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TR: Rae Lakes in 2 Days

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TR: Rae Lakes in 2 Days

Postby zacjust32 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:39 pm

This summer I worked in Sequoia Nat'l Park as a seasonal hire. I worked the busy weekends which gave me two weekdays to do my hiking. I did the Rae Lakes Loop last summer in 6 days so I knew what I was getting into when I wanted to do it in only 2. Since I was only going for 2 days/1 night I tried to go as light as I could. This meant no stove, no bear can, no tent, and foregoing many other luxuries. With a smaller rucksack my base weight was less than 10 lbs, not very impressive to true ULers, but pretty good for me. All in with water and food I was right around 13 lbs for a weekend of fun.

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Day 1: Wednesday-Road's End to Rae Lakes
I got up at 4am and out the door by 5 so as to make it to the Road's End permit station by 7am. After getting my permit for Woods Creek I started today's 20+ miles. A light pack made the hiking fast as I passed Mist Falls and climbed through Paradise Valley.

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I ate lunch at Upper Paradise and continued up the Woods Creek drainage with views of Castle Domes and the upper canyon.This part of the trail was hot and long and I was glad when I made it to Woods Crossing. I took a long nap here and waited for it to cool down some before making the climb up to Rae.

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I was greeted by Fin Dome as I neared the Lakes. After 20 miles of hiking I was ready for camp.

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Day 2: Thursday-Rae Lakes-Road's End
I knew this day was going to be tough; I had to tackle Glen Pass then descend 7k feet back to Road's End. I was on the trail by 8 and made it to the top of Glen a little after 10. I got stuck talking to a couple who agreed to take my picture and didn't leave the pass for another hour.

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Coming down I saw one of the bluest lakes I've ever seen.

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Charlotte Lake and drainage was next on the way down.

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As I followed Bubbs Creek there were awesome views of the Brewer group.

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The next 10 miles were boring views of the forest until I got to the switchbacks above Cedar Grove.

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Another hour and I was back at the trailhead, ready for some food. As with all hikes out of Cedar Grove, I got a burger at the Hume Lake snack shop before heading back to the real world. My feet were hurting for the next couple days, and I don't think I'll be doing 40+ miles in a weekend any time soon, but I'm glad I did it anyway.

All my pictures can be found HERE.
Last edited by zacjust32 on Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hiker, adventurer, fabricator, tinkerer, theologian, and occasional student. http://www.zacjust.blogspot.com



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zacjust32
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Re: Rae Lakes in 2 Days

Postby limpingcrab » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:58 pm

Nice! Way to pack a lot into a little time, I had to learn to do that once I had kids so you got a head start. Great pics too.

You should make a post on here about overlaying historical maps onto google earth, just saw that on your blog and it was really cool.

P.S. You'll have to beat 15 hours even for the Rae Lakes loop to catch up with your dorky high school teacher :)
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Re: Rae Lakes in 2 Days

Postby balzaccom » Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:23 pm

Amazing hike. Nice job! And thanks for posting the photos. We'll get there some day---but not doing 40 miles in two days!
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes in 2 Days

Postby Cross Country » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:54 pm

WOW - that's impressive. I did almost all the RLL on 3 different trips. I never could stay on a trail for a lot of milea - i.e. My name Cross Country. One included Kearsearge and Vidette Lakes. One included Gardner Basin and one included Longly Pass.
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes in 2 Days

Postby vhsvhs » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:49 pm

Congratulations, and nice trip report. I'm a big fan of these types of high-mileage/low-weight Sierra trips. Compared to "normal" backpacking, I feel that these "fast-pack" trips give me a more powerful sense of geography. For example, covering a lot of uphill miles in a single day, it's striking to notice the vegetative changes between different elevations. Anyway, I also did the RLL over two days (in 2014), and I think the most painful part was the final flat mile along the sandy trail back to Roads End. At that point, my bones just felt like glass, lol.
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes in 2 Days

Postby sekihiker » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:22 pm

Way to go. Looks like you had an enjoyable trip.
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes in 2 Days

Postby zacjust32 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:31 pm

vhsvhs wrote:I also did the RLL over two days (in 2014), and I think the most painful part was the final flat mile along the sandy trail back to Roads End. At that point, my bones just felt like glass, lol.


100% agree! I finally said screw it and jogged the last 2 miles to get it over with. But then again I also laid on the Ranger station floor for a good half hour which might have negated any benefit.
Hiker, adventurer, fabricator, tinkerer, theologian, and occasional student. http://www.zacjust.blogspot.com
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Re: TR: Rae Lakes in 2 Days

Postby steiny98 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:44 pm

Those pictures look incredible. Very impressive with the pack weight and miles too.
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