Upper Palisades Lake Trail to Lower Palisades Lake

MODERATE 117 reviews

Upper Palisades Lake Trail to Lower Palisades Lake is a 9.9 mile out and back trail located near Irwin, Idaho that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,095 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

running

forest

lake

views

wildlife

muddy

hiking
snow
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

running
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

I was wondering if we would find snow in mid October, but the sides were lightly dusted here and there. It was a beautiful fall hike. The river, the huge rock cliffs, the bridges, the leaves...it’s such a gorgeous trail. We had a 13 and 10 yr old, two 6 yr olds, and 3 yr olds and a baby in a front pack. The 6 year olds made it in and out (8 miles) completely on their own. The baby and three year old were carried on chests and backs.

hiking
5 months ago

The only reason I’d say this hike is “moderate” difficulty is because of the length. Other than that, it’s an easy hike; it has a well-defined path, very mild incline, and has a good amount of shade. It’s a beautiful hike, following a well-flowing creek with several cute bridges that cross the water and ends at a pond (although the trail does continue if you want to do the full Upper Palisades trail). There are a couple sections of trail that are fairly rocky. We went at 8:30 am on a Wednesday morning in summer and were practically the only ones on the trail. It took us a little over 3 hours, but we were walking fairly quickly with minimal breaks.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail. Did it with the whole family including my 7 year old! Lots of shade, so it wasn’t a scorcher. The trail was narrow in places and with horses on the trail, it was real narrow! Watch out for the mountain bikers too!

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike. Shaded enough to do even mid day. Lots of hikers down at the bottom but beautiful falls along the way and at lower palisades.

hiking
6 months ago

Took this trail in early July 2019 love it! Not only is the scenery wonderful but the fishing was great too. Go prepared for any weather. It was sunny, rained and hailed. Beautiful trail!

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful single-track trail. Went on a Saturday and it was in the mid-90s but still pretty crowded from the parking lot to Lower Palisades Lake. A couple of groups of horses on the trail but no issues. I prefer more secluded and backcountry trails to enjoy nature more but this was a good hike. I ended up going to the end of Upper Palisades Lake and took a dip in the ice-cold water. 18 miles round trip in 5.5 hours. My phone died on the way back so not a full recording. Well worth the trip despite the crowds. Fairly shady most of the way in the afternoon sun. Recommended for all but gets better the further out you venture!

hiking
6 months ago

really nice hike, we did it this afternoon after work and all the way there and back including a snack stop packing a kid along it took us 4 hours. it is slightly overgrown in spots. bring bear spray along. cant see down the trail at many points so be noisy. saw a mountain goat and a few moose. 5 snakes, other small animals.

hiking
6 months ago

fairly easy hike, lots of other people and dogs, there were also people on horseback so the horse poop on the trail was kinda of annoying but overall it was a great trail

hiking
7 months ago

Excellent hike today. Fairly busy with people, but it was the weekend, Father’s Day, and excellent weather. Both parking areas were pretty full. Little bit of of water on the trail around mile 3.75-4. Mostly run off. The creek is high and moving fast. Mountain blue bells are in blossom, and everything is super green!

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked on 6/14/19. The trail was well maintained with a few wet/muddy spots due to the high water in the “creek.” It was a raging river today! There were some rocky spots, but nothing too bad. It’s a long hike, but the canyon is gorgeous, and there aren’t too many steep spots. We saw a mountain goat across the canyon. We got to the parking lot just after 9 am, and there was only one other car. By the time we finished our hike (2 ish), the parking lot was full and we were encountering lots of other hikers. Overall, this is a great hike. I hope to get to the upper lake soon.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

9 months ago

great trail, it is my go to trail when I NEED to get away. this is the earliest I have attempted it... variable snow depths, post holing in the sunny areas, frozen solid in shade. definitely a work out. I'll be back soon enough...

Beautiful and saw moose and Mtn goat and deer

hiking
Sun Oct 21 2018

Beautiful early September hike. Just went up to the lower lakes. Good trail. Took our dogs. Quite a few people on the trail with us. Excited to hike up to the upper lake sometime. Gorgeous views and fall colors.

Mon Aug 20 2018

stream kept us cool. nice hike.

hiking
Fri Aug 17 2018

This was an awesome hike and fairly easy, in my opinion. Be careful not to trip on rocks downhill on the way back to the trailhead like I did ;)

Sun Jul 29 2018

We only went to the lower palisades lake, but it was a beautiful hike! Its well shaded for about 3/4 of the lower trail. One negivite, the trail was over grown in a few areas and the trail was very narrow in those areas. Other than that, it was an awesome hike and we'll be going again.

Wed Jul 11 2018

Great trail to take kids on, but be aware that there are numerous spots where the trail drops more or less to the river below. So keep an eye on the little ones! Take out what you take in and remember hiking courtesies... there's tons of people using this trail, so let's keep it looking as natural as possible.

Mon Jul 09 2018

My favorite hike around here. An easy day hike to the lower lake.

hiking
Thu Jun 14 2018

Beautiful, not hard at all. Fishing was great.

Sat Jun 09 2018

This is a fun backpacking trail with camping at lower and upper and other trails that break off from the lakes. It's a really fun area to explore.

hiking
Sat Jun 02 2018

Fantastic scenery, great hike, and we saw a Moose! I love the campground area near Lower Palisades lake, it was a great place to eat our lunch in the shade.

Sat May 05 2018

Great hiking trail

hiking
Sun Jan 07 2018

One of my favorites. I often continue on to the falls.

hiking
Wed Aug 09 2017

Great for a day hike or an overnighter.

hiking
Fri Aug 04 2017

Very nice hike; the trail is well maintained and mostly in the shade, which is very nice. All stream crossings have bridges. Quite a few others on the trail today, but it is a Friday.

hiking
Tue Jul 25 2017

This was a really fun hike and a beautiful trail. The trail goes along the creek the whole way up to the lake with several bridge crossings. We wanted to go fishing on the lake (lower palisades) but it is surrounded by brush and we didn't find any good fishing spots.

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