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This Trail is a popular (For this area you still might only find other hikers on the weekend or mid summer) hiking path to Lower and Upper Palisade Lakes. These lakes were formed by giant landslides that dammed up the valley. Absolutely stunning views on this ride! Start at the well marked trailhead and bike for about 4 miles on buff single track through thick forests, near waterfalls and streams. Mostly flat (slight CLimb) except for a few steep climbs that might require a short hike or 2. There is a campground at Lower Palisade Lake.
Continue about another 3 miles to Upper Palisade Lake. Great natural dammed lake. Good for fishing and lots of MOOSE and BEARS! These are some high quality mountains back here. And not too many people know about them! You can keep going on either a horse path up high or a really hairball single track above the water. These routes take you to either Dry canyon or Waterfall canyon. Either one is great but waterfall canyon has a nice springfed waterfall. Once you get to the waterfall continue up to the ridge. Then enjoy your 12 mile downhill! It's nice!
You can reach this downhill alternatively from Little Elk Creek. Where it is a 3 mile climb (some very steep) to the ridge where you will be in the same spot as the 12 mile downhill starting point much quicker. Must shuttle this one unless you're Lance Armstrong... Also there is snow up high in these mountains till late august. Mostly in extreme north facing aspects.
added by vinski
on June 22, 2009