Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Rae Lakes Loop August
Display Avatars Sort By:
F. R.
(fugitiveride) - F

Locale: Syldavia
Rae Lakes Loop August on 05/26/2011 15:21:21 MDT Print View


I'm planning a 3 day Rae Lakes Loop hike in the beginning of August. I've read a few trip reports, but I still have a bunch of questions:

a) has anyone done the loop w/out a tent? how did that work out for you? did you use a tarp or just camp cowboy style.

b) how can I find out the weather on the trail at that time?

c) how early do the places in the park where I rent a bear canister open? I'm wondering if I get there real early in the morning before setting off whether I can get one that day or not?

d) where can I leave food for when I finish the trail, since I don't want to leave it in my car for the bears?

e) any other tips?

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Rae Lakes Loop August on 05/26/2011 15:32:34 MDT Print View

A. I'd use my tarp if I were to do the loop again
B. Weather??? Altimeter and your nogin.
C. Ranger station at the trailhead has the have to wait for them to open and get one, or get one the night before
D. There are bear boxes at the trailhead. If those are full then use the secret fridge.
E. Have fun

F. R.
(fugitiveride) - F

Locale: Syldavia
Weather on 05/26/2011 15:47:37 MDT Print View

How is the weather on the trail at the beginning of August. I'm trying to figure out how warm to pack. Is It much colder than King's Canyon in general? How about rain & rain gear?

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Weather on 05/26/2011 15:56:13 MDT Print View

Dunno how Aug. will be this year. So far this spring has been VERY mild. Mostly rain free and the weather can be in the 80's. You still might get the afternoon thunder shower, but those are easy to read. Just watch your clouds. Kings Canyon is at 5000 and a lot of the Rae Lakes Loop is between 7000 to 12,000 and back down after you cross Glen Pass. I would assume that since your elevation is higher that it might be a bit cooler.

Since you are on a fast track, I would assume that Woods Crk Crossing is your first night
Your second night would be Vidette Meadows followed by heading back to the trailhead??

If so, then you will have nice tree breaks for wind and some coverage. A tarp will be fine

F. R.
(fugitiveride) - F

Locale: Syldavia
Rae Lakes on 05/26/2011 17:59:44 MDT Print View


yes, you have my campsites figured correctly.

How cold does it get at night?

What kind of clothes did you bring?

What kind of tarp do you have?

Jennifer McFarlane
(JennyMcFarlane) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Last year on 05/26/2011 19:28:04 MDT Print View

We will be doing the Rae Lakes loop the last week of July.
Last year we hiked in the Cottonwood Lakes area- similar elevations to some of Rae Lakes.
40s at night, Rained hard one night, but tarp was fine.
60s-70s in the day.
Snow was still there above about 12000 feet
Lots more snow this year- still at 165% of normal for the southern sierras

Kent C.
(kent) - M

Locale: High Sierra
Weather forecast on 05/26/2011 20:08:52 MDT Print View

Here is NOAA/NWS site for forecast:

For alternate locations just move the map and click in it again to relocate the red box.

Best of luck. Have a good trip.

F. R.
(fugitiveride) - F

Locale: Syldavia
Re: Last year on 05/26/2011 21:26:02 MDT Print View

Thanks so much Jennifer & Kent.

Love to see a trip report from you afterwards.

F. R.
(fugitiveride) - F

Locale: Syldavia
Re: Re: Rae Lakes Loop August Tarps + Mosquitoes on 06/17/2011 21:01:01 MDT Print View

You would use a tarp for the loop? How bad are the bugs? People seem to be making a big deal about them. Would you just use a net over your head to sleep?

Jennifer McFarlane
(JennyMcFarlane) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Tarp v. Tent on 06/17/2011 21:47:24 MDT Print View

Two people in our group shared a tarp. The rest of us were in tents, and at starting about 4 pm each day, the mosquitoes started to come out. At dusk the mosquitoes were crazy.
My husband took a picture on one guy in a fishing cap- it had about 80 mosquitoes on it.
We found the citronella based insect repellant worked just as well as the DEET. Neither worked very long.
Mostly I hung around in camp to eat, and then dived into the the tent to escape the mosquitoes.
One of the kids ended up with 24 bites on his neck- he had forgotten his insect repellent.
We (my husband and I) are taking a tent again this year.
I was saying you COULD take a tarp- depends on your tolerance for mosquitoes.

Edited by JennyMcFarlane on 06/17/2011 21:48:44 MDT.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Rae Lakes Loop August on 06/18/2011 10:14:36 MDT Print View

The NWS point forecast as provided by Kent should certainly be carefully monitored and taken into consideration but not relied on exclusively; especially for advance planning where you need to consider the range of possibilities. Plus that forecast is only "good" for @ 3 to 5 days out so depending on the last chance you get to check it..... The best I can tell those forecasts are made using relatively remote data; in this case using data from Bishop and then running a formula or maybe the term ought to be logarithm to compensate for the difference in elevation and maybe even humidity. Also depending on the prevailing big picture weather pattern, that forecast can turn on a dime beyond about 72 hours out; sometimes if there are a lot of factors, fronts, patterns in the balance even quicker.

Are there big fronts and "closed"lows in the "picture" or is the longer range pretty much all highs? If the long range pattern has few "wild cards" then the forecast is more reliable. This is a link to the longer range models with the second model listed the gfs,(one of several models the NWS typically uses to make forecasts) showing the model projections out @ 16 days. Generally speaking these can be wildly inaccurate beyond that 72 hour margin BUT you can at least get an idea if there are wild cards in the overall pattern. The weather channel also has a 10 day forecast. Very simplistically speaking look for highs dominating the map and no colors beyond the light green and green. If there's a low with lots of concentric circles (closed low) and blues/magentas and reds associated shown passing anywhere near your destination that would constitute a wild card!

But even then you need, as you are doing, to plan for the range of possibilities.

The nearest data point with years of historical NWS data at the most comparable elevation (@ 8000') I've been able to find is Mammoth or Mammoth Lakes. You can search for that on the weather channel site and get the long term daily averages and records.

Does anyone else know of another site nearer than Mammoth or with comparable elevations and daily historical data? I can't find a good one but I don't know much about Ca. weather.

Edited by obxcola on 06/18/2011 10:19:54 MDT.

sean mccutcheon

Locale: East Bay
Re: Rae Lakes Loop August on 06/21/2011 20:52:51 MDT Print View

I hiked the loop last August(1st week) with my son. The weather was perfect and a tarp would work great. You'll want to make sure to have long sleeves and a head net. Mosquitoes are out in force, both in the mornings and at night.