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Rae Lakes Loop Side Trips: Recommendation?

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Rae Lakes Loop Side Trips: Recommendation?

Postby Flamingo » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:37 pm

Hi Everyone,
What is your favorite side-trip along the Rae Lakes Loop?

Context: I'm organizing a group trip for the Rae Lakes Loop in summer 2018. This will be my 4th time doing the loop, and for other group members it will be their 1st or 2nd time. My backpacking experience is level 4 (multiple thru-hikes, PCT and CDT). The other hikers are level 2+ (short backpacking trips on trails, limited cross-country). It looks like we'll have an extra day in our itinerary, and I would love to lead the group on a side-trip. Ideally, we'd go off-trail and get away from the crowds along the Rae Lakes Loop / JMT / PCT. Some ideas include: Sixty Lakes Basin, Dragon Lake, Baxter Lake, Mount Bago. [Note: I've summited Bago, but I've never visited Sixty, Dragon, or Baxter]. Can you suggest other relatively easy side trips? Do you have a favorite? We're open to class 2-3 peak-bagging, swimming in remote alpine lakes, or even just visiting a unique vista spot. Overall, I want to add some spice to this trip so that it doesn't feel like "yet another hike of the Rae Lakes Loop Trail."

Thanks for your suggestions. :)

PS: We're probably going clockwise, to make acclimatization easier.



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Re: Rae Lakes Loop Side Trips: Recommendation?

Postby Gazelle » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:45 pm

I would go for sixty lakes basin, maybe up Cotter Class 2 with minimal class 3. I found Baxter Lake not that nice and had huge amounts of mosquitos when I went! Dragon Lake is also fantastic I would camp there instead of Rae Lakes as the view is fantastic and not that far off the trail but is uphill and you need to find the trail.
Kristine
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop Side Trips: Recommendation?

Postby maverick » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:59 pm

For your groups ability I would also recommend 60 Lakes Basin and staying at Dragon Lake, especially if it is a zoo at Rae Lakes.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop Side Trips: Recommendation?

Postby CAMERONM » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:04 pm

60 Lakes Basin

+1
And yes, walk through the Rae Lakes area but camp somewhere in the 60 Lakes.
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop Side Trips: Recommendation?

Postby bobby49 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:05 pm

Sixty Lake Basin is the place to go. Keep in mind that the trails there get a little thin. Also, you can't necessarily cross around every lake on its shore.

I found Mount Cotter to be very interesting. Assuming that you are going up the ridge, you have to decide to stay just a little to the right of it or else to the left of it. Each has its own little challenges. You can go straight up the talus slopes also. It gets slightly loose and hairy toward the top.
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