Jul 10, 2012 at 8:09 am #1291841
Leading a group on the Rae Lakes loop counterclockwise. First time doing this loop. Going in on Fri, 8/31 and exiting Thursday 9/6. I basically took the trip from the book Sierra South (Wilderness Press), reversed itand did some minor tweeking. Proposed trip itinary is as follows:
8/31 Roads end to Charlotte Creek, 7.5 miles, 2165 gain
9/1 Charlotte Creek to Charlott Lake, 9 miles, 3170 gain
9/2 Charlotte Lake to Rae Lakes, 5.5 miles, over Glen Pass at 11,978.
9/3 Layover at Rae Lakes
9/4 Rae Lakes to Woods Creek Crossing, 7.1 miles, loss of 2053
9/5 Woods Creek Crossing to Middle Paradise Valley, 8.2 miles, loss of 1552
9/6 Middle Paradise Valleyy to Roads End, 6 miles, loss of 1905.
Mileage and elevation gain/loss are estimates taken from a Tom Harrison map. Elevation gain the first three days is about 7000. Total miles are 43.3.
Where are the bear lockers on this loop?
I heard the bear lockers were reserved for JMT hikers, is this true?
On the way in, I am bipassing the tradional overnight of Viddette Meadow and going to Charlotte lake? What do you think?
Recommendations for the layover day? Peaks to bag, etc.
Where are the best fising locations?
Thanks for your help.Jul 10, 2012 at 9:54 am #1893658
You will not be disappointed. This is a beautiful loop. The mileage you have listed is very conservative. I think you may end up being ahead of schedule. I did this in 4 nights at a moderate to leisurely pace. From Rae lakes back to roads end it's all downhill. The only hard part of your trip looks like Charlotte Creek to Charlotte Lake. That will be a bit tough because of all the uphill, but very doable.
Near Rae lakes is Sixty lakes Basin. That might be worth checking out. Lots of beautiful lakes and peaks over there. I've always wanted to climb fin dome, but never got around to it.
There are bear boxes at Sphinx junction, Charlotte creek, Rae lakes, arrowhead lake and in upper paradise for sure.
I'm not sure about Charlotte lake. I'm sure someone else could chime in. I've used them without issue to store food that would not fit in my bear canister on extended trips.
All creek crossings are very easy now, and glen pass is melted out, so no ice gear is needed. Mosquitos were only moderate as of late June, but it's possible they are in full force now so bring deet/headnet etc.Jul 10, 2012 at 9:59 am #1893660
Rae lakes is packed with fish. You will have no issue there. But they are small trout. Most no bigger than 8" or so.
Also you can't have fires at Rae lakes, so it might be good to be prepared with some alternative cooking method.Jul 10, 2012 at 10:33 am #1893665
Thanks Christopher. Bear boxes at Charlotte Creek! That could be a game changer. They probably have them at Charlotte Lake. The ranger station is there. Like you said someone will chime in or I'll just make a call to the wilderness office. Are they at Vidette Meadow? So Rae Lakes is the only place fires are not allowed? Will be bringing Tenkara for fishing. Sounds like I can count on eating fish for some meals. Haven't checked yet but there must be good recipes on one of these forums. I'll search.Jul 10, 2012 at 10:51 am #1893668
This website has a complete list of all bear boxes in the Sierra, along with Topo & GPS waypoints. Here's a link to RLL south; check the link for the northern section.
In my conversations with rangers, the boxes aren't necessarily 'reserved' for PCT/JMT hikers, it's just bad form to take up available space. Also, I believe you still need to have a bear canister. The PCTers are only in the bear region for a few days, so they cut them some slack. But if you're coming in local, then you're expected to be covered.Jul 10, 2012 at 11:28 am #1893676
Awesome site. Thanks. They do have two at Charlotte Lake and at every place we will be overnighting, but there is verbage on the site that says they are still required unless your on the JMT.Jul 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm #1893688
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Why are you going counter clock wise?? That is the harder way to go.
Christopher is correct on all accounts…I cannot remember if I saw a bear box at Charlotte Lake. There is a ranger station there though :)
Sixty Lakes basin is worth checking outJul 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm #1893690
Art …BPL Member
I will be doing the Loop this summer also, a bit earlier than you.
Can someone comment on mileage discrepancies.
SEKI web site gives the loop 46.0 miles (Roads End to Roads End)
George's mileage is 43.3 miles
and my mileage is 41.4 miles – based on the Tom Harrison Kearsarge Pass-Rae Lakes Loop Map.Jul 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm #1893697
My mileage difference may be because I am going to Charlotte Lake, which is about 1.5 off the main trail and will require a backtrack, so the extra 3 miles. I chose to do this instead of the recommended stay at Viddette Meadows as the route described in the book Sierra South.Jul 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm #1893703
Why? Because it can be done! LOL. Actually, when I got the permit I assumed (ass out of you and me) that if you entered on Bubb's Creek you could go either way. Later found out that clockwise is from Woods Creek Trailhead. Thought about trying to change it, but decided to stick with it and inflict misery on myself. LOL! I should have known that something was wrong when I got my first choice (over Labor Day)on my permit application. The problem now is finding people that are in good enough shape to do it!Jul 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm #1893713
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
I've always done this in 3.5 or 4 days including a detour into Sixty Lakes, and I have always gone clockwise. How long it takes you kind of depends on wildlife sightings. There are peaks to bag, but all of that depends on your capabilities.
–B.G.–Jul 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm #1893732
There are 2 sites with bear boxes in Vidette, but they are farther up, past the turnoff for Glen pass. The first is less than a mile past if you don't mind the slight detour.
There's only one box at Charlotte creek. The others are right, you are better off just bringing a bear can. They had plenty of Bearikade weekenders (2lbs)for rent at the roads end station a few weeks ago. But ya might want to call and double check.
I actually like going counter clockwise because it's a bit more dramatic that way. Lots of climbing, and then BAM! You're on top of Glen pass with amazing views. Then you get to drop down into Rae lakes and it's all down hill from there.
I'm pretty sure the actual mileage is 46, but since you are going to Charlotte lake you will add a few miles there.
Here's some photo's I took on this exact route last year: https://picasaweb.google.com/108234957944494814191/RaeLakesAug27th
And here's some photo's/video I took just last month where I was on part of that route. https://picasaweb.google.com/108234957944494814191/ChrisSoloSekiMovie#5761177486598278818
Forgive the terrible camera work. It was a $100 camera and I barely knew how to use it. :)
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