allin all about a 1200' elevation gain loss