Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Hiking in Kings Canyon in October?


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Jessica Hoffman
(JessMH) - F
Hiking in Kings Canyon in October? on 09/21/2008 15:37:44 MDT Print View

Hey there, I'm new. I've only been on a few backpacking trips (all of them were through the Sierras and 70 miles and under at a time). Anyway, I'm sort of planning my first trip "on my own" with just a (lesser experienced) friend and I.

Basically, we ran into each other at Starbucks and decided we really want to get a trip in soon. I told her I absolutely LOVE Rae Lakes, but the only time I was there, I feel like I just didn't get to stop and take it all in. And since she's never been on the JMT, it was settled. The Rae Lakes Loop would be a perfect trip for us.

I have most of my ultra-lightweight gear (thanks to my ex-boyfriend my base pack weight was a mere 5 or 6 pounds for a 60-something mile trip from Bishop Pass to Onion Valley) except a stove and shelter (I'm open to suggestions).

The only questions left are...

Is October an "OK" time of year? What adjustments should I make because of the time of year? What's the weather like? Uhm.... any other ideas/suggestions?

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Hiking in Kings Canyon in October? on 09/21/2008 16:44:26 MDT Print View

if you want to go to Rae Lakes you can cover the distance to get there by going over Kearsarge Pass. I would really watch the weather reports because October is the beginning of storms coming in from the Pacific. If you have clear weather then you should be fine. If it snows you could be in trouble. Have fun!!

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Hiking in Kings Canyon in Oct. on 09/21/2008 18:00:57 MDT Print View

Hey check out or do research on Tehipite Valley out of Rancheria trailhead off hwy 168 -Wishon Reservoir. A part of Kings canyon that is hardly ever explored....Very, very remote. Epic!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Hiking in Kings Canyon in October? on 09/24/2008 22:35:30 MDT Print View

Rae Lakes would be a fine October trip, but you should be going in a little heavier than 5-6 #, IMO, i.e. more clothing and possibly a heavier sleeping bag, maybe even a tent(I suspect you are using a tarp if your base weight is 5-6#). Also, plan for an exit route that will get you lower in a hurry if the weather goes foul on you, e,g. down into Kings Canyon if you came in over Kearsarge Pass. Also carry extra food and fuel, in case you have to wait out a storm. Best of luck.

Stephen Tulley
(ChecktheGate) - F

Locale: South of the Foothills
Re: Hiking in Kings Canyon in October? on 10/02/2008 12:35:00 MDT Print View

Just did the Rae Lakes Loop last weekend. Met very few hikers on the trail, and I counted perhaps a total of seven people camping around the Rae Lakes. Quite a change from the mid-summer crunch. Above 10,000 ft the nighttime temps went down to around 40 degrees.

Also, you know that as of Sept. 21 the quota system ended in Kings Canyon so you can self-permit at Road's End (never did see a ranger the whole weekend), and you can check the weather forecast via the park's website.