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Upper Palisades Lake

  One of the easiest and rewarding hikes in this area is to Upper Palisades Lake on the east side mountains in Swan Valley. At 6.6 miles it makes for a strenuous day hike but a pleasant overnight stay.

  The trailhead is accessed to the left of the Palisades Lake campground. The Forest Service has created a beautiful new trailhead for hikers and skiers, people on horseback will continue to use the trailhead to the right of the campground.

  The hike to the lower lake is a pleasant walk up the canyon and over Palisades Creek multiple times via good bridges. I've seen moose frequently along here as well as deer. The trail follows along the north side of the lower lake before switchbacking up to the upper lake.

  There are good campsites to the right of the lake as you approach although we did find some trash and an abandoned hat and jacket which was disappointing. A better choice is to continue on the trail to the other end of the lake where the campsites are cleaner and I expect not used as extensively.

  You are allowed to catch and keep rainbow trout in the lake although all we were able to attract were juvenile cutthroats that followed the shoreline. We saw a lot of fish jumping at dusk but they looked small also. The water is crystal clear and the colors are an amazing green and blue - it made for a pleasant evening.


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