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TR: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes (7/4-6 2014)

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TR: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes (7/4-6 2014)

Postby pakoR » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:07 pm

Hello all. I went up to Rae Lakes from Onion Valley over the 4th of July weekend. It was my first time out there, and I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone looking for wonderful landscapes. We saw maybe 5 other people around the the Lakes that weekend, and traffic along the trail was sporadic.

The original plan was to take 4 days / 3 nights with camping at Charlotte Lake, Rae Lakes, and Kearsarge Lakes. But once over Kearsarge Pass, we just continued on over Glen Pass to the lakes.

Day 1 (Friday): 10 miles, from the Kearsarge Pass TH to Rae Lakes
Day 2 (Saturday): 5 miles, day hike to Sixty Lakes Basin area
Day 3 (Sunday): 10 miles, out to Kearsarge Pass TH

On Friday and Saturday, it was blue skies, sunny, temps in the mid 70s and dry. Night temps probably dipped into the mid-40s. The air pressure began to drop around 3am on Sunday morning, and by 6am, the skies were a dark grey. At 8am, it began to drizzle as a weather system was moving in from the north. We left Rae Lakes as it began to rain, and by the time we reached Glen Pass, the rain had stopped and the sky was clearing up. The clear air and cloud cover created amazing lighting for photographs.

Below are some photos I took. The entire set is here:

Sunrise from Grays Meadow Campground
Image

Hiking up to Kearsarge Pass
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Rae Lakes, Black Mountain, Painted Lady
Image

Milky Way over Painted Lady
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Mount Clarence King
Image

Rae Lakes
Image

Image

Image

Party on Glen Pass
Image

no-name lakes north of and below Glen Pass
Image

no-name lake south of Glen Pass
Image

Heart Lake
Image

Almost back at the TH
Image

fco



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Re: TR: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes (7/4-6 2014)

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:58 pm

Thanks Pako for the TR and pretty pictures. Were there a lot of JMTers and Rae
Lake Loopers at Rae Lakes?
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: TR: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes (7/4-6 2014)

Postby ofuros » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:33 pm

Lovely landscape pics, thanks for sharing.
Out 'n about....looking for trout.
https://ofuros.exposure.co/
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Re: TR: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes (7/4-6 2014)

Postby The hermit » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:10 pm

I think rae lakes are a bit more than 10 miles from onion valley. So kudos to you for making it on day one. Plus beautiful pictures!
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Postby mello » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:18 pm

Thanks for the report. I love the color in your photos. Did you feel rushed with only 3 days?
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Re: TR: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes (7/4-6 2014)

Postby Hobbes » Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:35 am

The hermit wrote:I think rae lakes are a bit more than 10 miles from onion valley. So kudos to you for making it on day one. Plus beautiful pictures!


Yes it is. According to precise GPS readings taken on the PCT & spur trails (eg Onion), it's exactly 22% further than 10 miles: 12.2 miles. So kudos to the OP.

For those interested in accessing precise PCT/JMT & spur trail measurements, including the main Whitney trail, Onion, Bishop, Mammoth, Yosemite valley and others, here's a link to Halfmile's mapping applications:

http://www.pctmap.net/google/

BTW, he's hiking the PCT again this year; here's his blog:

http://lon.net/2014/08/03/day-122/
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TR: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes (7/4-6 2014)

Postby Bluewater » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:38 am

Great clarity in your photos. It looks like you had perfect weather the whole time. BTW, thanks Hobbes for the reminder about Halfmile's site.
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Re: TR: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes (7/4-6 2014)

Postby Mradford » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:55 am

Nice! Loving the photos. Great post.
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Re: TR: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes (7/4-6 2014)

Postby seanr » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:31 am

Interesting, on a Tuesday hike, early to mid afternoon, in mid to late July, I encountered several dozen (if not more than one hundred) folks just in the couple-few miles from Rae Lakes (*I was* coming from Dragon Lake side trail somewhat near the Ranger station) to the stark tarn area just south of Glen Pass. I also saw a few people in the Kearsarge Pass area that day, but nobody anywhere else on an O.V.-Golden Trout Lake-Gould-Dragon Lake-Glen Pass-K. Pass loop. Maybe early July preceded the JMT/PCT/Rae Lakes Loop rush hour in that area I experienced. I also often wonder how crowded 4th of July really is in the backcountry. I always suspect it will be busy, but always give hiking a go anyway and actually end up seeing few people. Maybe some folks can't stand to miss fireworks and other social festivities. Others probably plan permits later than is most likely to encounter significant lingering snow.

Anyway, yeah, the Onion Valley packer told me Rae Lakes was about twelve miles via K. Pass and Glen Pass after I got back from my hike, so y'all were moving along pretty fast. Nice images; I need to get some up myself before I head out again.

*Edit for clarity*
Last edited by seanr on Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TR: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes (7/4-6 2014)

Postby richlong8 » Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:50 pm

You took some nice shots some beautiful wilderness! Rae Lakes in one day over Kearsage and Glen Passes - you have stamina, or maybe you are a climber. Are you saying that a large group of people were coming from Dragon Lake?
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