Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

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jahneee
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Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by jahneee » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:01 am

Hi There! I'm planning to backpack the Rae Lakes Loop with another buddy in mid-September. While I'd prefer to take my time, this weekend warrior only has 3 nights (4 days) to complete the loop. We should be able to cover this distance no problem, but I was hoping to get some feedback on the preferred areas to camp each night. We plan to do the clockwise route. We may not be able to cover a ton of mileage on the first day, as we'll be driving out of Los Angeles super early that morning and need to pick up permit, etc.

Thanks so much!








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sekihiker
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by sekihiker » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:13 pm

Here is a link to a trip report of Rae Lakes Loop hike that took four days/three nights: http://www.sierrahiker.com/RaeLakesLoop/index.html

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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by creekfeet » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:18 pm

If you're getting a late start on your first day, you can camp in Paradise Valley. There's some sites not too far past Mist Falls. I think they're maybe six or seven miles from the trailhead. For your second day try to make it to Dollar, Arrowhead, or Rae Lakes. Distance-wise this is a long stretch, but it's easy hiking in terms of elevation gain, and this lake basin is the highlight of the loop. On you third night Vidette Meadow is a good option. For the best camp spot, look for a use trail near the junction and follow it for maybe two tenths of a mile to its end. It will lead you to a packer camp that sits above a stunning waterfall and swimming hole.

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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:34 pm

Vidette can have a lot of JMT hikers. I passed by in 2017 and it was a real zoo. If it is too crowded, go down to Junction Meadow. Mt Bago is pretty impressive from Junction Meadow. JMT'ers do not go down there. Dollar Lake was pretty polluted- could just have been a low flow year. There were actually soap bubbles all over. I thought Arrowhead was nicer. Rae Lakes is crowded but there is a lot of shoreline with good sites.

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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by lambertiana » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:26 pm

Just remember that the bridge over the South Fork Kings at upper Paradise is gone, and will not be replaced this year. It's a heavy snow year and if you said you were planning on July I'd advise against it. But by September it should be manageable.

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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:46 pm

He said it would be a September trip. Why did you choose a clockwise direction? Just curious.

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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by jahneee » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:23 pm

Thanks all. Very helpful. I've read most people prefer to do the loop clockwise because elevation gain is more gradual.

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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by bobby49 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:28 pm

On the other hand -- if you can get an early start from Roads End and you are going clockwise, then you can make it all the way up to Woods Crossing for the first night. Then, I never camp at Rae Lakes proper. I generally blast up to the Sixty Lake Basin. For some people, getting over Glen Pass is a real pain. Continuing clockwise, the next stop will be either Charlotte Lake or Vidette. Heading down the Bubbs Creek Trail, there is upper Junction Meadow where the East Lake Trail junction is, or lower Junction Meadow where there is a packer camp.

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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by iHartMK » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:20 am

lambertiana wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:26 pm
Just remember that the bridge over the South Fork Kings at upper Paradise is gone, and will not be replaced this year. It's a heavy snow year and if you said you were planning on July I'd advise against it. But by September it should be manageable.
My wife and I are doing Rae Lakes at the end of July. Going clockwise. I hope that this crossing won't be an issue...
Living On Kaweah Time

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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by TurboHike » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:45 pm

iHartMK wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:20 am
lambertiana wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:26 pm
Just remember that the bridge over the South Fork Kings at upper Paradise is gone, and will not be replaced this year. It's a heavy snow year and if you said you were planning on July I'd advise against it. But by September it should be manageable.
My wife and I are doing Rae Lakes at the end of July. Going clockwise. I hope that this crossing won't be an issue...
Have you seen these?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPx1eUdZbXk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axJ3oHq7SBE

It might be good to have a plan B, just in case. Be safe.

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