Heaven in the High Sierras - Rae Lakes Loop - JMT
"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
In 2016 I took at backpacking excursion through Kings Canyon National Park. The route is called the Rae Lakes Loop and features some of the most remarkable terrain in the United States. We started at Roads End, down past Cedar Grove and hiked up Paradise Valley past Mist Falls.
From Lower Paradise Valley we scoped an amazing sunset over The Sphinx.
On day two, Upper Paradise Valley looked like a scene from The Sound of Music.
We crossed Woods Creek and entered the realm of the Castle Domes.
It rained that night but cleared up once we joined the John Muir Trail (JMT) and headed south, crossing over 10,000 feet of elevation.
We reached frigid temperatures at the magnificent Rae Lakes.
Fin Dome looms over the middle lake.
The climb up to Glen Pass, 11,926 in elevation, is a beautiful beast.
But it's all well worth it when you reach the pass.
The rock walls hold secrets after the southward descent.
Sometimes it seems like the world is just too variegated to simplify.
We left the JMT and descended through Vidette Meadow and down the length of Bubbs Creek to Roads End where we began.
The Rae Lakes Loop is a 42 mile jaunt into wonderland. If you haven't been to the Sierras or Kings Canyon NP before, get yourself a permit and some gear. This one is well worth it.