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rae lakes area

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rae lakes area

Postby dvgainer » Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:24 pm

i'm planning on heading to kings canyon late this may for a 3-night backpack. Even with the low snow levels I'm guessing glen pass won't be clear, so I won't be able to do the rae lakes loop. I was wondering whether the Woods Creek side or the Bubbs creek side would make a better out and back hike, or if something else in the area would be better. I don't have any particular goal, just looking to spend a couple of days outdoors. I'm sure it depends on the snow level, but if anyone had a suggestion I'd appreciate it. Thanks.



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Postby Lightning Dog » Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:33 pm

We did the Rae Lakes Loop last year in September. The Woods Creak side is ok - nice places to camp. But the scenery on the Bubbs Creek side is spectacular. The initial set of switchbacks are intense but the view is well worth it.
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w296/LightningDog/RaeLakes2006/BubbsCreekView.jpg
Last edited by Lightning Dog on Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby copeg » Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:28 pm

Even if Glen Pass were clear the entire loop would be a serious trek for a 3-day trip. I think each side would be worthwhile and each has its own little gems. If you head up Woods Creek, you can go into Rae Lakes or visit Woods Lake, or head up toward Pinchot Pass...all spectacular areas. With Bubbs Creek, you can head up toward Lake Reflection, Vidette Lakes, Upper Basin, or areas near Forester Pass. All these ideas depend upon your condition and ambition. Either way, its beautiful country.
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Re: rae lakes area

Postby chudder » Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:47 pm

I went up Bubbs Creek to Vidette Meadow early last June and there was considerable snowpack starting at 10000', Bubbs Creek was unsafe to cross except in Vidette Meadow or further upstream, in the morning, and Charlotte Lake and Bullfrog Lake were mostly iced over. Check out my profile on summitpost for a handful of pictures. http://www.summitpost.org/object_list.php?object_type=3&contributor_id=32176

We saw eight people total: two heading up to climb Charlotte Dome, two other hikers who we didn't see again (they were trying to figure out how to get to East Lake and didn't feel it was safe to cross Bubbs Creek even in the meadow), and four PCT through-hikers who said they were the first that year over Forrester Pass. Saw two skinny bears.

Back at Road's End, we talked to a guy who went up Woods Creek and had to stop eventually because the creek was not fordable.

You will have a great time up either creek!
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Postby EricJLee » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:09 pm

Both sides are spectacular, can't go wrong. My vote would be for the Woods Creek side, as I really like both the Mather and Pinchot Pass regions. The hike toward Mather is very pretty, if the weather holds there are nice little campsites in Upper Basin, it'll be just you, the frogs, and the wolves.
On the South side of Pinchot there is anice little tarn right at tree line, you'll have nice views of Mt Wynne, and camping is right next to the trail, but you won't see anyone. I'm jealous.
Eric
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May hike

Postby gdurkee » Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:34 am

Either would be good. I guess I'd have a slight tendency towards Bubbs if you can get all the way to Vidette. As low a snow year as it is, I don't think you'd be able to get across Bubbs in May to get up to Reflection etc., but you could get up towards Forester or Bullfrog/Charlotte without any major stream crossings. Three days to do the whole loop, at whatever time of year, is kind of ambitious.

Have a great hike.

George
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Postby dvgainer » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:32 am

Thanks for the advice. I think I'll probably head up Bubbs then, there seem to be more options. Now I just need to try to find out how to get an extra day or two :).
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Postby giantbrookie » Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:46 am

dvgainer wrote:Thanks for the advice. I think I'll probably head up Bubbs then, there seem to be more options. Now I just need to try to find out how to get an extra day or two :).


You'll certainly have a nice trip, one way or another. I figure your 4 day trip was probably planned on account of available days off as it tends to be for most folks. To put a 4-day trip in perspective from a hiking standpoint for this area, a 4 day trip pretty much dictates 15+ mile days on days 1 and 4 in order to have more laid back days 2 and 3 in the highlight areas (say Rae Lakes-Glen Pass-Vidette area). In terms of seeing the best country, even though the Bubbs route is visually more spectacular, one could make the argument that if you plan to visit the Rae Lakes area, that a loop (ie going in Bubbs and out Woods or visa versa) is more efficient than going out and back and choosing one entry/exit or another. Note that although the Bubbs corridor is more visually spectacular (not by a huge degree; the Woods corridor is plenty scenic), the Woods side sees fewer people, so it has some advantages, too.

By the way, I agree with George Durkee that the East Creek (East Lake, Lake Reflection) option is probably not a good idea even in this low snowfall year. I made a very ill advised crossing and recrossing of Bubbs at Jct Meadow (in order to take the trail to East Lake to bag Mt.Brewer) in late May 1979, a low snowfall year. If I had missed on a very sketchy landing (a big jump onto a partly submerged rock) it would have been a terminal experience.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby hikerduane » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:40 pm

Looks like my plan B for this summer is the Rae Lakes loop. Plan A was crossed off when the trip planner got a transfer to the San Bernadino NF effective a few days I think before our trip was to start the last weekend of July. I haven't been that far south so this is all new country for me. I was looking at my map last night, working out a route and planned nights stay, then when I searched for info on the Rae Lakes, I came up with a Tom Harrison map titled "Rae Lakes Loop" which is the loop I planned. Now I know what they mean when the Rae Lakes loop is mentioned. Now I just need to call before the Park closes to get a reservation hopefully or take my chances on the Saturday I want to leave. I hate to have to start so late in the morning. :crybaby:

What is so hard about the first days hike? It isn't that far going over Kearsarge Pass to upper Bubbs Creek where I plan the first nights stay, as I want to pass by the first couple lakes so I can get some miles in the first day hopefully.
Piece of cake.
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Postby tomcat_rc » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:04 pm

if you are planning this loop - here is some eye candy taken from last Sunday(see Dragon Peak trip report in peak bagging section)

Image
mountain hiking is addictive:
I can quit anytime I want - I just choose not to want
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Postby hikerduane » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:37 pm

Ahhhhh! Thank you, I'll check it out.
Piece of cake.
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Postby madeintahoe » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:18 am

Duane....im thinking you are talking about Carol?

We did a 5 day trip to the Rae Lakes area....it is very beautiful back there. Our 1st day we went from Onion Valley TH to Charlotte Lake, 2nd day over Glen pass to the Rae Lakes basin, 3rd day we did a day hike loop from our camp into the Sixty Lakes basin...which is a gorgeous area! 4th day back over Glen to Kearsarge Lakes, 5th day back to Onion Valley. We meant Rick Sanger..backcountry ranger that was stationed at Rae Lakes on the top of Glen Pass and then he stopped by our camp at Rae Lakes that same day..there is a picture of him in The Last Season...very nice man!
Have a wonderful trip!
:D
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