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Palisades Trail #44 - Upper

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One way

5.0 miles

8.1 km

Difficulty

Difficult

Elevation gain

1,054 ft

321 m

Highest point

8,445 ft

2,574 m

Avg grade

9% (5°)

Elevation loss

-1,432 ft

-436 m

Max grade

27% (15°)

Elevation loss

-1,432 ft

-436 m

Avg grade

9% (5°)

Lowest point

7,822 ft

2,384 m


Discover more hiking nearby

Bitterroot National Forest, MT

Getting there

Driving directions

Current weather


Shared by Lance Pysher

Overview

I was going to describe this as a working downhill, then I looked at profile and discovered its only barely downhill over its whole length. Funny thing how memory works. I always imagined it was more down than up, maybe it's because the singletrack is mostly downhill and the rolling uphill parts are more doubletrack.

Regardless, it's a fun ridge crest connecting Bitterroot - Rock Creek Divide Trail #313 to Willow Creek Trail #300 and eventually the valley floor, something not many can claim to have done.

The trail is a continuation of Palisade Trail.

Consider this as an alternative to Sapphire Crest as we are having a hard time keeping Bitterroot - Rock Creek Divide Trail #313 clear of trees beyond Dome Shaped Mountain, and the shuttle is much shorter for this option.

From the Bitterroot - Rock Creek Divide...
I was going to describe this as a working downhill, then I looked at profile and discovered its only barely downhill over its whole length. Funny thing how memory works. I always imagined it was more down than up, maybe it's because the singletrack is mostly downhill and the rolling uphill parts are more doubletrack.

Regardless, it's a fun ridge crest connecting Bitterroot - Rock Creek Divide Trail #313 to Willow Creek Trail #300 and eventually the valley floor, something not many can claim to have done.

The trail is a continuation of Palisade Trail.

Consider this as an alternative to Sapphire Crest as we are having a hard time keeping Bitterroot - Rock Creek Divide Trail #313 clear of trees beyond Dome Shaped Mountain, and the shuttle is much shorter for this option.

From the Bitterroot - Rock Creek Divide Trail #313 (as mapped), the trail starts with a mile of sweet steep loamy singletrack. Where the trail turns to doubletrack, the Dam Lake Trail #88 splits off to the left. Keep right and continue along the ridge. Despite being doubletrack there are a few punchy climbs. After about the second climb, hikers will pop up on a knoll and the trail will fade away.

Keep going in the same directions and the trail should reappear soon as it leads into a steeper descent. At the bottom the trail veers off the doubletrack. Stay on the doubletrack which is Alternate Palisades Trail #44. You'll hike past Skalkaho/Little Burnt Fork Trail #149 and Skalkaho - Gird Trail #86 without ever noticing them. They are unmarked and not obvious. After some more climbing and another short downhill there will be a trail that heads straight while the doubletrack curves right. This is your trail. Climb it to reach the descent to Willow Creek Trail #300.

Contacts

Land Manager: USFS - Bitterroot National Forest Office

Shared by Lance Pysher

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