Author Topic: The Palisades  (Read 19464 times)

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2018, 07:23:29 AM »
Incredible!!!  Thank you so much :clap:


You don’t see the lake until the last moment as your climbing up hill, and then it’s like a “wow moment” when you see the beautiful lakes turquoise water for the first time.  It’s one of those mandatory stops in the back-country! :hiking2:
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wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2018, 07:26:04 AM »
The Palisades


I set up camp just below First Big Pine Lake as I was feeling a bit of elevation sickness (It happens to me).  Took a couple of Tylenols, took a nap and ate a couple of power bars and I was good to go.  It was still early so ventured out to the first three lakes to see how the fishing was.



First Big Pine Lake




First Big Pine Lake




First Big Pine Lake & Temple Crag
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2018, 07:29:24 AM »
The Palisades


First Big Pine Lake contains Rainbows, Brookies and Browns.  Fishing was simply spectacular, especially for Rainbows.  Every other cast brought in a trout.  Caught three species at First Lake within 45 minutes!  Rainbows were in up to12”.  Brookies maybe 9-10”.  Browns were in the 20” plus range. 



Rainbows – Were Plentiful




Rainbows




Brookie from First Lake




Browns Were Surprising Large this year!
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bj

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2018, 01:38:28 PM »
Great Pics!. Didn't realize there were large Browns in Lake 1. I only got as far as Lake 2 on a very exhausting day hike. Did catch a few small 'Bows and Brooks.
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Hardrock

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2018, 07:54:54 AM »
Great Pics!. Didn't realize there were large Browns in Lake 1. I only got as far as Lake 2 on a very exhausting day hike. Did catch a few small 'Bows and Brooks.


Thanks bj!  Yeah there were always large Browns in 1st Lake, maybe still some left in 2nd lake too.  There usually very hard to catch and normally stay deep in the lake, but If the right conditions exist they will come up to feed, even mid-day.  This particular day had ideal conditions for Brown Trout fishing. :fishing3:
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2018, 07:00:02 AM »
The Palisades


Next, took the short hike from First Lake to Second Lake, the largest and one of the prettiest I believe.   The largest Browns have been caught within Second Big Pine Lake, with an 8Lb 12oz Brown caught there in 2003.  But no luck on the big Browns for me this time, but still fishing was very good on Brookies and Lahontan Cutthroats.




First Big Pine Lake and Temple Crag




On my way to 2nd Lake




2nd Lake




Second Lake




Brookie




Lahontan Cutthroat
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2018, 06:29:20 AM »
The Palisades


Next was Third Lake, like the first two lakes this lake is filled with bright turquoise water but quite shallow.  Third Big Pine Lake held mostly smaller (6-9”) Rainbows and Brookies.



Third Big Pine Lake




Third Big Pine Lake




Rainbow




Brookie





After fishing Third Big Pine Lake, went back to my camp site near First Lake, had dinner then fished some more near the First Big Pine Lake outlet until dark.  The last hour before dark the lake came alive with hundreds (maybe thousands!) of trout rising to feed.  What a sight to behold!




First Big Pine Lake – The Fishing Happy Hour, Just Before Sunset
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wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2018, 06:32:50 AM »
The Palisades


The Upper Lakes – Day 2



After breakfast and morning fishing at First Big Pine Lake, I rejoin the trail that climbs quite high above the west shore of the first three lakes via a short but steep series of switchbacks, and leads on through the pine forest to a junction with a spur path to the base of Palisade Glacier.



Leaving 1st Lake




Passing 2nd Lake





Leaving 3rd lake





View of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Lakes
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2018, 06:27:14 AM »
The Palisades


Last time I backpacked the Palisades, I went to Palisades Glacier.  A difficult hike but well worth it if you have the stamina but this year access was difficult from Sam Mack Meadow to the Glacier due to lots of snow this year according to the backpackers I met.  This time it’s all about the fishing (mostly) so I’m heading toward 4th lake.



Along the Trail





Trail Junction – Palisade Glacier/Fourth Lake





Trail to Mack Meadows

"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2018, 06:30:40 AM »
The Palisades


The next fork you come up to is a four-way junction.  Here I’m continuing straight, and the path that very soon arrives at Fourth Big Pine Lake.  4th Lake is encircled by thick pine forest without the stark granite scenery of the earlier lakes and no turquoise water, just crystal clear alpine water.  This is where I set-up camp for my second night.  Very nice campsites available at fourth lake.



Fourth Big Pine Lake – Where I set up camp





Fishing is good for mostly Brookies and some Rainbows in Fourth Big Pine Lake. 





Fourth Big Pine Lake





Brookie
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2018, 06:36:33 AM »
The Palisades


After I set-up my tent, I head NW cross-country and after a short descent I reach the shore of Fifth Big Pine Lake, perhaps the most impressive lake as it sits in a large granite bowl, enclosed on three sides by steep rocky slopes, and filled by deep, clear bright turquoise water.  The hike from 4th Lake to fifth Lake is maybe 0.2 miles, so a very easy hike.  5th Lake is one of the better fishing lakes too.


Fifth Big Pine Lake contains Brookies and Rainbows that run up to 12” for Brookies and up to 14” for Rainbows, decent size for a back-country lake. 




Trail Junction – To Fifth Big Pine Lake




Fifth Big Pine Lake




Rainbow




Brookie
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2018, 06:39:53 AM »
The Palisades


From 5th Lake, I head cross-country to 6th Lake and then on to 7th Lake.  It’s only about 1 mile from 4th Lake to 7th Lake following the North Fork Big Pine Creek that ties these lakes together.  The 6th and 7th Lakes are fishless, so I’m only here for the beauty of these pristine lakes.  6th and 7th Lakes used to hold Goldens, but the trout have been removed from these lakes due to the Yellow-legged Frog program.



Fifth Big Pine Lake – Heading to 6th and 7th Lakes




Cross-Country Route to 6th Lake




Sixth Big Pine Lake





There is actually a trail to 6th and 7th Big Pine Lakes if cross-country travel is not your thing.  It’s a little difficult to find and the sign leans a bit, but it’s there.




6th & 7th Big Pine Lakes Trail Sign
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wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2018, 06:54:48 AM »
The Palisades



Upper Lakes and Historical Tour – Day 3


I always find it fascinating what we humans will build way out in the boonies if money and time are no objects.  So I’ll start with the Upper Camp, which was located above fourth Big Pine Lake overlooking The Palisades.  This was provided and maintained by Glacier Lodge allowing first class tent camping with full cooked meals, horses for the guests and so on.  This was first class service in its day.




Frashers Photo of Upper Camp Overlooking the Palisades (about 1930)





Eventually, Glacier Lodge built a Fourth Lake Lodge (also known as Upper Glacier Lodge) and stone cabins in the same location where the tents were set-up.  Upper Glacier Lodge was mostly made from granite rock found nearby, allowed guests a much nicer lodging experience.  The stone lodge and eight stone cabins were built in the 1920s.




Fourth Lake Lodge (From Postcard)




Looking out of the dining room towards the Palisades in Fourth Lake Lodge (From Postcard)
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2018, 06:58:25 AM »
The Palisades



The Upper Lodge was located on the north side of Fourth Lake on a large granite cliff facing south towards The Palisades.  Easy to locate as this large area is level and now a favorite camp spot for large groups.



Upper Lodge Location





With the implementation of the 1964 Wilderness Act, which calls for the restoration of natural conditions in wilderness areas, The Forest Service dynamited the Upper Lodge and all the stone cabins and other structures.  You can still see the blast marks on the resulting rubble.  You can see why Glacier Lodge built here, the views are incredible!



Rubble from Upper Lodge site




Fourth Big Pine Lake looking towards the Palisades from Upper Lodge Site
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Gypsy Wind

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2018, 09:29:34 AM »
Great pics of some fantastic scenery, please keep them coming. Love the history too.
I get the impression there is a lot of elevation gain on this trail, is it mostly uphill or combination up and down and back up?
How far could one go on a comfortable day hike (maybe ten hours, 3 hours fishing)?

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2018, 11:41:41 AM »
Thanks Gypsy Wind!  This is a steep and rocky trail and all uphill.  There are a few creek crossings that can run pretty high depending on the season.  The first half of this trail is fully exposed and can be very hot in the summer, so hit the trail early if it’s a hot sunny day.

As for elevation gain, its 2280 ft. to 1st Lake, 2350 ft. to 2nd lake and about 2800 ft. to 3rd Lake.  I usually shoot for 2nd Lake at the dam & bypass gate on day hikes and start fishing there then hike down to 1st Lake later on.

As for hiking times to the lakes, that varies with each individual.  If I’m by myself, its 2 hours up and 1 ½ hours back.  If with friends or family, figure 3 hours hike up and about 2 hours back to the trailhead for a comfortable hike for all.  3 hours fishing is about what I average, 1 hour at 2nd Lake and 2 hours at 1st Lake.  The rest of the time I’m exploring, resting or eating lunch.  Hope this helps.




Dam & Bypass Gate @ 2nd Lake – Interesting to look around here and good place to start fishing!


"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2018, 07:15:53 AM »
The Palisades


Also built nearby what was the so called “Movie Set”, built in the 1920’s.  Still partial standing today, several movies was made in the day from this stone Lodge/Cabin.  Upper Lodge from above was also used in several movies.  No ideal why the Forest Service didn’t dynamite this structure?



Movie Set Remains 




Movie Set Remains 





Also have a “Frashers Photo” from 1926 and photo from me from 2017, 91 years later so you can see the changes over the years.



“Movie Set” from Frashers Photo 1926




“Movie Set” remains from 2017





Next I’ll heading to Summit and Black Lakes…………………………………..



« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 07:24:25 AM by wshawkins »
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2018, 07:29:00 AM »
The Palisades


Summit and Black Lakes Then Going Home – Day 4


On my final day in the Big Pine Lakes Basin, I packed up and traveled to Summit Lake.  This lake feels like the least frequently visited lake in the whole area, primarily because it is fairly high up the mountain on its own unmarked side trail. I thought the views from Summit Lake were some of the best of my trip.



Summit Lake





Summit Lake
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2018, 07:31:24 AM »
The Palisades


What’s really special about Summit Lake for the fishermen is that it holds the elusive beautiful Golden Trout.  Not easy to catch but worth the effort!




Summit Lake Golden Trout





Summit Lake Golden Trout





Summit Lake Golden Trout

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damer419

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #44 on: March 12, 2018, 01:26:33 PM »
Spectacular read! Thank you so much for sharing :clap: :clap: :clap:
Slowly switching from salt to sweet

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #45 on: March 13, 2018, 07:05:42 AM »
Spectacular read! Thank you so much for sharing :clap: :clap: :clap:


Thanks damer419!  It was a spectacular trip.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2018, 07:08:03 AM »
The Palisades


Summit Lake is where the official path ends.  Strangely, there is no trail from Summit Lake to Black Lake.  But it’s only a ¼ mile away reached cross-country by following Summit Lake’s outlet creek to Black Lake.


Looking down from Summit Lake, it’s easy to see how Black Lake got its name.




Black Lake from Outlet of Summit Lake





Black Lake is also beautify tree-lined and quite sheltered, which was nice as the winds did kick up some.  The northern edge of the lake is bordered by the smooth and more open slopes of a ridge extending east from the Inconsolable Range. 





Black Lake

"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2018, 07:11:12 AM »
The Palisades


The reason I love to fish Black Lake is for the Brown Trout.  They’re not huge (about 13-14”), but plentiful.  Easily caught double figures Browns in Black Lake.  A real fishermen’s paradise if you enjoy catching Brown Trout!




Black Lake Brown Trout






Black Lake Brown Trout






Black Lake Brown Trout

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Stream Fisher

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2018, 03:45:09 PM »
Awesome Pictures

wshawkins

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Re: The Palisades
« Reply #49 on: March 14, 2018, 06:27:10 AM »
Awesome Pictures


Thanks Stream Fisher!  Hard to take a bad picture in The Palisades.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."