Palisade Mountain Trail In Montana

Here is everything you need to know about the Palisade Mountain Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Montana
  • Length: 6 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Palisade Mountain Trail, located in the picturesque region of Palisade, Colorado, holds a rich historical significance that dates back centuries. The trail was originally used by Native American tribes, such as the Ute and Apache, who traversed the rugged terrain for hunting and trading purposes. These tribes recognized the strategic location of Palisade Mountain, which provided a vantage point for monitoring the surrounding valleys and rivers.

During the mid-1800s, as European settlers began to explore and settle in the area, the Palisade Mountain Trail gained importance as a transportation route. It served as a vital link between the mining towns of Colorado’s Western Slope and the bustling city of Denver. Prospectors and traders would navigate the trail, often on horseback or by wagon, to transport valuable minerals, such as gold and silver, from the mines to the markets.

As the mining industry boomed, the Palisade Mountain Trail witnessed increased traffic and development. In the late 1800s, the trail was widened and improved to accommodate the growing number of wagons and stagecoaches. This expansion facilitated the transportation of goods, mail, and passengers, contributing to the economic growth of the region. The trail became an essential lifeline for the communities nestled in the mountains, connecting them to the outside world.

Over time, with the advent of modern transportation and the decline of mining activities, the significance of the Palisade Mountain Trail diminished. However, its historical importance remains deeply ingrained in the local culture and heritage. Today, the trail serves as a reminder of the pioneers and indigenous peoples who once relied on its path, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich history of Palisade and the surrounding region.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Big Pine Creek Trailhead: This is the most popular access point for the Palisade Mountain Trail. It is located near Big Pine, California, and provides access to the North Fork of Big Pine Creek and the Palisade Glacier.

2. Glacier Lodge Trailhead: Located near Big Pine, this trailhead provides access to the South Fork of Big Pine Creek and the Palisade Glacier. It is another popular starting point for the Palisade Mountain Trail.

3. South Lake Trailhead: Situated near Bishop, California, this trailhead offers access to the South Lake and the Bishop Pass Trail. From here, hikers can connect to the Palisade Mountain Trail.

4. North Lake Trailhead: Located near Bishop, this trailhead provides access to North Lake and the Piute Pass Trail. Hikers can follow the Piute Pass Trail to connect with the Palisade Mountain Trail.

5. Bishop Pass Trailhead: Situated near Bishop, this trailhead offers access to the Bishop Pass Trail, which connects to the Palisade Mountain Trail. It is a popular starting point for backpacking trips in the area.

6. Dusy Basin Trailhead: Located near Bishop, this trailhead provides access to the Dusy Basin and the Bishop Pass Trail. Hikers can follow the Bishop Pass Trail to connect with the Palisade Mountain Trail.

7. LeConte Canyon Trailhead: Situated in Kings Canyon National Park, this trailhead offers access to LeConte Canyon and the John Muir Trail. Hikers can follow the John Muir Trail to connect with the Palisade Mountain Trail.

8. Taboose Pass Trailhead: Located near Independence, California, this trailhead provides access to Taboose Pass and the John Muir Trail. Hikers can follow the John Muir Trail to connect with the Palisade Mountain Trail.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Palisade Mountain Trail. There may be additional smaller access points or alternative routes depending on the specific itinerary and preferences of hikers.

Transportation Available

1. Palisade Mountain Shuttle – Shuttle service offering convenient transportation to and from the Palisade Mountain Trail.
2. Mountain Bike Rentals – Bike rental service providing bicycles for exploring the Palisade Mountain Trail.
3. Hiking Tours – Guided hiking tours available for those looking to explore the Palisade Mountain Trail with a knowledgeable guide.
4. Taxi Services – Local taxi companies offering transportation to and from the Palisade Mountain Trail.
5. Car Rental – Car rental service providing vehicles for independent exploration of the Palisade Mountain Trail and surrounding areas.
6. Public Bus – Public bus service with routes passing near the Palisade Mountain Trail, offering an affordable transportation option.
7. Ride-Sharing Services – Ride-sharing platforms providing convenient transportation options to and from the Palisade Mountain Trail.
8. Airport Shuttles – Shuttle services offering transportation to and from nearby airports for visitors planning to hike the Palisade Mountain Trail.


The amenities available at the Palisade Mountain Trail may vary, but here are some common amenities you might find:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail. These could be basic pit toilets or more developed restroom buildings.

2. Parking: There might be designated parking areas or parking lots near the trailhead where visitors can park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail regulations and management, there may be designated camping sites along the trail or in nearby camping areas. These sites could range from primitive backcountry campsites to more developed campgrounds with amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: Some trails may have designated picnic areas or picnic tables where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or a snack. These areas might have amenities like trash cans and benches.

5. Trailhead Facilities: At the trailhead, you might find information boards or kiosks providing details about the trail, maps, safety information, and any specific regulations or guidelines to follow.

6. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, there might be interpretive signs or educational displays providing information about the natural or cultural features of the area.

7. Water Sources: Depending on the trail location and accessibility, there might be natural water sources like streams or lakes where visitors can access water. However, it’s always a good idea to carry your own water or treat any water you find in the wilderness.

8. Benches or Rest Areas: Some trails may have benches or rest areas along the way where hikers can take a break, enjoy the view, or simply relax.

It’s important to note that the availability of these amenities can vary depending on the specific trail and its management. It’s always a good idea to check with local authorities, park websites, or visitor centers for the most up-to-date information on the amenities available at the Palisade Mountain Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Palisade Mountain Lodge – A cozy lodge located at the base of Palisade Mountain, offering comfortable accommodations.
2. Mountain View Inn – A charming inn with stunning views of the surrounding mountains, perfect for a peaceful stay.
3. Trailside Campground – A campground situated along the Palisade Mountain Trail, providing a convenient spot for outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Summit Restaurant – A restaurant located near the trailhead, serving delicious meals with panoramic views of the mountains.
5. Palisade Mountain Rescue – An emergency service dedicated to providing assistance and rescue operations in case of emergencies along the trail.

Palisade Mountain Trail Difficulty Notes

The Palisade Mountain Trail is known for its challenging difficulty level, making it a thrilling adventure for experienced hikers. With steep inclines, rocky terrain, and narrow paths, this trail demands physical endurance and mental focus. Hikers must navigate through dense forests, scramble over boulders, and conquer multiple switchbacks, adding to the trail’s difficulty. However, the reward is well worth the effort, as the trail offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It is recommended that hikers come prepared with proper gear, ample water, and a good level of fitness to fully enjoy the exhilarating challenge that the Palisade Mountain Trail presents.

Features And Attractions

The Palisade Mountain Trail offers a variety of scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks. Here are some notable ones along the trail:

1. Palisade Mountain: The trail itself offers stunning panoramic views of Palisade Mountain, a prominent peak in the area.

2. Hudson River: As you hike along the trail, you’ll have glimpses of the majestic Hudson River, providing beautiful scenic views.

3. Palisades Interstate Park: The trail passes through the Palisades Interstate Park, a scenic parkland that spans both New York and New Jersey. The park offers various recreational activities and picnic spots.

4. Women’s Federation Monument: Located within the Palisades Interstate Park, this monument commemorates the contributions of women in the preservation of the Palisades.

5. Giant Stairs: This natural landmark is a series of massive rock formations along the trail, resembling a staircase. It offers a unique and picturesque sight.

6. Kearney House: Situated within the Palisades Interstate Park, Kearney House is a historic house museum that provides insights into the area’s past. It offers guided tours and exhibits.

7. Ross Dock Picnic Area: This scenic picnic area is located along the trail and offers stunning views of the Hudson River. It’s a great spot to take a break and enjoy the surroundings.

8. Englewood Cliffs: As you hike along the trail, you’ll pass through Englewood Cliffs, a picturesque town known for its affluent neighborhoods and scenic beauty.

9. Rockefeller Lookout: This viewpoint offers breathtaking views of the Hudson River and the surrounding landscape. It’s a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

10. Alpine Boat Basin: Located near the trail, the Alpine Boat Basin is a marina and recreational area where you can enjoy boating, fishing, and picnicking.

These are just a few highlights along the Palisade Mountain Trail. The trail offers a diverse range of scenic and historical attractions, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– No camping or overnight stays are allowed on the trail.
– Hunting or fishing is strictly prohibited.
– No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail.
– Bicycles are allowed, but riders must yield to hikers and maintain a safe speed.
– No littering or dumping of any kind is allowed.
– Fires are only permitted in designated fire pits or grills.
– Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed any animals encountered on the trail.
– Stay on designated trails and do not venture off into restricted areas.
– Observe all posted signs and follow any additional guidelines provided by park rangers or authorities.
– During certain seasons, such as winter or extreme weather conditions, the trail may be closed or have restricted access.

Seasonal Information

The Palisade Mountain Trail is a popular hiking destination located in the beautiful Palisade Mountain Range. This trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, including lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and stunning mountain peaks. When planning your visit to the Palisade Mountain Trail, it is important to consider the best times of the year to visit and any seasonal closures that may affect your trip.

One of the best times to visit the Palisade Mountain Trail is during the summer months, from June to August. During this time, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, making it ideal for hiking. The trail is usually accessible, and you can enjoy the vibrant greenery and blooming wildflowers that adorn the landscape. The summer months also offer longer daylight hours, allowing you to spend more time exploring the trail and taking in the panoramic views.

However, it is important to note that the Palisade Mountain Trail is subject to seasonal closures during the winter months. From November to April, the trail is often covered in snow and ice, making it unsafe for hikers. Additionally, the colder temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions can pose risks to visitors. It is advisable to check with local authorities or park rangers for the latest trail conditions and closures before planning your trip.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Palisade Mountain Trail are during the summer months when the weather is favorable and the trail is accessible. However, it is crucial to be aware of any seasonal closures, particularly during the winter months when the trail may be covered in snow and ice. By planning your visit accordingly and staying informed about trail conditions, you can have a memorable and safe hiking experience on the Palisade Mountain Trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trailhead with sufficient space for wheelchair users to enter and exit their vehicles.
2. Accessible Trailhead: A level and paved area at the beginning of the trail, allowing wheelchair users to easily access the trail.
3. Wide and Paved Trail: The trail is wide enough and paved, providing a smooth surface for wheelchair users to navigate.
4. Gradual Slopes: The trail has gentle slopes, making it easier for wheelchair users to traverse.
5. Rest Areas with Benches: Regularly spaced benches along the trail, providing resting spots for wheelchair users.
6. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms located near the trailhead or along the trail.
7. Signage with Braille: Trail signs and information boards featuring Braille, allowing visually impaired individuals to access information.
8. Handrails and Guardrails: Handrails and guardrails installed at certain sections of the trail to assist with stability and safety.
9. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with accessible tables and seating options for wheelchair users.
10. Assistance Animals Allowed: The trail permits the presence of service animals to assist individuals with disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Palisade Mountain Trail is a moderately difficult trail with steep sections and rocky terrain, requiring proper hiking gear and experience.
2. Weather Awareness: Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as the trail is exposed and can experience sudden temperature drops, high winds, and thunderstorms.
3. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 6 miles long, so plan accordingly and ensure you have enough water, food, and energy to complete the hike.
4. Altitude Considerations: The trail reaches an elevation of over 9,000 feet, so be aware of potential altitude-related symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue.
5. Wildlife Encounter: Keep an eye out for wildlife, including bears, mountain lions, and snakes, and know how to react if you encounter them.
6. Trail Markings: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to avoid getting lost, as some sections may be less defined or have multiple paths.
7. Cell Phone Reception: Expect limited or no cell phone reception along the trail, so inform someone of your plans and estimated return time.
8. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike with a partner or in a group for safety, especially in case of emergencies or unexpected situations.
9. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, staying on the designated trail, and respecting the natural environment.
10. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a first aid kit, extra layers of clothing, a map, a compass, and a whistle in case of emergencies or unexpected situations.
11. Trail Conditions: Check for recent trail condition updates before starting the hike, as weather events or maintenance work may affect accessibility or safety.
12. Time Management: Start the hike early in the day to allow enough time for completion and to avoid hiking in the dark, as the trail does not have artificial lighting.
13. Physical Fitness: Ensure you are in good physical condition before attempting the trail, as it involves uphill sections and can be physically demanding.
14. Water Sources: There are limited water sources along the trail, so carry enough water to stay hydrated throughout the hike.
15. Trail Etiquette: Be respectful of other hikers, yield to uphill hikers, and follow any specific trail rules or regulations in place.

Conservation Notes

The Palisade Mountain Trail is currently designated as a conservation area due to its unique ecological features and the need to protect its natural resources. This designation ensures that the trail and its surrounding environment are managed and preserved for future generations. The conservation status of the Palisade Mountain Trail aims to maintain the integrity of the ecosystem and prevent any potential threats or disturbances that could harm the delicate balance of the area.

Efforts are being made to monitor and protect the biodiversity within the trail. This includes the conservation of various plant and animal species that inhabit the region. The trail is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, some of which may be rare or endangered. Conservation measures are implemented to safeguard these species and their habitats, ensuring their survival and promoting a healthy ecosystem.

Additionally, the conservation status of the Palisade Mountain Trail involves the preservation of its natural features and geological formations. This includes the protection of unique rock formations, cliffs, and other geological features that contribute to the trail’s scenic beauty and ecological significance. By maintaining the conservation status, the trail can continue to provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and education while preserving its natural heritage.

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