We leave the PnR at 7:30 am, so please arrive a few minutes early for driver/passenger assignments. Also we are collecting annual dues of $5 of which covers your being a member of these three meetup groups: MR&B, OHORG, and Olympia Area Activities, Socializing & Friends.
Distance: 9 miles round trip (RT) out and back
Elevation Gain/High point: 2,680/5300 feet
Overall appeal rating/how difficult this trail is to hike (5 being the hardest): ***/4
Pace: Slow to moderate, you should be in shape to do this hike
Pass: None needed.
Drive: 1 hour each way (SR 512 to SR 410) (92 miles RT) Suggest $10.00 gas contribution for driver
Conditions: Expect muddy trail conditions. Expect rapidly changing weather conditions including rain and wind. This is a “10 essentials” trek.
Disclaimer: We will be in the backcountry. Serious injury or death can occur. I am not a professional guide, by attending this hike you are assuming responsibility for your own personal safety and only yourself can be held responsible.
Description: see http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/palisades
This trail has it all, from beautiful forests, beautiful waterfalls, good climbing and fun descents to technical sections with views of Mount Rainier from cliffs that will inspire you.
Begin a steep climb right from the Highway 410. 0.4 miles in, hikers arrive at a junction with the White River Trail #1199. Keep left, following the Palisades Trail #1198 up a set of switchbacks that parallel the steep canyon along Dalles Creek through forest.
Listen for Lower Dalles Falls, one mile from the trailhead. Take a side trail to the right for a closer look. This is a snow-driven creek, and in the mid summer it is just a trickle. Late spring and early summer are the best time to visit.
Push past the falls, up the wooden staircase and continue to switchback uphill. Cross two creeks on wooden bridges at 1.2 and 1.4 miles from the trailhead, respectively, until the trail becomes a gentle climb. At 1.7 mils, reach the first viewpoint along the trail. With good weather you will see Sun Top Mountain and Skookum Falls (another snow-driven waterfall) across the White River Valley.
Continue on, hiking through old-growth forest and climbing 1.3 miles to the next viewpoint--North Snoquera Point. From here, the views are impressive: Mount Rainier and Sun Top Mountain rise above the valley.
Moving on, follow the trail through a section of young forest and drop down, crossing Snoquera Creek on two wooden bridges. You will reach the third view point--South Snoquera Point--about 4.5 miles from the trailhead. Mount Rainier is in front, Sun Top Mountain on the right and Ranger Creek Airport on the left below.