The Palisades Creek Trail takes you to Palisades Lake, a beautiful spot to sit and contemplate nature with your favorite furry philosopher. Its still water reflects the colors of the sky, as well as the deep green firs and golden grasses around it. Nestled in a bowl of mountains, it's a perfect spot whether you're enjoying the lush flora of summer or the mists of autumn.
As you hike to the lake, you'll be surrounded by rich forests and the sounds of the swiftly flowing stream. Note the willow, aspen, and evergreen trees growing all around you. Some crowd in close and shade the trail, while others reach over the water. As you follow the creek up the canyon, you'll also cross several scenic bridges over the rapids.
If you see a ghostly, doglike face looking back at you from the side of the mountain, look closer—it's probably a mountain goat! The fleet-footed climber and many other wildlife species such as elk and moose make the area home. Bears also like to sniff around here, so it's important to keep your dog close to you and on a leash. The trail is pretty popular, so be prepared to encounter everything from scout troops to horseback riders as you hike your way up to the lake. It's also a favorite spot for local anglers.
The Palisades Creek trailhead can be found just beyond the Palisades Creek Campground off the road of the same name. While it costs $12 to camp for the night, the parking is free. There are also vault toilets, picnic tables, and drinking water available at the campground. There are campsites closer to the lake if you enjoy ruffin' it in a tent and want to break up the twelve-mile round-trip hike into two days. It will be hard to resist the chance to camp in this beautiful spot and relax next to a crackling campfire with your canine companion.