Rae Lakes loop in two days

Luckily I met Noe the first day of my Freshmen year and a few weeks into the semester we decided to head out of Berkeley to go on a backpacking trip. I’m very glad we did as this trip was longer (in terms of miles per day) then any other trip I had done so far. Because of this it really expanded my conception of what was possible in a weekend backpacking trip.

We posted this trip on our school’s hiking club CHAOS (cal hiking and outdoor society) email list and of the 1000 people on the list we only got one reply from Matthew Morrison, another person I would later go on to do many more trips with. We drove until we were almost into the park and at 2am we found a pull out on the side of the road.

(all pictures taken on my phone as I did not have a camera back in 2016)

our camp spot on the side of the road just outside King’s Canyon
The majestic King’s Canyon

The ranger was very skeptical of our plan and did not believe we could complete the 44 mile loop in two days. The whole trip her doubt motivated us to keep going. Finally she relented and gave us the permit, however she wouldn’t tell us where the no camping zones were as she was afraid we would sleep there if she told us. She also carefully inspected our bear cans and was very critical of our choice to not bring a tent.

Finally free from the bureaucracy of King’s Canyon National Park we set off into the open wilderness.

some tasty elderberries that we found growing along the trail at the lower elevations
As we climbed higher and higher into the mountains the view around each turn made me question why I even bothered taking the last picture
10 miles in and going strong, we had not yet learned the wonders of ultralight backpacking
Almost to Glen Pass after almost 7000 feet of climbing
looking south from Glen Pass
looking North from Glen Pass
we descended Glen Pass and found a campspot a few hundred feet above Rae Lakes
Matt taking a dip in the frigid Rae Lakes the next morning
Starting to descend down the other side of the loop
Getting back into King’s Canyon

By 5pm the next day we were in the car and headed back to Berkeley, sore but inspired to do many more trips.

Alpenglow on King’s Canyon from the road out

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