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Rae Lakes Loop

Highlights

  • Guides Choice trip in Sequoia-Kings Canyon
  • Amazing alpine loop hike
  • Dozens of stunning mountain lakes
  • Challenging hiking to high mountain passes
  • Layover day to explore the High Sierra
  • Views of jagged peaks, mountain lakes & rushing streams
  • Camps near stunning alpine lakes and rivers

Description

If your interest is jaw-dropping alpine scenery and a challenging hike through the Sierra high country look no further! Our Rae Lakes Loop travels high into the Rae Lakes district of Kings Canyon National Park and features a myriad of stunning mountain lakes as well as some of the largest vertical relief in the Sierra. We enjoy spectacular mountain scenery, pristine camps, waterfalls, wildlife, and solitude on this unforgettable adventure!
We'll begin at Road’s End in King’s Canyon National Park, where we ascend into John Muir’s High Sierra and leave the world behind for a solid week of mountain revelry. The days will be strenuous and the afternoons will be full of relaxing, swimming or even some fly fishing! Most of our camps will be at High Mountain lakes where the guides will cook up hearty meals and watch the stars come out next to glowing campfires.



Some of the sights on the Rae Lakes Loop such as the dramatic pyramid shaped peaks known as "The Videttes" and "Paradise Valley" are second to none in wilderness beauty. Join the Wildland Trekking Company on our Rae Lakes Loop this summer season for a truly remarkable hiking getaway!
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 800-715-HIKE.

 

Sequoia - Kings Canyon Photos

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to TH: 2.5 hours
Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1500 feet


The first day of our Alpine Lakes trek takes along the South Fork of the King’s River as we look for a suitable campsite along the river shore. We will be hiking approximately seven miles and passing breathtaking Mist Falls with Buck Peak and 11,165 Glacier Monument towering high above. From our campsite along the river we will kick back after enjoying a fine meal and watch the sun set behind Goat and Kid Peaks in the distance!


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 3000 feet


After a good stretch we will break camp and ascend higher into the mountains along Woods Creek. We will pass the towering Castle Domes and Window Rock on our to the intersection with the famous John Muir Trail for an approximate hiking mileage of about seven miles.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1500 feet


Today we enter the Lakes District as follow the South Fork of Woods Creek to a beautiful lunch spot along Dollar Lake. Enjoy a siesta at Dollar Lake with impressive views of Diamond Peak towering above us at 13,126 feet. We will continue on past Arrowhead Lakes to our campsite in the vicinity of Rae Lakes. Today’s hike is approximately 7.1 miles with over 2000 feet in vertical gain. In the evening we can go fishing, swim, read by the campfire and watch the sun set behind the impressive backdrop of Black Mountain, Dragon Peak and the Painted Lady!


Day 4

Hiking Mileage: optional day hike
Elevation Gain/Loss:
varies

Today is our layover day which means either resting and relaxing around Rae Lake or trekking up to the Sixty Lakes Basin and possibly summiting Cotter Peak! The Cotter Peak trek is ten miles roundtrip and 2100 vertical gain and loss. From the summit of this non-technical granite peak you are rewarded with 360 degree panoramas of Mt Clarence King, Gardiner Peak and the entire Sixty Lakes Basin as well as Gardiner Basin on the other side. Return to camp, jump in the lake and prepare for tomorrow’s hike over Glen Pass!


Day 5

Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
Elevation Loss: 2500 feet


Today we leave early to cross Glen Pass at 11,978 feet in elevation and say goodbye to the Rae Lakes District. Our trek is about five miles through steep yet beautiful mountain country. Peaks rise all around us – this place feels really remote! Our goal is Charlotte Lake at 10,370 feet which is a beautiful alpine lake situated in a quiet side valley.


Day 6

Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: marginal


Today we descend to Bubb’s Creek with our packs significantly lighter as our food weight has all but disappeared at this point! We will drop down past the Charlotte Dome with incredible views of the Videttes which are sharp arêtes similar in appearance to the Matterhorn. We will also be crossing under the Kearsarge Pinnacles. The mountains here truly rival the Alps in their beauty. We will camp approximately eight miles down Bubb’s Creek in a wooded meadow for the evening as we enjoy our last campfire and night out under those glorious Sierra stars.


Day 7

Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: marginal

Shuttle: 2.5 hours

On the final leg of our voyage we descend Bubb’s Creek back to our awaiting vehicle at Road End in King’s Canyon. The views our outstanding today and our packs are much lighter as we pass by the backside of Glacier Monument. We will celebrate with a victory lunch on a trip well earned back at Road’s End!


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Sierra Nevada hiking guide
  • Transportation to the trailhead originating from Grant Grove Visitor Center
  • Bear cannisters for food storage
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear cannisters
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

You'll meet your hiking guide and group at the Grant Grove Visitor Center for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins (check out Big Trees Transit for a shuttle from Fresno to Grant Grove). Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip to coordinate the orientation meeting.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's rendezvous time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 6 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will be out of the backcountry normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time) the final day.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on backpacking trips is 5 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Sierras

Being a high mountain environment, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in the mountains. On trips in June, snow is a possibility, and the rest of the summer rain is always a possibility on your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures:
 
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
         
 
Month
Valleys
Alpine
 
 
hi
low
hi
low
 
 
January
49°
26°
45°
25°
 
 
February
55°
28°
46°
26°
 
 
March
59°
31°
48°
27°
 
 
April
65°
35°
54°
30°
 
 
May
73°
42°
62°
37°
 
 
June
81°
51°
71°
46°
 
 
July
89°
57°
77°
50°
 
 
August
89°
56°
81°
53°
 
 
September
82°
51°
71°
46°
 
 
October
74°
39°
62°
37°
 
 
November
58°
31°
51°
29°
 
 
December
48°
26°
46°
25°