Hidden Lake Spur Via Palisades Lake Trail

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Mount Rainier National Park

Hidden Lake Spur Via Palisades Lake Trail is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ashford, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October.

Distance: 6.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,627 feet Route Type: Out & Back





wild flowers



no dogs

9 months ago

Got to the parking lot around 6:40am and it was already starting to fill up. We went to to Hidden Lake. The echo is fun here with lots of little frogs and room to walk around the edge of the water. It's a little steep getting up there but totally worth it! After that we went to the upper palisades lake. There are huge rocks to climb on and little rodents that sounded like birds before we spotted them haha All in all, this hike is beautiful and the most challenging part was coming back up the mountain at the end! But Rewarding! The parking lot was completely full when we were coming out and over a mile line at the entrance of the park as we left around 1pm. Get here early!!

no shade
over grown
10 months ago

Beautiful trail but bring bug spray, lots of mosquitoes near the three lakes

Mon Jul 17 2017

Made the hike 7/16/17 Trail passes several lakes, streams, and beautiful meadows. The turn off for Hidden lake is well marked. Hidden Lake is a great place to hang out for lunch and enjoy the scenery.

Mon Jul 10 2017

Hiked yesterday. Easy drive up but the trailhead parking lot was full when we got back around noon. Great trail with blossoming Meadows and Crystal clear lakes and springs. There is still some big patches of melting snow on the trail near the lakes that softens in the afternoon. But our group was fine with just regular hiking boots and poles.

Mon Feb 13 2017

If you are looking for a fun and relaxing day hike that truly shows the beauty of the pacific northwest, I have an amazing recommendation for you. Last August, my fiancé and I, were lucky enough to find such an experience on the Hidden Lake trail in Mount Rainier National Park. We were expecting a typical day hike, what we experienced was so much more. Traveling to the trail head offered beautiful views from the entrance of the national park. We arrived early and found that the parking to the trailhead is also a highly visited viewpoint of Mount Rainier. This close-up view of the mountain is breathtaking. The start of the trail has a wonderful view looking down on Sunrise lake. The terrain was easy on our feet and very well maintained. The hike in consists of mostly shaded sections of forest with some beautiful meadow openings and the occasional small creek crossing. About half way in we were surprised by an opening, with a lovely clear body of water, known as Clover lake. The trail passes along the rim of the small lake which offers areas to explore and step off the trail to sit and enjoy a rest. Continuing on you cross over a decent sized hill, and make your way down the other side, which continues to offer many meadow openings. The trail splits to continue up to Hidden Lake. The name describes it well as the final trail after the turn off doesn’t appear to be as highly traveled and isn’t as well maintained, yet offers the feeling of adventuring out through the unknown wilderness. The turnoff ends at Hidden lake which is a great place to stop for lunch and enjoy the beauty of the clear water lake that is nestled in, what could only be described as, a hidden valley. The lake has several short paths to explore around and take in the scenery before heading back. The hike back was very pleasant as it offered a new look of all the natural scenery that was seen on the trek in from a whole new angle. As we arrived back to the trailhead and lookout, we were very hungry from just working up such an appetite. Luckily the hike wasn’t the only pleasant surprise of the day. Continuing just a couple miles further into the park lies Sunrise, a small attraction that offers restrooms, a restaurant, gift shop and visitor center. All of which are host to a stunning view of the mountain. The food at the restaurant was simple and served as a cafeteria style venue, but this was nice because it was quick and simple. Which, after building up a small sweat and appetite, was just what we wanted. Continuing into the visitor center we came across a variety of interesting information on the history of the volcano that was well supported with artifacts, visual models and even a three-dimensional map laid out of the entire national park. This area also has multiple trailheads that connect into a large variety of trails including the famous wonderland trail. Many of these are commonly used for overnight hikes that have a higher level of difficulty. As for the Hidden Lake trail, it isn’t so difficult. The 6.4-mile hike made for a fairly easy to moderate stroll through the wilderness. We passed a variety of people on the trail ranging from young children to some elderly folks. We even ran into one family that had their two-year-old son in a child carrier backpack and appeared to be enjoying the pleasant hike just as much as we were. There is a 900-foot elevation gain to consider, however, it wasn’t difficult enough to cause any worry. The hike took us 5 hours to complete and we spent plenty of time hanging out at all the lakes we came across. I would recommend bringing a day pack with a decent snack and plenty of water to stay hydrated. As for what to wear, that would depend on the conditions for when you plan your visit. The Hidden Lake Trail, which is a side path off of the Upper Palisades Lake Trail, is only available certain months due to the high level of snowfall in the area. Typically, you should plan to visit June-October. As the trail head is located in Mount Rainier National Park there is an admission fee of $25 for a single vehicle that is good for seven days, or if you plan to return to explore more of the beautiful mountain they offer an annual pass for $50 that is good for the entire year. The park entrances are open 24 hours, however, due to varied operating hours of the visitor center and accommodations throughout the season, I would recommend visiting the National Parks Services webpage when panning your trip. Overall, I would give this hike a 5-star rating and highly recommend this trip to people off all ages. The stunning beauty of the scenery, relaxed difficulty and nearby amenities made this hike a very pleasant memory that I will not forget. I already have plans to return to the area so we can see more of what the park has to offer because we enjoyed this hike so much. I hope you found this information helpful and are able to enjoy a similar adventure

Wed Jul 19 2017