The Palisades Glacier region is one of the most beautiful in all of California. We'll hike past spectacular turquoise lakes formed by the ancient Palisades Glacier and have the opportunity to view the Palisades Glacier itself on the fouth day. While hiking, we'll be surrounded by towering granite peaks ranging from 12,000-14,000ft high.
It's an awe-inspiring area that's visited less often as it's quite strenous to explore with a heavy backpack. Therefore, we use mule support to bring our gear to our base camp and we enjoy light day packs on all of our hikes.
This trip is designed for women who are active, casual to regular day hikers, who do not want to carry a heavy backpack, but that would like to explore a spectacular rugged area of the California Sierra Nevada. We do recommend that you train for this trip and are prepared to do 6-8 mile hikes at a slow to moderate pace.
Minimum 3, maximum 8 clients. Balance of $795 due 90 days in advance on 5/14/14.
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until a deposit is made.
Day 1, Aug 14: Arrive to camp at Glacier Lodge by 4pm. This is an important night to spend an evening at 8,000ft to acclimatize. It will also provide an opportunity meet the group and get a good night sleep before our early start the next day. (Dinner)
Day 2, Aug 15: We begin early, at 6am to pack up the mules by 7am. It's an early start, but it allows the mules plenty of time to take their loads and return. It also allows us to take a more leisurely pace to our ~8 mile approach with 2,700 feet gain. We will pass by the First and Second Falls and First, Second, and Third Lakes, the lakes lacking creative names but compensating with spectacular turquoise glacier water and granite banks. We will be awarded with views of Mt Alice, Temple Crag, and Mt Gayley as we climb higher. We will either camp next to Fourth Lake or Fifth Lake, which each have their own unique charms. Estimated 6-7 hours. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3, Aug 16: We will explore and meander around Summit Lake, Sixth Lake, and if the group is comfortable with cross country travel, Seventh Lake. We will have views of Mt Robinson, Eagle Peak, and Cloudripper, all above 12,000ft high. We will also get spectacular view of the famous Palisade Crest which contains five of California's "fourteeners" or peaks above 14,000ft high - Thunderbolt, Starlight, North Palisade, Polemonium, and Mt Sill. This will be a very leisurely day with lots of time for photography and relaxation. Approximately 3 miles, 500 ft gain. Estimated 5 hours. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4, Aug 17: We will rise early to hike up to the Palisades Glacier. This is a challenging hike that reaches 12,500ft at Gayley Camp. The trail first dips out of our campsite and then climbs steadily up a rocky but established trail. After we reach the tranquil Sam Mack Meadow, the trail turns into a use trail that is marked by cairns. The trail disintegrates and we begin to hike up the glacial moraine. The terrain is uneven and ranges between loose scree and granite slabs. While still considered hiking, this is very challenging terrain for most. There will be an opportunity for those not up to the adventure to either stay in camp or start out on the hike and return to camp to relax, nap, read, do yoga, etc. Approximately 6 miles, 2000ft gain. Estimated 7 hours. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5, Aug 18: We pack up and leave our loads for the mules to carry down. We will return to the Glacier Lodge taking a leisurely pace to take photographs along the way. We will either return via Black Lake, cutting off 1 mile of the return trip, or if the group wishes, we will return past the First, Second, and Third Lakes. 7-8 miles, estimated 5 hours. We will aim to return to Glacier Lodge by 3pm so that people can return home or to the airport that day if they wish. (Breakfast, Lunch)