Jul 10, 2015 at 4:15 pm #1330638
What to do with exactly one day of free time? Rae in a Dae! Monday, I set out to follow in the footsteps of the mighty (or mightily crazy), and hike the Rae Lakes loop in a day. My attempt was unquestionably successful; not only did I hike it in a day, but I had a great time, and aside from a bad-acting knee for the last few miles, it felt great. To add a little extra crazy, I did the 4h 15m drive to the trailhead and back in the same day as well. That part was Type III fun, I think.
I went counter-clockwise; the hike took 12h 20m. I wasn’t specifically trying to go fast, and I took a few long breaks, including a coveted dip in the South Fork Kings. But I didn’t dawdle too much; hiking Rae Lakes loop in a day is a Thing, and the athlete in me wanted to know how I compared to others. For those interested, splits are below. These came from timestamps of photos that I took at major junctions and landmarks.
I carried a pack weighing 3.0 lbs without food/water, and brought 3,600 calories. I ate about 2,500 of those. Full gear and food lists are on the last two pages of the full trip report, which is here.
Special thanks to Allen C. for his gear advice on this one!
Above Junction Meadow
Obligatory Rae-Lakes-from-Glen-Pass photo
Castle Domes–more impressive than I remember!Jul 10, 2015 at 9:18 pm #2213901Kiel SenningerBPL Member
@kiel-sLocale: San Diego
Whoa. Nicely done! Sounds like a most excellent day off. Thanks for the detailed write up and food/gear list. Did you do any extra training leading up this?Jul 11, 2015 at 10:01 am #2213985
> Did you do any extra training leading up this?
No–no training, at least not per se. Just hiking–a one-night trip to Yosemite in May, a two-night trip to Sierra NF/Kings Canyon in June, and a handful of local day hikes.
I'm not quite sure why, but it seems like longish distances (>30 miles) are easy this year. I'm thankful for that, but don't have an explanation.
But, with that unexplainable new-found fitness, it seemed like a good time to try Rae Lakes loop in a day–and it was!Jul 17, 2015 at 3:37 pm #2215455Allen CBPL Member
@acurranoLocale: Nuevo Mexico
Adam, great job and great report! thanks for posting up…I knew you would be fine but that time is quite impressive, especially considering you didn't run at all. I have great memories of doing this same trip a few years ago…Jul 29, 2015 at 8:19 pm #2217967Fimmx RunsBPL Member
What a fantastic trip report! I've been wanting to do this loop for a while now since I learned about it a couple of years ago. I too live in the Bay Area and your report makes me think of possibilities! A weekend trip maybe? Thank you so much for taking the time to put down so much detail. I almost feel I was there.Jul 29, 2015 at 8:31 pm #2217969Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
It's actually easier doing it in a day than 2.
You're not bringing all the overnight gear so you are using a running pack for the day trips.
I have done this loop 11 times.
8X – 1 Day
2X – 2 Days
1X – 2 1/2 Days
3X – CW
8X – CCWJul 30, 2015 at 8:55 am #2218049
> It's actually easier doing it in a day than 2.
When you know what you're doing, that's probably the case, but I'm not sure that's the case for me…I carried 3 lbs of gear and 2 lbs of food. If I added overnight gear, that probably becomes 7 lbs of gear and 3 lbs of food.
I think two 20 mile days with a 8-10 lb pack is easier for me than one 40 mile day with a 3-5 lb pack. I could string together 20 mile days infinitely, but not 40 mile days.
In any case, that's just me–a non-runner, for whom this was pushing the envelope. Could be quite different for you. You're in a different league than I am.
BTW, have you done it CW in any of your 8 one-day trips? As a non-runner, I wondered if that would be quicker. The descent through Paradise is fairly slow (step after step after step…), but that probably wouldn't slow an ascent much, where you're aerobically limited. On the other hand, it really leaves you with a long slog up to Glen Pass.Dec 9, 2019 at 1:11 am #3622102
old thread, but timely as I (and a few others) are planning on doing this next summer- thanks!Dec 9, 2019 at 1:29 pm #3622126
one question if I could? you went clockwise, do you think that is the best way to go for a done in a day?Dec 9, 2019 at 11:58 pm #3622182PedestrianBPL Member
@pedestrianDec 10, 2019 at 1:23 am #3622197
thanks- we’re looking at the very end of August, hopefully things are died down by thenDec 14, 2019 at 12:21 am #3622764Jane BaackBPL Member
I believe Adam said he went counter-clockwise, not clockwise as you said.
Try the pack station located near Road’s End for info. on the bridge. They don’t take animals over the hiker bridge but they will know the latest info. on the conditions and any problems. They can also tell you where they do take the animals across/ford and in late August that might be a good alternative if the bridge is still out.Dec 14, 2019 at 12:32 am #3622768
yeah- you’re right; still wonder if there is an advantage one way or the other
thanks for the info on the pack station :)Dec 14, 2019 at 12:34 am #3622769Jane BaackBPL Member
The pack station I mentioned above is: Cedar Grove Pack Station.
Off-season phone number: 559-337-2413
Hope your group has a great trip. It is a wonderful trip and full of gorgeous scenery. When I went with a friend I was 71 and we met a woman who was 90, hiking with her son and son-in-law. None of us even THOUGHT about doing the trip in a day!! Good luck!Dec 14, 2019 at 1:02 am #3622773
danke :)Dec 15, 2019 at 8:03 am #3622911
I wasn’t subscribed to this thread, and rarely visit BPL these days, but am glad I poked my nose in! Surprised to see this thread at the top!
The fastest times have all been CCW. Leor Pantilat holds the FKT record. He is not known for under thinking things like this, so without contributing any independent thought, I’d say that’s the “fastest” direction, and likely the “easiest” (quotes because calling it either “fast” or “easy” feels like a stretch :) )
Leor’s choice certainly does pass the sniff test–the 25 uphill miles from Roads End to Glen Pass if going CW is probably an aerobic challenge to run much of, whereas much of it could probably be run down if going CCW.
I keep thinking about doing this again, but it never seems to make the top of my to-do lists for the year. Too many peaks to climb out there!
That said, if you want more company, let me know when you’re going. Would be fun!
Lastly, in late August, I don’t think the missing bridge will be a problem. If you post again here as we near late August, I’m sure some of us locals could point you towards recent conditions reports.Dec 15, 2019 at 3:28 pm #3622924
thanks, that’s very useful- as was your entire trip report!
I’ll let you know when we set a date
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