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Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes

January 15th, 2010

These photos are from a trip I took in July 09. I did not have my video camera with me on this one. I have since purchased a still camera with HD movie capabilities and will be taking that with me on future extended trips.

This trip started in Onion Valley, which is located west of Independence, CA (just north of Lone Pine where the Whitney turnoff is). We car camped the first night, then backpacked over Kearsarge pass into the Kearsarge lakes area. I think in hindsight we could have left San Diego early and hiked up and over the pass in one day. At any rate, the Kearsarge Lakes area was beautiful and there was a trail interconnecting the series of lakes.

The next day we hiked up and over Glen Pass. The north side of the pass was covered in snow, but following the shoe tracks did not prove that difficult. Hiking poles helped quite a bit on this stretch. It was a long day and I was pretty tired by the time we reached the middle Rae Lake. The Rae Lakes basin is beautiful (despite the numerous mosquitoes – bring netting). See the panoramas section for the view from Glen Pass.

The next day we did a day hike up to Dollar Lake. Again, stunning scenery and good fishing. This was a take-it-easy day and I decided not to venture up into the 60 lakes basin area to the west of Rae Lakes.

Next day we got an early start and hiked back over Glen Pass and then Kearsarge Pass. We stopped to make camp at Flower Lake. This is a nice area to camp because it’s by a stream (for water pumping) and it has a beautiful but small lake. I did notice more people here because it’s much closer to the main trailhead.

The final day was a short march down to the cars, pizza in Lone Pine and then a 4 hour drive back to San Diego. I am planning on doing the Rae Lakes loop from Sequoia National Park this upcoming 2010 summer. That would be a four night trip and cover about 45 miles.

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