Both lakes were formed ages ago when giant landslides came down the canyon and blocked the creek. The canyon is thickly forested with fir, as well as some aspen and willow. If you scan the mountain walls you may see mountain goats. It is 4 miles to the lower end of the lower lake.
The upper lake at 6.2 miles, .5 mile form the Palisades Creek Trail, has better camping because sites at the lower lake fill up sooner.
If you’re looking for a longer trip, the trail to Upper Palisades lake continues up Waterfall Canyon and connects with the trail down Little Elk Creek. You can also continue up Palisades Creek past the turnoff for the upper lake. There aren’t any bridges beyond this turnoff, so the several crossings of Palisades Creek make this part of the trail tedious. It’s best to tackle this stretch after midsummer. Although, few people continue beyond the lakes, so it is a great way to lose the crowds. By continuing up Palisades Creek, you will reach the Mosquito Creek trail, which leads into the Jackson Hole valley.