3 day trip recommendation (Agnew to Tuolumne vs. Rae Lakes Loop?)

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srubin
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3 day trip recommendation (Agnew to Tuolumne vs. Rae Lakes Loop?)

Post by srubin » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:09 pm

My partner and I are looking for a late-September 3 day/2 night (or maybe 4 day/3 night, but the logistics of that get more challenging) backpacking trip to do the week after our wedding for a bit of detox.

We’re avid day hikers. She has a lot of backpacking experience from when she was growing up; my only recent backpacking experience is a 2 night/30 mile backpacking trip we did in Great Smoky Mountain NP last October that included a 19 mile/2300 ft day.

Our main interest is big mountain scenery + lakes. We’ve done a bunch of hikes in Yosemite/Tahoe/SEKI, but we’ve never been in the Sierra backcountry (and we're very excited about it!). We’ve hiked at elevation before and had no issues with altitude sickness.

Difficult day hikes that we’ve done:
  • Mist Trail -> Panorama Trail -> Four Mile Trail
  • Half Dome
  • Clouds Rest
  • Static Peak Divide (GTNP, 16mi, 5000ft)
  • Paintbrush/Cascade Canyon (GTNP, 24mi, 4000ft)
  • Hidden Lake Lookout Trail (Cascades, 9mi, 3500ft)
Right now we’re considering:
  • Agnew Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows
  • Rae Lakes Loop (we day hiked up to Paradise Valley last summer and loved that area, but I worry about squeezing this one into 3 days. We might be able to swing a 4th day.)
We’ll be traveling to the Sierra from SF. Any other suggestions for other great 2 (maybe 3) night September trips? Or, any specific suggestions for those two proposed trips? Thanks!








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oso333
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Re: 3 day trip recommendation (Agnew to Tuolumne vs. Rae Lakes Loop?)

Post by oso333 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:45 pm

Agnew Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows has great views and is easily done in 3 days( I did it at 73 years old), but tough to get a permit.

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adornowest
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Re: 3 day trip recommendation (Agnew to Tuolumne vs. Rae Lakes Loop?)

Post by adornowest » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:23 pm

The Rae Lakes area is worth at least a full day. There is so much to see there!

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blaybelay
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Re: 3 day trip recommendation (Agnew to Tuolumne vs. Rae Lakes Loop?)

Post by blaybelay » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:20 pm

What days are you planning? If you're trying to do Friday to Sunday it's going to be incredibly difficult to get walk up permits in either Mammoth Lakes or for Rae Lakes over a weekend. Going on a Tuesday/Wednesday are going to be your best bet to get permits.

If you can get permits, Agnew Meadow to Thousand Islands Lake. Thousand Islands to Ediza. Then Ediza back to Agnew. Thats a solid trip, isn't to difficult and will give you some of the best views in the Sierra. Bonus points for day tripping from Ediza to Iceberg Lake.

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Re: 3 day trip recommendation (Agnew to Tuolumne vs. Rae Lakes Loop?)

Post by jeremiahkim » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:40 pm

In addition to permitting for either route being a potential concern, I'm sure you're aware that the bridge at the South Fork of the Kings is still out of commission. Haven't seen the any conditions reports recently, but earlier this season it shut down the possibility of the loop save for a few industrious hikers. We used a log crossing just downstream of the river in late September 2017, but no idea if that is still there.

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Re: 3 day trip recommendation (Agnew to Tuolumne vs. Rae Lakes Loop?)

Post by stevet » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:19 pm

A westside alternate, if you are up to a little route finding is to start at Wolverton in Sequoia, follow the Lakes Trail to Pear Lake then route finding across the Tablelands to Moose Lake then down to Alta Meadow returning via Mehrton Meadow and Panther Gap to Wolverton. A great 3-4 day route in either direction. Or even out and back to Moose Lake if you can only swing 3 days. Option to summit Alta Peak.

From SF this is a bit more of a drive than Agnew/Yosemite, but less than Rae Lakes loop.

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tie
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Re: 3 day trip recommendation (Agnew to Tuolumne vs. Rae Lakes Loop?)

Post by tie » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:55 pm

Personally, if I had four days I would choose the Rae Lakes Loop, and with three days I would do Tuolomne to Agnew.

On the Rae Lakes loop the truly spectacular scenery is in the middle, to either side of Glen Pass. It would be a shame to have just one rushed day for this.

Maybe I am strange, but I have a strong preference for going from Tuolomne to Agnew, instead of the other way around. There are a bunch of reasons for this, but one of them is that it is so cool to see the landscape opening up in front of you, instead of behind you. The scenery gets better and better, you go over Donohue Pass, where you can see everything, then a little later you are at Thousand Island Lake and Garnet Lake.

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