Sometimes there is a tour we discover and do time and time again, sharing a little known wonder with others. The Palisades tour is one of these.

This tour is not well known, except by locals, and in some years no one ventures into this part of the Sierra during the winter and spring. The crossings of the passes are short, steep, and high linking together two of the most beautiful areas in the Sierra – Dusy and Palisade Basins. Staying on the west side of the divide for most of the tour, the jagged crest of the Palisades is never more than a mile away as we hug the slopes of some of the Sierra’s highest peaks. Days are not too long and we try to find time to ski some of the fantastic slopes along the way.


We highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000 feet) just prior to the trip. Spending a night or two in Mammoth or camped at the trailhead campground would do the trick.

SMC does not rent ski equipment, but we work with Mammoth Mountaineering (760-934-4191) to get you set up on the correct equipment. MMS has a very wide range of rental equipment that is probably the best you will find anywhere in California. All gear is current state of the art, well tuned and rental fees are deductible if you buy a set up from them. (We highly recommend renting before you buy so as to find what suits you best, since a full setup is pretty pricey). We can coordinate the rental and suggest that if you can you arrive Mammoth the night before and get fully set up since boot fitting can take some time.

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