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Palisade Glacier/Big Pine Lakes, CA
mini location map2015-09-12
34 by photographer avatarTortoise_Hiker
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Palisade Glacier/Big Pine Lakes, CA 
Palisade Glacier/Big Pine Lakes, CA
Hiking avatar Sep 12 2015
Hiking21.00 Miles 6,300 AEG
Hiking21.00 Miles   12 Hrs   41 Mns   1.66 mph
6,300 ft AEG
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1st trip
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I have a book of hikes in this area. It has ratings for scenery,solitude,difficulty. It also gives aeg for basic hike without side trips. This hike is listed at 10 for scenery,4 for solitude,moderate for difficulty, 12.5 miles without side trips, and 3,170 aeg. I'm sure everyone has there own opinions but I liked having a guide to give me an idea of the area. I think each trail has it's own personality as do my hiking partners which make these outings very enjoyable for me.
John and Kelly agreed to do this hike and another as a day hike. I hoped going from a 30+Lb backpack to a 8-10Lb day pack would be a lot easier on me. Thank You two! Kelly secured us a camp spot at Glacier Lodge campground and the plan was set. The campground was small and I only saw one restroom. The trailhead and next campground(near) had vault toilets and didn't seem to be an issue. There was a little store where you check in that had a few groceries and a 4$ shower. It also had a limited menu for breakfast to early dinner. I had chili dog first night and burger and baked beans the last and both were very tasty. There was also a trout pond but I didn't see any fish.
We headed out early to get as much as we could out of today's daylight and try and hit some of the side trips. The trail stays along the north fork of Big pine Creek for some time. There was plenty of places to filter so we carried 2qts or less most of the hike. The creek was cool and there were little waterfalls from time to time. You pass the old Lon Chaney cabin which is in an awesome spot by the creek then hit the turn off for Black Lake at 4.3 miles. If you are doing the loop it is recommended you do Blake Lake last as it is a loose sandy climb if first. I agree except going to Lake 1,2,3 first gave are pics a lot of glare. Lakes 1,2,3 have an awesome color to them. From there we were off to Sam Mack Meadow. It is a cool little area. From there we started the climb to see Palisade Glacier. When you get up a ways, the views of lakes 1,2,3 are awesome. we were able to follow a faint trail and carins until a quarter mile or so then made one small wrong turn. we ended up at John's "wheel barrel" glacier. We were lucky John didn't give up and took a ridge line over and found the real Palisade Glacier. Awesome view with the peaks in the background. From there we headed back down and enjoyed the scenic views from all kinds of angles. We were able to check out all the other lakes in the area including Hank's favorite no.5. Very nice area and would be fun to explore for a longer time. After climbing down from fifth lake we got a few sprinkles and some smoke started showing up from the Calif. fires. We picked up our pace and made it back right about dark.
We did here from a couple backpackers that they tried to filter from the lakes and clogged their filters. We told them the creeks are the ticket as we had no problems. Thanks to John and Kelly for this one. It was a long day but most enjoyable! You two rock! :y:
Tortoise Hiking. Stop and smell the Petrichor.
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