Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

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

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:23 pm

Isn't a bridge crossing Sphinx Creek down low, also washed out? I recall having to wade in Sept 2017. What would that be like earlier in the season?








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

Post by jahneee » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:40 pm

Heading out in 10 days and getting pretty excited. Quick question about distances. Would it be possible to hike from Upper Paradise Valley to Rae Lakes, set up camp and then hike without packs down into 60 Lakes Basin and back to camp in the same day? We're two generally fit 30-somethings, but don't want to bite of way more than we can chew. Thanks!

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

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:24 pm

jahneee wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:40 pm
Heading out in 10 days and getting pretty excited. Quick question about distances. Would it be possible to hike from Upper Paradise Valley to Rae Lakes, set up camp and then hike without packs down into 60 Lakes Basin and back to camp in the same day? We're two generally fit 30-somethings, but don't want to bite of way more than we can chew. Thanks!
If by "down" into 60 lakes basin, you mean "up & down" since it adds about 1K elevation gain.

Eh, it depends how much you want to hike, how light your packs are, ect. It's 17 miles & 5600 ft of gain, so it's totally possible. I get what you're trying to do, cram as much into your time as you can.

If I had to pick a section of trail to blow past it'd be the lower parts of the loop. The low elevation portion below Vidette Meadow & the JMT bridge over Woods Creek is okay, but just a pretty forest that you can see other places in the world. A determined hiker could get from Road's End to Dollar Lake in a day, and could hike out from Vidette Meadow back home in a day. That'd be a solid 2 days in between for the best stuff.

But keep in mind, you can't see it all. I personally don't like to haul ass when I'm wearing my big heavy pack. Take some time to enjoy the destination.
"Adventure is just bad planning." - Roald Amundsen
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by jahneee » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:31 pm

Thanks. That's helpful. Unfortunately we are driving from LA our first morning so doubt we'll make it much farther than Upper Paradise Valley. Would a preferable option be to hike and camp at middle Rae Lake on Day 2, and then wake up and explore 60 Lakes Basin in the morning (with no packs) before coming back to Rae Lake to get our gear and hike up Glen Pass?

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

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:55 pm

jahneee wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:31 pm
Thanks. That's helpful. Unfortunately we are driving from LA our first morning so doubt we'll make it much farther than Upper Paradise Valley. Would a preferable option be to hike and camp at middle Rae Lake on Day 2, and then wake up and explore 60 Lakes Basin in the morning (with no packs) before coming back to Rae Lake to get our gear and hike up Glen Pass?
Part of the beauty of backpacking is that you don't have to plan all this crap out, and it's better not to. There's nowhere you have to be except on your flight home. It could snow, or maybe it's 20 degrees in the morning and you don't want that early start you planned anymore. And I dunno what you like, you gotta choose it for yourself. But the Rae Loop has a little bit of everything, so you can linger where you like.

But I will say this: Plan more time for Glen Pass than you think. It's the hardest part of the hike. And you'd hate to descend in the dark and miss the great view of Mt Brewer & the little tarns on the South side.
"Adventure is just bad planning." - Roald Amundsen
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Re: Rae Lakes Loop in 3 Nights - Camping Spots?

Post by jahneee » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:14 pm

That's fair. Thanks. And I'm usually not a strict itinerary over-planner. Just trying to maximize what we can as a couple weekend warriors who don't get away much nowadays. I think we'll just plan on camping our second night at Rae Lakes and play it by ear if a trip to 60 Lakes Basin is in the cards. Having said that, any recs for a secluded, scenic camping spots around Rae Lakes?

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

Post by Ultrajen » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:09 am

I did it in 3 days a few years ago. I can’t remember camp names but it felt rushed we really had to hustle and were so bummed not to linger at the lakes. Our permit was counter clock wise but we were able to change it to clock wise at the trail head.

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