Palisades Peak

A moderate 8+ mile rock, or early season snow, scramble with 3,100 feet of elevation gain. The route passes by many lakes, and the summit offers great views of Mount Rainier and Grand Park. Road to Sunrise typically opens the weekend before the Fourth of July.

Driving Directions

Park at Sunrise Point parking area.

Ascent Route

Hike approximately 2.5 mi on the Palisades Lake Trail, to the intersection with the Hidden Lake Trail.  Take the Hidden Lake Trail to its end at the far west side of Hidden Lake and continue on the unmaintained trail, up the steep slope. Upon reaching the open park, just west of the brushy Marcus-Palisades saddle, head north, rising gently, about 0.5 mi.  Turn east, heading up towards the north side Palisades Peak, picking a route up the broad slope. Choose routes to the left as you ascend to best avoid encounters with dense stands of trees.  Descend the same way, working your way left as you lose elevation.


Take the trail to Upper Palisades Lake. Continue past the campsites and follow faint path alongside granite boulders for 200 yards.  Leave path and head north, up to the east ridge, staying right for the easiest route. Drop into the bowl beyond the east ridge, and gain the curving north ridge. Scramble over columnar basalt on the north ridge to the summit. Brushy in places.  Descend the west slope of Palisades Peak, working your way left at every opportunity to minimize encounters with dense stands of trees.


Ice axes often required in July to get up and down the steep slope on the west side of Hidden Lake.


Sunrise Road usually opens by the Fourth of July. No access before Sunrise Road opens.  Road usually closes by mid-October.

  • Suitable Activities: Scrambling
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Technical 3, Strenuous 3
  • Length: 8.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,100 ft
  • 7,040 ft
  • Land Manager: Mount Rainier National Park
    Mount Rainier Wilderness
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • USGS White River Park

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