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Upper Palisades Lake Trail is a 15 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Irwin, Idaho that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 15.0 mi Elevation gain 1,679 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Fishing Hiking Horseback riding Mountain biking Forest Lake River Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky
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Reviews (281)
Photos (527)
Recordings (131)
Completed (748)
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Emmeline S.
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Hiking
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Emma Wood
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HikingGreat!
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Octavia Gibson
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HikingGreat!

Absolutely gorgeous!

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Mark Jensen
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Great!
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Atitaya Wongsomskul
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 9, 2020
Hiking

It was really long hike but it wasn’t that hard , it’s really nice trail to go up there , loved it.

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Randy Lav
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Hiking
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Alex Puetz
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HikingGreat!

Amazing hike! Trail is well marked and great views along the way. The lower lake has a great campground and is very cool. Saw a moose on our way to the upper lake. The trail gets a little steep at the last mile but is well worth it as the upper lake is amazing. So gorgeous and quiet. We were there in the early evening and no one else was around. Some campers were heading up on our way down. Overall, the whole hike was great and the lake is worth the trek. Highly recommend

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Teddy Cunningham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great trail with bridges at every crossing to the upper lake. Only one short section of rocks that was easily navigated. A swim in the lake was cold but worth it. This is a long but fairly easy hike. Only one steeper switchback section the last half mile. We left early and got a parking spot, took our time on the ascent and spend a good 40 minutes at the lake. I’d like to backpack in and stay overnight to explore the entirety of the lake. I was surprised by the size and color. So beautiful it’s a shame to not give oneself plenty of time to enjoy it.

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Marina Paul
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Hiking

Gorgeous hike by the Palisade River!

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Debra Beatty
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Hiking

This review is for the lower lake. For me, the trail has the perfect amount of gradual ups and downs slowly climbing to the lower lake. I clocked 8.61 miles RT with 1,082’ of elevation gain. The trail runs along side a gorgeous river with a fabulous hidden waterfall. I’ve hiked this trail in the summer and winter (saw a moose!). Enjoy!

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Summer Dunn
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RunningGreat!

Loved this hike! For those wanting to trail run it is a very nice grade both ways with mild elevation gains for the most part. The canyon is beautiful with constant access to water so bring a filter. About a mile past the first lake the trail gets a little confusing but just stick by the river. We saw a Moose with 2 babies and a few small snakes. The upper lake is amazing, you feel like you are looking into the ocean. About 15 miles round trip. One of my favorite trails!!!!

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steve Winn
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Mountain bikingRocky

Challenging for mountain biking. If your a beginner mountain biker i do not recommend this trail. Rocky steep narrow trail. Beautiful views.

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Tyler Downey
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Hiking
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Katlyn Gonzalez
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Mikayla Solis
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Hiking
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Matthew Meyer
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HikingGreat!

Super pretty hike. Worth going to the upper lake if you have the time.

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Amanda Krupnik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
HikingGreat!

Were planning on just doing the lower palisades lake and got there in 90 min. If you have the stamina to keep going we highly recommend it! We live in elevation so if you are acclimated this isn’t too tough of a trail. Also if you don’t want to do the whole loop (15 miles) you can stop when you get to the lake and we did about 13 miles! 10/10 recommend, so gorgeous. Saw moose and baby bats!

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Damien Dau
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HikingGreat!
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Courtney Hope
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Hiking

It was a great hike, camped out. Such a beautiful lake, will definitely hike it again..

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Andrew McPherson
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CampingGreat!
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Alyson H.
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Hiked on Tuesday. No bears, but 5 small snakes on the trail. Took 7 hours total. started at 1:15 pm. I drank a LOT of water and had to ration it toward the end. Would definitely do this hike again.

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Sabrina Dillard
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HikingGreat!

It was a great hike, we tracked it as 15 Miles. The last mile and a half before the higher lake sucked, but so worth it. Beautiful view. It was really hot by the time we passed the lower lake. Wear sunscreen and if you go to the lake bug repellent.

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Matt Cox
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Hiking
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Angelina Pius
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Hiking

Hiked 8/5 around 12pm. Such a fun trail but definitely closer to 15 miles! Wish we had started earlier because it warmed up to about 84 degrees and I thought I was going to legitimately perish. I’d recommend a sturdy-soled pair of hiking boots for this trail because there a lot of rocky parts to hike through. Would also definitely recommend bring a pair of water shoes/sandals to step into the lake. It was a bit chilly but it was so refreshing. We spent about 2 hours hanging by the lake and we were out and back by 8pm. Didn’t apply bug spray and there were hardly any bugs. The trail spurred off into two paths a few times so it was a little hard to follow in the last third going up to the upper lake. We saw a really cute beaver in the Lower Palisade but other than that not much wildlife but it’s always good to carry bear spray and be bear aware. Ultimately, a pretty fun day hike!

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Matthew Pockrus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 27, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Long if you hike to the second lake (we recorded about 13 miles) but not steep and really pleasant the whole way. Enjoyed swimming at the second lake for a bit.

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Lilly Bengtson
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Hiking

Absolutely beautiful. We clocked in at about 15 miles to get to the lake, but don't let the mileage scare you off - families with small kids made it that far. The hike feels mostly flat, with just a bit of elevation gain at the end. Get there early, bc this is a popular one!

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Atumn Pincock
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HikingRocky
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Mary Huyett
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Hiking

Great trail. Follows along a creek and leads to a beautiful lake view. Noticed 2-3 families backpacking to camp at the top. Watch out for leeches in the lake

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Simply Sassy Explorer
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HikingBugs

Beautiful trail! Lots of bugs, so take bug spray. My GPS showed 14.4 miles RT. The trail was easy until the last 1.2 miles up to Upper Palisades Lake. Happy Hiking!

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Sydney Sunnerberg
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Hiking

Definitely closer to 14/15 miles but did not disappoint! Wasn’t overly crowded today and is not overly strenuous until the last mile to upper palisades.

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