Backpack the Palisades Creek Trail
Lake Tahoe › Palisades Creek Trail
Added by Joey Washburn
- Distance: 15 miles round trip
- Elevation gain: 2,200
- Fun but challenging hike
- Camp next to beautiful waterfall
After driving out to Kidd Lakes and parking at the trailhead, you take off through some easy forest hiking past Cascade Lakes and Long Lake. Pay attention to the cairns marking the trail as you traverse across a large granite section with Devils Peak to your West. The trail is easy to follow and is well marked all the way down to Palisades Falls. It's 7-8 miles to the bottom, descending about 2200 vertical feet and can be done as a day hike, but its pretty challenging. You'll pass by a few waterfalls on the hike in as well - have your camera handy!
Enjoy camping right next to the falls and do some exploration down river to find a few more waterfalls within about 45 minute hike from basecamp.
There is a bit of timing issue to contend with to have ideal conditions for the hike and the falls. You'll want to go late enough in the spring that the road to Kidd Lake is mostly snow free, but early enough that the snowmelt is at full blast.
- Sleeping bag
- Bug spray
- Food and water
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Palisades Creek Trail - Moderate Difficulty
Stick to the trial, printout a map and reference location via phone gps if you'd like; My GPS worked almost up until the river/ creek confluence & waterfall area. Big guys bring 3-6L of water (one way) and you can refill at the river w/ some Purification Pills for the trip back. I will advise to bring a bear bag for your food supply and hang it in the nearby trees as there are Black Bears in the area. We had one devour our food that was roughly 20 ft from the camp, he circled the tent a few times at several different times during the night but didn't show any aggressive signs.
I don't know if I'm the only one with an outdated topo of the area but I'd like to mention the spur trail to the upstream Heath Falls Overlook no longer exists. There are a couple of blazes near where the trail junction should be but its a cross country route. I did not attempt it. Also Devil's Peak is much nicer than the postpile you see at the Devil's Postpile National Monument down near Mammoth.
More Adventures Nearby
Hike to the Jumping Rock on the Bear River
Lake Tahoe / Dog Bar Bridge
Though lesser known than its neighbors the Yuba and the American, the Bear River still features fantastic hiking, swimming, river-raft, tubing, and rock-jumping but without the crowds.
Photograph a Sunset on Wolf Mountain
Lake Tahoe / Wolf Mountain
While all of the hiking trails to the Wolf Mountain summit cross private land, Wolf Mountain Road provides public access to several excellent viewpoints overlooking the Central Valley and the nearby .