Glacier Lodge to Palisade Glacier

 10 votes

17.9 Miles 28.8 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

4,756' 1,450 m

Ascent

-4,756' -1,450 m

Descent

12,427' 3,788 m

High

7,816' 2,382 m

Low

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

52%

Max Grade (28°)

All Clear

3 days agoUpdate

A beautiful route below towering peaks to one of the few surviving California glaciers.

Daniel Birdwell

Overview

This High Sierra route passes beautiful lakes and winds its way under tall peaks all in an alpine environment. If this doesn't sound enticing enough, it culminates at a view of one of California's few remaining glaciers.
Features: Lake — River/Creek — Spring — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers

Description

This is a fairly long route, but it's quite reasonable as far as elevation gain goes. The trail from Glacier Lodge slowly climbs into the alpine. You start higher up on the hillside, and then after several miles the trail converges with the creek at a waterfall. Here the trail takes you through a birch forest and past an old stone cabin, built by actor Lon Chaney in 1929-1930 and now owned by the USFS, in the area known as Cienega Mirth.

You'll eventually come out of the forested area into an area several hundred feet above the lakes to the east. The impressive Temple Crag is on the other side of the lakes. Pass lakes 1, 2, and 3 and then take an eastern fork of the trail towards the glacier.

Here is where the steep hiking starts. After topping out after the first section of steep terrain, you'll find the Sam Mack Meadows. These flat meadows provide a good place to camp for your first night.

From there, it again climbs steeply from this basin over several ridges lines and then finally, onto the glacier. After Sam Mack, expect a little more difficulty finding the trail, as there is a lot of rock, and very little soil. Once at the glacier, enjoy the view!

Once you've had your fill at the top, turn around and retrace your steps back to the lodge.

Flora & Fauna

Trees: lodgepole pine, whitebark pine (at highest elevations).
Wildflowers along streams and in meadows: tiger lily, red-orange paintbrush, white rein orchis, red columbine
Wildflowers at high elevations: alpine columbine, white heather, blue sky-pilot

Contacts

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4.9 from 10 votes


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Sep 20, 2017
Gela Malek Pour
Camped at Sam Mack Meadows for 2 nights, attempted to climb the glacier but had to turn back about a mile out due to unsafe conditions. 15.9mi
Sep 17, 2017
Gela Malek Pour
Nov 13, 2016
Danilo Ćalić
Oct 21, 2016
Adam Ashor
7 inches of snow! 12mi
Sep 11, 2016
Matt Canale
6mi
Oct 6, 2007
Justin Johnsen

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 10 votes

#94

Overall
  4.9 from 10 votes
5 Star
90%
4 Star
10%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#10

in California

#94

Overall
581 Views Last Month
4,148 Since Apr 13, 2016
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
0%
29%
57%
14%

Conditions


All Clear 3 days ago
Some Mud - Small water crossings
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