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Rae Lakes from the East side
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Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
Rae Lakes from the East side on 12/21/2013 15:03:07 MST Print View

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.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Rae Lakes from the East side on 12/21/2013 18:17:10 MST Print View

3 days is doable.

If I were you, I would hike up to the flat spot that's about 600' below Glen Pass.
You can get to the pass from there in about 30 minutes.

There is nowhere to camp on the north side until you get down the first 1000' or so.
On the north side of that basin there are a few creeks; However the lake is only a 30-45 minute hike from there and it's ugly in that location as well.

If you camp just south of Glen, it will be another 2-2 1/2 hours to Rea Lakes.

Spend all day at Rea Lakes then Hike out allowing 3 1/2 hours to get to Bullfrog Lake. This is only if you want to get back to your car at a descent time.

Although hiking out on day 3 is doable but will be a long day, you can get up to Glen Pass from Rea Lakes in time for sunrise the next day which would make a much shorter days hike out.

Robert Perkins
(rp3957)

Locale: The Sierras
Rae Lakes from the East side on 12/21/2013 18:30:15 MST Print View

I've done this trip several times as fairly relaxed weekend trip! I usually will hike to Kearsarge Lakes or Charlotte Lake, do some fishing, then head to Rae Lakes for night two and more fishing. It isn't too hard to get from Rae Lakes to Onion Valley TH for your return home. I'm not sure I would ever want to spend 6 nights on such a short trip, unless doing multiple side trips such as Sixty Lakes Basin, ect. Great fishing in Dollar Lake as well, if you are into that!

Edited by rp3957 on 12/21/2013 18:30:50 MST.