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Rae Lake Loop

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Re: Rae Lake Loop

Postby AdirondackMike » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:23 am

Have a permit to do this loop clockwise starting on a Thursday. I'm wondering if anyone can speak to the effectiveness of the permit system at keeping the crowds down. I'm assuming they only permit the number of people the area can support so there shouldn't be people camping on top of one another.



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Re: Rae Lake Loop

Postby markskor » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:47 am

AdirondackMike wrote:...wondering if anyone can speak to the effectiveness of the permit system at keeping the crowds down. I'm assuming they only permit the number of people the area can support so there shouldn't be people camping on top of one another.

Well, unfortunately, without much visible presence of back-country Rangers these days, what is said at the permit office (rules about where you can camp, etc) is not always what happens out in the wilderness. Rae Lakes loop is oft-visited, by all kinds of hikers...a PCT/JMT freeway off-ramp.

Not a big fan of confrontations and always willing to get up and move if necessary...Chit happens.
YMMV.
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Re: Rae Lake Loop

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:43 pm

Having passed through there on that route a good number of times, I never found it all that busy. At "First Camps" in Paradise Valley, there is an extensive camp with bear boxes. I have seen bears there. I imagine that on a weekend, it might get a bit full, but no matter, keep moving up canyon and you will find more camps, one fairly large, but no bear boxes (though that may have changed). At the South Fork bridge at the meeting of Woods Creek, there is another large camp, and there may be bear boxes, but I didn't ever see any bears there. I think they like the lower end of the valley. Anyway, all along Paradise there are camping opportunities, both established and stealth.
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Re: Rae Lake Loop

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:47 am

Paradise actually has designated campsites, with numbers. While there are campsites all around, not all of them are legal.
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Re: Rae Lake Loop

Postby robow8 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:16 am

AlmostThere wrote:Paradise actually has designated campsites, with numbers. While there are campsites all around, not all of them are legal.


Is that just Lower Paradise, or Middle and Upper as well?
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Re: Rae Lake Loop

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:46 am

robow8 wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:Paradise actually has designated campsites, with numbers. While there are campsites all around, not all of them are legal.


Is that just Lower Paradise, or Middle and Upper as well?


I remember the numbered camp sites, but they were all in the lower Paradise Valley. About half-way to the Woods/King bridge there is (or at least was...you never know from year to year) a medium sized camp area with a number of sites well above the trail, and they were not numbered. The same could be said for the camp near the south-fork-woods bridge. The Woods Creek crossing suspension bridge camp, no numbered camps the last time I was there. In any case, there were few people at any of the camps. The busiest camp I have seen was the Woods Creek crossing suspension bridge camp, but there are lots of sites there. The proximity to the weekend matters. The loneliest camp I have seen is east of the south-fork-woods bridge. When you reach the Castle Domes Meadow, on the other side of the meadow in the trees near the river is a large camp area. I have never seen any camping restrictions above lower Paradise Valley.
EDIT: The last sentence: It would be more clear to say there are no other numbered campsites between Lower Paradise Valley and the Woods Creek Bridge that I know of. Lower Paradise Valley has numbered campsites and big metal bear boxes. My main interest in all this is that I am thinking about taking my noob backpacker friend on this classic Sierra loop.
Attachments
CastleMeadow.jpg
Castle Meadow. In the thick trees beyond near the river, a lonely camp.
WoodsBridge.jpg
The always fun Woods Bridge crossing.
Last edited by DoyleWDonehoo on Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rae Lake Loop

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:50 am

Camping in Lower Paradise Valley is permitted only in designated campsites.
Camping in Paradise Valley is limited to two nights.
Camping at Rae Lakes is limited to two nights per lake.
Camping at Charlotte Lake is limited to two nights.
Bullfrog Lake, east of the trail between Vidette Meadow and Glen Pass, is closed to all camping, grazing and stock travel.
There is a two night camping limit at Kearsarge Lakes (east of Bullfrog).
Campfires are prohibited above 10,000' (3048m).
Bears have been very active along this trail, and were successful at getting food that was hung in trees. Hikers are required to carry portable bear-resistant canisters which are available for sale or rent at several locations in the parks, or from US Forest Service offices located in Lone Pine and Bishop. This has proved very successful at preventing bears from accessing food. (The permanent metal food-storage boxes are only for use by thru-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir Trail.)


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Re: Rae Lake Loop

Postby Willythedog » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:28 pm

Hey guys gettin ready to go on this trip. Question:

are the bear boxes "reserved" for the through hikers? Or is it just frowned upon for us local hikers to use them...
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Re: Rae Lake Loop

Postby MountainMinstrel » Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:16 pm

They are for everyone. But you should still take a bear can.
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Re: Rae Lake Loop

Postby Willythedog » Mon May 02, 2016 3:59 pm

Better late than never??

4th of July weekend 2015. Did it over 3 nights.
First day after driving all night hiked up to Upper Paradise on zero sleep. Thunderstorms that night, good thing my buddy was in a hammock.
Second day to arrowhead lake, did a little fishing. A bite on every single cast.
Third day went over glen pass and down to junction meadow and camped there. Drank the last of the liter of scotch i brought.
Fourth day thought about another night at east lake but with no more "resources" did the rest of the hike out to Roads End where the holiday crowd was overwhelming. 7 hours later, back home.

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Upper Paradise Valley area

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The bridge

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fin dome

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arrowhead lake, fishing was ridiculous. Every cast.

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painted lady and one of the rae lakes

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redundant

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from glen pass

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from glen pass

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east vidette

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lookin down to roads end
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