09 - Palisades & Surrounding Peaks Rock Climbing
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Classic Climbing Routes at 09 - Palisades & Surrounding Peaks
Days w Precip