Backpack the Palisades Creek Trail

Lake Tahoe Palisades Creek Trail

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Fun but challenging hike where you can camp near a 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.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Backpack
  • Bug spray
  • Food and water
  • Camera
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Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

15 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2200 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Forest
River
Scenic
Swimming Hole
Waterfall

Are we missing something?

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How to Get There

10 months ago

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.

10 months ago

almost 2 years ago

I don't know if I'm the only one with an outdated topo of the area but I'd like to mention the spur trail to the upstream Heath Falls Overlook no longer exists.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.

almost 2 years ago

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