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Rae Lakes Loop

August 3, 2009

T and I spent the past 6 days on vacation.  The first day was a travel day, the next four were spent in the glorious high Sierra doing Rae Lakes Loop in Kings Canyon National park.  Today was another travel day (sort of) — we drove to Visalia after exiting the trail around 10:30, and spent the night relaxing in a hotel.  We finished the drive this morning, and spent the rest of the day getting adjusted back to reality.

Here is a small snippet of the beauty.

2009 - 07 Rae Lakes Loop1

Hike summary (hey, I don’t have a backpacking/hiking blog, so this pf blog will have to host these tidbits):

Day 1:  A brutal day, we hiked 14-15 miles from Roads End to Castle Domes Meadow, starting at 8 am.   We saw four bears (they are actually not very dangerous at all, though we were very cautious) and some beautiful waterfalls and mountains.  We were super tired by the time we got to camp around 5.

Day 2:  A “rest day” according to T, we hiked “only” 8-9 miles and the elevation gain was manageable.  Starting around 7, we made it to Rae Lakes around 1 pm and had the rest of day to relax.  I attempted to swim in the gorgeous alpine lake — I made it up to my waist before retreating.  It was ice cold, freshly melted glacier!   We had the best campsite in the world, right on the lake.

Day 3:  We started the day with some serious elevation gain, hitting nearly 12000 ft in elevation at the top of Glenn Pass.  It was all downhill from there, which was much easier, but hard on our feet.  This was another stunning day, filled with panoramic vistas.  We went something like 13 miles and camped at Charlotte Creek Meadow.  The steep downhill hiking wasn’t exactly tiring, but our feet were really really sore.

Day 4:  This was a shorter 7 mile day, mostly flat with a couple steep sections.  I alternated from being anxious to be out, to savouring the last few hours in the beautiful backcountry.  We made it out by 10 a.m.  We drove to Visalia, CA and took long long showers, then soaked our tired muscles in the hot tub.

Personal finance?  Budget was posted a few days ago and the trip cost just under $200 each.  I think we were slightly over.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2009 9:55 pm

    I’ve never done any backpacking… but your pictures are drop dead GORGEOUS and you are making me SO jealous to go hiking/camping!!! 🙂 What a fantastic vacation you had!

  2. August 4, 2009 4:49 am

    Wow, that looks amazing! Slightly jealous of your fantastic trip–and that is cost just around $200!

  3. August 3, 2010 7:06 am

    I’ve been trying where to decide where to go on my next backpacking trip. We did Ansel Adams Wilderness a couple of years ago and I’m not sure anything can beat that. Your pictures are amazing! I think we may try the Rae Lakes Loop in a couple of weeks. Thanks for sharing!

    • August 3, 2010 7:35 am

      I thought rae lakes was at least as beautiful as ansel adams! It was our first 3 night trip and I really loved it. Kings Canyon is gorgeous.

      I think next year we might either do something in yosemite back country or try part of the JMT to Whitney next year!


  1. Ansel Adams Wilderness « Stacking Pennies

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