Backpack Rae Lakes via Glen and Kearsarge Passes

41.4 miles 6943 ft gain

Added by Joe Law

This is a fairly challenging hike, depending on your pace and level of fitness, but it offers some incredible views, which the pictures don't really do justice.

The hike starts at Onion Valley campground and includes a good deal of elevation (two passes around 12,000 feet). You start climbing at the outset, and keep climbing for the first couple of hours before hitting Kearsarge Pass. Here you begin a long descent, then traverse above some beautiful lakes on the Sierra High Route before joining the PCT/John Muir Trail, which brings you to the second climb and Glen Pass. After this, it's another long and occasionally steep descent into the Rae Lakes area.

Campfires are not allowed above 10,000 feet, which means they are forbidden at Rae Lakes campground. Bear canister is a necessity.

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Swimming
Backpacking
Hiking
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

đŸ„ˆ Contributor

about 4 years ago

Challenging but beautiful

I took 2 days to get to Rae Lakes, and camped at Kearsarge Lake on the first night. I liked breaking it up because it's a quite challenging day to get all the way to Rae Lakes, since you have to hike up and down 2 mountain passes. Make sure to jump in the lake when you get there! So cold, but refreshing! There are tons of camp sites around the lake, but it can be quite a popular spot since it's on the John Muir Trail.

Stay Nearby

Independence, California

Grays Meadows

Overview Grays Meadows Campground is situated along Independence Creek in the Onion Valley area of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Its location on the creek and proximity to the rugged John Mu...

Whitney Portal Road

Lone Pine

Overview Lone Pine Campground is located near the base of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States, offering unparalleled views of the mountain and surrounding peaks of the Si...

Whitney Portal Road

Whitney Portal

Overview Whitney Portal Campground is in a prime location within the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains - at the base of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States. With hiking tra...

Miramonte, California

Sentinel Campground

Overview Sentinel Campground in Cedar Grove is nestled in the stunning Kings Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the United States. With views of a lovely meadow central to the campground, the so...

Nearby Adventures

  • Summit Mt. Gould

    Starting at 9,200 feet at Onion Valley Campground, take Kearsarge Pass Trail. The hike begins immediately with a substantial increase in elevation, switchbacking up the mountain. On the way up rest and enjoy the beautiful alpine lakes, which inclu...

    9 miles 3812 ft gain

  • Backpack Over Kearsarge Pass to Charlotte Lake

    This adventure begins at Onion Valley Campground outside of Independence, CA. The parking is abundant and the road is snow dependent. Snow will be plowed as long as it is not currently being hit with a massive storm. Dogs are allowed on trail up t...

    16 miles 2623 ft gain

  • Backpack to Flower Lake from Onion Valley

    Make sure to obtain an overnight permit up to 6 months in advance. You will have to pick up your permit at one of the Inyo National Forest Visitor Centers (here) before you begin.Once you have your permit in hand, drive to the Onion Valley Trailhe...

    4.6 miles 1350 ft gain

  • Backpack from Onion Valley to Mt. Whitney

    Trip Guide***Please note, all images after the first one are arranged in chronological order of the trip so you can easily follow alongDay 1Depending on where you are coming from your day one is most likely going to be setting up your car shuttle ...

    47.51 miles