There weren't many people camping around Rae Lakes while we were there, maybe 5 or so total that I saw. This I found surprising. Since last fall, I had been researching a trip to Rae Lakes, and everywhere I read that the trail and the Rae Lakes area tend to be congested most of the summer. I was expecting to see a Disneyland kind of atmosphere. The parking lot at the TH was about 90% full when we arrived around 8:30am, and that added to my worries. But, it was fairly desolate.
There was one thru-hiker of note. He was exiting the Kearsarge Pass trail for a side-trip to Independence or Bishop to go see the 4th of July parade.
I found the whole area to be amazing. For a future trip, I'd probably dedicate a few more days for day-hiking. I'd like to explore more of the Sixty Lakes Basin, Gardiner Basin, Dragon Lake.
The hermit, Hobbes, seanr:
Thanks for the clarification on the mileage. It certainly felt more than 10 miles, but it was great. I was actually worried the evening before that my g/f might have a tough time getting over Kearsarge Pass. But when we reached the last junction to Charlotte Lake, she said she was feeling good and wanted to keep going. And so we did. What did I learn? I was worrying for no reason, and she's a keeper.
Thanks also for the link to Halfmile's mapping app.
Some weeks ago I volunteered as a mentor with Big City Mountaineers. We did a 5-day trip in Yosemite, Ten Lakes to May Lake. These were inner-city teenagers who had never backpacked before. Hearing their expressions as the sun set over the horizon and painted the sky, and then watching the myriad stars appear was a treat. They definitely enjoyed this rare experience. One kid mentioned that he had seen 2 shooting stars in his life. In 15 minutes of star-gazing, he got to see 6. He couldn't contain his excitement.
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