Elevation: 13,353 ft
GPS: 37.08331, -118.49078
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 396,888 total · 4,240/month
Shared By: Justin Johnsen on May 22, 2015 · Updates
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurker -, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description

The Sierra Nevada's Palisades are loved by California mountaineers for their wild alpine character, and a jagged ridge line featuring a concentration of some of the highest summits in the state. Some of the largest remaining glaciers of the range hide in north facing cwms. This is an area where some early technical leaps forward took place in the history of California climbing. But looking out on it firsthand, you will feel ready to make some of your own!

Surprisingly the Palisades ridge runs east to west here, allowing a small series of glaciers to form below the shaded north side of the ridge. They are remnants of the Little Ice Age and how much longer they will last is open to debate.

Doug Robinson's article is a must read for anyone interested in The Palisades.

Getting There

Eastern Approaches

For the Eastside approaches, Big Pine is the nearest town with services, and most trips start there. From highway 395 in the center of town, take West Crocker Avenue west. It soon curves and is renamed Glacier Lodge Road.

Follow it 10 miles to a large free trailhead parking area (Upper Sage Flats) on the right, there is a toilet here.

Middle Palisade and Norman Clyde Peak are accessible from Finger Lake or thereabouts, this area is reached by hiking the South Fork of Big Pine Creek Trail, although parking is at Upper Sage Flat, it's a good strategy to drive your packs down to the end of the road.

Temple Crag, Mount Sill, North Pal and its glacier are accessible from the North Fork of Big Pine Creek, which starts at the sign by the parking area toilet and crosses the brushy slope above the road up and around to the right and eventually the first falls, then onwards. A very popular trail, early reservations are recommended.

The northern peaks and Inconsolable Range peaks are reached by continuing north towards Fourth and Fifth Lakes, the trails are good here, but can get confusing so study/bring a map. On the east shore of Fourth Lake lies the old "Upper Glacier Lodge" site, where folks could stay in comfort - it's worth a visit. If camping at Black Lake you are better off taking that trail from the junction by the creek where the trail approaches First Lake. 

Nearest Campsites:

Temple Crag: Second or Third Lake.

Mount Gayley and Mount Sill: Gayley Camp.

North Palisade and Thunderbolt Peak: Fischer Camp, Submoranian Camp.

Mount WInchell and Mount Agassiz: Sam Mack Lake.

Western Approaches

For the western approaches Bishop is the nearest town with services. The Bishop Pass Trail is used to access Dusy and Palisade Basins, so you'll need to drive up to the South Lake Trailhead - this is a very popular trail so early reservations are recommended. Approaches from the west are long but get you to the sunnier side of the Palisades.

Permits

These can be obtained here. Or you can wait in line the morning of the hike, something which I have only done twice in 30 years.

57 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: 09 - Palisades & Surrounding Peaks Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at 09 - Palisades & Surrounding Peaks

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
 70
Northeast Face
Trad, Alpine
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
 28
North Couloir
Trad, Alpine
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c AI2
 15
V-Notch Couloir
Trad, Ice, Alpine 12 pitches
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c
 30
Southwest Chute 1
Trad, Alpine
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b WI2 M1 Mod. Snow
 34
U-Notch Couloir
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 122
Swiss Arete
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 161
Venusian Blind
Trad, Alpine 13 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 16
Temple, Galey, Sill Traverse
Trad, Alpine
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 86
Moon Goddess Arete
Trad, Alpine 18 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 7
Twilight Pillar
Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
 6
West Arete
Trad, Alpine 11 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Easy Snow
 99
Thunderbolt to Sill Traverse
Trad, Snow, Alpine
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 4
Firebird Ridge
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 137
Sun Ribbon Arete
Trad, Alpine 22 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 87
Dark Star
Trad, Alpine 16 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Northeast Face Middle Palisade
 70
3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a Trad, Alpine
North Couloir Mt Sill
 28
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b Trad, Alpine
V-Notch Couloir Polemonium Peak
 15
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c AI2 Trad, Ice, Alpine 12 pitches
Southwest Chute 1 Thunderbolt Peak
 30
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c Trad, Alpine
U-Notch Couloir N Palisade
 34
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b WI2 M1 Mod. Snow Trad, Mixed, Ice, Snow, Alpine
Swiss Arete Mt Sill
 122
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
Venusian Blind Temple Crag
 161
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 13 pitches
Temple, Galey, Sill Traverse Temple Crag
 16
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine
Moon Goddess Arete Temple Crag
 86
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 18 pitches
Twilight Pillar Norman Clyde Peak
 7
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
West Arete Mt Winchell
 6
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad, Alpine 11 pitches
Thunderbolt to Sill Traverse Thunderbolt Peak
 99
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Easy Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
Firebird Ridge Norman Clyde Peak
 4
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
Sun Ribbon Arete Temple Crag
 137
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 22 pitches
Dark Star Temple Crag
 87
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 16 pitches
More Classic Climbs in 09 - Palisades & Surrounding Peaks »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos

0 Comments