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Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

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Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby dbogey » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:02 pm

Need to get my fill of the Sierras this year and started planning back in March for a route starting in Onion Valley into Rae Lakes, Gardiner Basin or Lake Reflection. While talking about this my daughter, who really never hiked much, she asked if she could join me. Seeing that she was leaving for college I decided on something special, a hike into Rae Lakes. I told here that it would be awesome to have some company on the hike and we got to planning. Seeing that I have 3 of everything there was little to purchase for the trip except a pack in her size. I decided on a Gossamer Gear Mariposa and it worked like a charm and she loved it

We left Pittsburgh on the 10th of August and thought we'd just fly into Vegas, rent a car and hit the trailhead. Those plans didn't work so well and by the time we got into Lone Pine we were pretty tired and decided to stay a night at Ray's Den. I've stayed here multiple times before and really liked the location. The next morning we'd hit the trail early. My daughter Paige has never been out west and was in shock when she drove up to the Onion Valley trail head. Here words to me were "there's a road up there"?
ImageRaeLakes (1 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

We'd spend the next three days exloring the backcountry together in what was to be one of those times you'll alway remember.

The first day, Paige was in awe of the scenary. I used to tell her about my trips and she thought that there wouldn't be many people out but she soon realized that hiking was "Cool" and we ran into a plethora of people with so many differnt personalities it was unreal.

We made it over Kearsarge pass in 4hrs and made our way down to Charlotte Lake for our first night. We found a great site at the end of the lake about 50 yards from the Bear Boxes. I asked if she wanted me to put up the shelter and i got the "Hell No, I'm sleeping under the stars" So we spent our first night together talking about not only the hike but all about her upcoming departure to college and how much her "Dad" was going to miss her :crybaby: .

ImageRaeLakes (2 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

ImageRaeLakes (7 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

ImageRaeLakes (10 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

The next day was going to be a tough one. Glen Pass was going to be a butt kicker and I told her if she couldnt make it we could always just hang in the Kearsarge area for a few days. She surprised the hell out of me and althought was have some hip issues we made it to the top of Glen Pass.

We called this the "Sandy Area"
ImageRaeLakes (22 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

Looking Down on Charlotte Lake
ImageRaeLakes (24 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

Heading into the area when you can almost spot Glen Pass
ImageRaeLakes (30 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

Pack mules on their way up to Glen Pass
ImageRaeLakes (31 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

Amost there
ImageRaeLakes (92 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

Those dreadded switchbacks
ImageRaeLakes (95 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

We finally made it to the top of Glen Pass and were greeted by a large welcoming party of people. We stopped on top for lunch and to take in the views. I'm in awe of those who climb up this pass when its snow covered, especially those PCT'rs who came up here after the 2011 snow.

My hiking Buddy!
ImageRaeLakes (33 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

The view into Rae Lakes was just as I'd imagined it, BEAUTIFUL! Paige was speachless and was just silent for a moment when she looked over the pass and saw this:
ImageRaeLakes (91 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

We found a great site for the night that included front row seats to the Painted Lady, Fin Dome and amazing stars.
Took a nice swim after this Picture, COLD!
ImageRaeLakes (45 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

Time lapse with the Painted Lady
ImageRaeLakes (80 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

I think she likes this stuff!!
ImageRaeLakes (51 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

Our room with a view
ImageRaeLakes (58 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

That night we discussed our plans for the next few days. I surprised her and let her know that I reserved a room for a few days in Vegas so we could "decompress" before heading back to Pittsburgh. I knew that I didn't want to press her too hard and thought it a good idea to head back and spend our last night in Kearsarge Lakes before heading out. Her leg was giving her some minor issues and I thought it best to start our journey back the next day. We awoke at 5am to start our journey out.

Glen Pass from the Rae Lakes side.
ImageRaeLakes (39 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

We made the pass in a few hours and Paige said "Lets do both passes today" We decided that we had enought time and could make Vegas by 8:30pm.

Heading Home - Charlotte Lake was to the right of this
ImageRaeLakes (98 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

Getting closer to Kearsarge
ImageRaeLakes (113 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

This place is beautiful
ImageRaeLakes (111 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

Back at the Trail Head
ImageRaeLakes (117 of 134) by dan bogs, on Flickr

Along with my camera I bring my gopro. I was doing some video at Rae Lakes and Paige told me not to look at the videos until we got home. I had no clue as to why until I saw this
http://youtu.be/TuJWQoAz2Ho

We made it back to Pittsburgh safely with ALOT of good memories. I couldn't be prouder of my girl.
ImageIMG_31051 by dan bogs, on Flickr
Just another day in paradise



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Re: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:23 pm

Thanks Dan for sharing your trip with your daughter, family moments like this should be cherished, and hopefully the two of you will have many more trip into the Sierra!
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Re: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby markley » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:03 pm

Awesome Dan! What a wonderful experience to share with your daughter. And I love the shirt...Go Pens!
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Re: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby cslaght » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:22 pm

What a fantastic trip! Great stuff to share! Though the last pic is a buzzkill, with those Pens and all :unibrow:
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Re: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby michaelzim » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:42 am

Dan... Thanks! Really great and I can relate as my daughter goes for the Sierra's big time too.
A question though...You were directly east of the Rough Fire in Kings Canyon yet your photos look like lots of blue sky and stars at night?! Which is great, but I don't get the smoke maps I have been watching, which implied you would often have been totally smoked out! I am waiting for the fire to get under control as have been ready to head for John Muir Wilderness to the north of it (from west side access - not Hwy 395 side), but have delayed and delayed.
Any comment on that? Did you get periodic smoke? Did it block views over a mile or two? Etc.
Thanks much. Michaelzim
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Re: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:01 am

The fire was very small on the 11th of August. Click back through the Worldview page images to the 8th, click the arrow forward, and watch the horror. http://tinyurl.com/pkgnd5b
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Re: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby dbogey » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:38 am

michaelzim wrote:Dan... Thanks! Really great and I can relate as my daughter goes for the Sierra's big time too.
A question though...You were directly east of the Rough Fire in Kings Canyon yet your photos look like lots of blue sky and stars at night?! Which is great, but I don't get the smoke maps I have been watching, which implied you would often have been totally smoked out! I am waiting for the fire to get under control as have been ready to head for John Muir Wilderness to the north of it (from west side access - not Hwy 395 side), but have delayed and delayed.
Any comment on that? Did you get periodic smoke? Did it block views over a mile or two? Etc.
Thanks much. Michaelzim


We were out on the 13th of August and did not see any smoke. We did see what appeared to be smoke up highway 395 in what would of been in the North/South Lake area.
Just another day in paradise
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Re: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby Bluewater » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:20 am

Hiking IS cool! This is great, I can't imagine a better way to send your daughter off to college than spending some time together in the Sierra. Your photos are beautiful and the video shows the sense of humor she must have gotten from her Dad. It looks like you both had a great time. Thanks for sharing the experience.


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Re: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby old and slow » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:43 pm

Wow, that's a great and heart-warming story. As the father of 4 adult daughters, I can relate to what you are going through as Paige ventures off into the world (I gotta admit I even got a bit teary-eyed); what a wonderful memory the two of you will always have!! Thanks for posting the report and photos.
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Re: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby michaelzim » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:21 am

Dan...Thanks for the clarification on dates. Somehow I did not see that you were there some weeks ago (still cannot seem to find a date ref. in your post???) thus was going by your posting date of August 26th. Now I know why you had no smoke. Good timing! My plans are still "smoke toast".
Best Zimichael
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Re: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby sandiegonate » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:04 am

Great TR and inspiring photos! I'm heading up next week to do a similar trip. Fingers are crossed about the smoke.
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Re: Onion Valley to Rae Lakes

Postby zacjust32 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:39 pm

Photo 58: That's exactly where we camped our first night there. Waking up to the sound of the creek and the views of the lakes was amazing.
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