800-715-HIKE 9-4:30 Every Day     Wildland Wires Sign Up!     Wild. Blog Trek & Travel
Sequoia Guided Treks
Kings Canyon National Park Tour
Sequoia National Park Guides
Sierra Nevada Hiking Vacation
Sequoia Hiking Guides
Kings Canyon Treks
Kings Canyon Backpacking
Sequoia-Kings Canyon Guides

Rae Lakes Loop


  •   Guides Choice backpacking trip
  •   Amazing alpine loop hike
  •   Dozens of stunning mountain lakes
  •   Stunning high mountain passes
  •   Layover day to explore the High Sierra
  •   Alpine peaks, lakes & rushing streams
  •   Beautiful, pristine campsites


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!

We're Here to Help!
Backpacking Trip
Fresno, CA
7 days
41+mi / 66+km
$1765 Per Person

  Private Trips

  Travel Details

  See Trip Dates

Trip Dates & Booking

Click on a date to register.
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
  • Available to Book
  • Going Fast
  • Request a Reservation
Don't see your dates? Call us!
We may be able to add new trip dates.
800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle to TH: 2.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2100 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 580 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: 2600 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 738 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: 5.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2300 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 200 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: 5.8 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 1800 feet
  • Elevation Gain: 1990 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: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 500 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 3500 feet

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: 6.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 413 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2710 feet
  • 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 access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

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 and returning to Fresno, CA
  • 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 (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • 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
  • Emergency communication device(s)

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, 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? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here 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 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($100).

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 Wyndham Garden Hotel in Fresno, California at 5PM the evening before your trip begins for an orientation meeting. We recommend staying at the Wyndham Garden before and after your trip for your convenience. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks beforehand to coordinate this meeting. The next morning we'll meet and utilize park shuttles to reach our trailhead.

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.


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.

Guide Shifts

Yosemite and Sequioa-Kings Canyon guides work daily shifts from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. During off hours (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) the guides' time is their own, and they are free to sleep, rest, take personal time, postpone guest requests until the next morning, and any other legal, reasonable activity people engage in when not working. We ask all guests to respect the guides' off-duty hours by not waking or asking anything of them unless there is a true emergency. Also, state law requires that employees receive an uninterrupted 10 minute break every four working hours, so guides are required to take four 10 minute breaks between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on backpacking trips is 6 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 1-800-715-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)

Camping on Backpacking Trips

backpacking tent

Backcountry Sleeping

Tent Camping

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

backpacking meals

Backcountry Cuisine

Fresh & Delicious

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

backpacking campsites

Amazing Campsites

In the Action

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Sign Up for Wildland Wires

Get updates about new trips, Wildland news, special discounts and more!

Similar Trips

High Sierra Loop

High Sierra Loop

Backpacking Trip

5 days
High Sierra Trail and the Great Western Divide Backpacking Trip

High Sierra - Western Divide

Backpacking Trip

5 days
Yosemite North Rim

Yosemite North Rim

Backpacking Trip

4-5 days