Highlights: Rae Lakes Loop is a scenic Sierra multiday backpacking trip and truly an adventure that has it all. You’ll begin by hiking through secluded forests and meadows nestled within steep glacially carved granite canyons. Then, meander along the Kings River, watching as it cascades through the valley before ascending through an array of enormous domes and basins until you reach a series of pure, blue high alpine lakes surrounded by monstrous granite crags. Finally, hike all the way up to the nearly 12,000 foot Glen Pass to take in the view from the top of the world. Over the next couple days, you’ll gradually descend the opposite side of Glen Pass back down into the valley past stunning waterfalls and remarkable vistas. The Rae Lakes Loop guided backpacking trip is a true exhibition of what makes the Sierra Nevada one of the most incredible mountain ranges in the world.
Day 1: On the first day you will meet your guide at the Road’s End Permit Station. Here, you will get acquainted with your fellow hikers, your gear, and trip logistics. The group will learn about their chosen route on a map of the park, go over the current weather reports, and discuss group dynamics and Leave No Trace Principles. Once acquainted the group, we will begin the hike on relatively level surface for a couple miles and we will pass the cascading “Mist Falls” then ascend steeply for the last few miles of the day toward our campsite for the night in the aptly titled “Paradise Valley” –a beautiful place to rest for the night. With prominent granite feature nearby, your guides will prepare a delicious dinner for the group before you tuck into your sleeping bag and rest up for the journey ahead. Approximately 7 miles with ~1,700 feet of elevation gain.
Day 2: Today, we’ll continue ascending through forested terrain, hiking along the river until we meet up with the famous John Muir Trail and arrive at our camp near Wood’s Creek Crossing. Along the way, you’ll cross (one at a time!) the well known suspension bridge that spans Wood’s Creek. Enjoy the sunset while listening to the sound of Wood’s Creek, surrounded by majestic mountains in every direction. Approximately 7 miles with ~1,900 feet of elevation gain.
Day 3: Today, we will hike along the famous John Muir Trail up out of the trees, showcasing incredible views like the massive Fin Dome and other granite monoliths until we reach the pristine, high-altitude Rae Lakes for a typically beautiful sunset over the water. Approximately, 8 miles with ~2,000 feet of elevation gain.
Day 4: Today, will be a much deserved rest day at the lakes! Go for a swim, take some short hikes in the area and enjoy the high altitude scenery. Alternately, depending on the pace of the group, this day may be a short hiking day to break up one of the longer days.
Day 5: Today, we will ascend steeply about 1,400 feet up toward Glen Pass, the high point of our journey standing at just below 12,000 feet then descend the other side as beautiful lakes and exposed granite abound. Approximately, 7.2 miles with ~1,400ft. of elevation gain and ~3,000 ft. of elevation loss.
Day 6: We will continue our descent into the valley today and again be following roaring river cascades, this time along Bubb’s Creek until we arrive at the Sphynx Creek Trail Junction. Approximately, 8.4 miles with ~3,000 ft of elevation loss.
Day 7: We’ll wake up early the last day to a quick breakfast and finish the loop back through forests and meadows along Bubb’s Creek to Road’s End. Arrive at cars by 12pm. Approximately, 5 miles with ~1000 feet of elevation loss.
We include backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents, and eating utensils at NO EXTRA COST as needed. All profits from our guided trips go towards our non-profit youth summer camp program.
Note: All trips are subject to Lasting Adventures obtaining the necessary wilderness permits. Although our success rate is 98%, should we not obtain the exact trail-head, a trip of equal quality will be obtained. Should weather, fire, and/or delayed seasonal openings affect the chosen itinerary, a different itinerary will be offered. Lasting Adventures is recognized for its commitment to safety and risk management. Summits will not be attempted when clouds are in close proximity.
2017 SNOWPACK UPDATE: Our snowpack this winter is at 180% and growing. We anticipate a late opening for the High Country with snow prevalent into July and beyond at higher elevations. River, creek, and waterfall flow will be at high and sometimes dangerous levels. Any trips through mid-late June can be impacted and back-up itineraries will be offered when necessary.
“Awesome winter experience in Yosemite”
“The best way to see Yosemite Valley in the winter!”
“They were personable, friendly and very knowledgeable about the park, our hike and the flora and fauna.”