Hello all, I'm looking for a bit of info on getting to Rae Lakes either mid or late season 2014. In "Sierra South: backcountry trips in California's Sierra Nevada", they list the out and back from the Onion Valley trailhead to Rae Lakes through Kearsarge Pass as a "leisurely" 6 day hike...at 27 miles.
I'm not a high mileage machine, but that seems far too "leisurely" for me, unless there is some huge hidden secret that I don't know about. 10 miles a day , 2,000' elevation gains allow for more than enough time to sleep in, stop and smell the roses and take photos, and get to camp still early in the evening for me. I'm wondering how brutal a 3 day out and back, with the middle day being a "zero around Rae Lakes" would be? I know there are a lot of ups and downs on this route, but 6 days seems a bit like overkill. The reason I mention all the way to Rae Lakes on day one is that I'd like to do both sunrise and sunset photography there. Otherwise I'd consider 2 days out and 2 days back.
If I decided to add a 4th day, and do two out and two back, is there any decent camping near the top of Glen Pass (possibly on the north side)?
As for time of year, I'm leaning towards late season...maybe late September to beginning of October? I'd love to hear suggestions.