Trail Run Project Logo

blueBlack Rae Lakes Loop

  4.9 ( 16 ) Favorite

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

Trail

40.4 mile 65.0 kilometer loop
87% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 6,971' 2,125 m
Descent: -6,971' -2,125 m
High: 11,904' 3,628 m
Low: 5,052' 1,540 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 67% (34°)

Dogs

No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Luke Snow

One of the most famous loops in all of the Sierras with stunning canyons, pristine lakes, and rolling granite domes.

Luke Snow

Features Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

This loop is entirely within Kings Canyon National Park and requires a permit. All National Park rules apply.

Overview

One of the most popular backpacking loops in all of the Sierras, this epic journey starts out journeying up a canyon and makes its way towards one of the most scenic and stunning areas in the High Sierras, if not all of California.

Need to Know

The South Fork Kings River Bridge above Paradise Valley washed out during the winter of 2016-2017. Construction of a replacement bridge will not begin before 2019.

Description

The counter-clockwise route is considered less strenuous and typically the way the route is completed. Starting from the trailhead, the route starts out in the valley floor. Once you reach the junction with Bubbs Creek Trail, bear north following the South Fork (Paradise) Trail. This will start a gradual ascent of the drainage that is laced with eye-popping views.

The South Fork (Paradise) trail terminates into the Upper Paradise - Woods Creek Crossing, where you'll bear east and continue a gradual ascent. Grandiose views of the Castle Domes will greet you as you near the junction with the famed John Muir Trail (JMT: Segment 6 - Bishop Pass at LeConte Canyon to Kearsage Pass Trail). Once arriving to the trail, head south to the ultimate reward of the run, the string of stunning alpine lakes that each outdo the next in beauty. This is a good spot to establish camp for one of your nights.

Make the climb to Glenn Pass, a true gem of the West. Soak in the commanding views and start your descent to the Bubbs Creek Trail, bearing west. This trail tracks a picturesque stream that, depending on the time of year, roars down the canyon. You'll eventually meet back up with the South Fork (Paradise) Trail, continuing the descent back to the trailhead where, after 40 of some of the best miles California has to offer, the car will be waiting.

Contacts

Rate This Featured Run

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In

Check-Ins

Aug 9, 2015
Joseph Parks

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 16 votes

#1

in Cedar Grove

#201

Overall
  4.9 from 16 votes
5 Star
94%
4 Star
6%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#1

in Cedar Grove

#32

in California

#201

Overall
504 Views Last Month
5,608 Since May 16, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
11%
61%
22%
6%

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running