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Level: Advanced
Length: 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +2,395/ -589 ft
Total: 7 riders

Mountain Biking Palisade Canyon To Upper Palisade Lake

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#50 of 317 mountain bike trails in Idaho
#4,099 in the world

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.

First added by vinski on Jun 23, 2009. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Out of Palisade ID go south on 26, turn right on palisade canyon entrance. Drive to parking lot about 2-3 miles east.
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Palisade Canyon To Upper Palisade Lake Trail map

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redbeard1 (on May 31, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Jun 26, 2018)
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Rider questions

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  • Jdaynes

    Trail is nice with sections where you'll probably have to walk due to loose rock and obstacles. Trail can get very narrow with shrubs about six feet high on bother sides. There are definitely horses and hikers on the trail so watch out for poop and people. Challenging trail with fun sections. Be prepared, popped tires can happen easily hitting the larger rocks in the way.

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  • krj

    Good trail, all rideable in MCR until Waterfall canyon. Steepens there with lots of loose rock (this is stock country...) Once you get past the waterfall it's a bit of a hike-a-bike to the pass but well worth it. Turned it into a loop by going down Lake Canyon. Wouldn't recommend it unless your comfortable with route finding and off trail riding. Trail in Lake Canyon is overgrown at best and non existent for a large portion of the time. That being said, it makes for a great adventure ride! 7hrs car to car.

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  • newtont

    not especially built for mountainbiking, this trail is not for a beginning biker. It can easily be hiked, and you will often times see horses and hikers along the trail. the trail itself follows a creek up to lower palisades and evenutally after climbing a few hundred feet with switchbacks, reaches upper palisades lake. it has beautiful scenery the whol way, with crystal clear blue lakes, waterfalls, wildflowers and plenty of wildlife(we saw two moose, squirrels, birds, etc.)

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