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beautiful blue skies, gorgeous views, great escape from hot hazy valley below. took some effort to follow trail markers from Blue to Donkey and even tougher from Donkey to Baboon, but that was the icing on the cake

beautiful views. blue to Donkey took a little hunting for markers and even tougher to go beyond to Baboon lakes, but they were the icing on the cake. super vistas with nice blue sky and mild temperature, while valley by Bishop was exceedingly hot and v hazy

Great alternative to the Grotto! I found the trail itself and the lookouts very similar to the Bruce Peninsula National Park, but with fewer people. I would definitely do this trail again.

Definitely a challenge, really nice trail , almost feels like your not in Florida .

many trails on the property. we had a great time on a quick 8 miles. will def be back!

We did this trail today. We loved it. Parked at String Lake parking lot and hiked to the trailhead. The Ferry may be a better option. Anyway we loved this hike. The last 2.7 miles past Cascade Canyon Fork is amazing with beautiful flowers everywhere! We saw a moose, 3 otters, and a very calm young bear. Getting to the lake is worth it. Beautiful!

hiking
2 days ago

5/28/18. to the border and back, East Bank trail to Lightning Creek to Hozomeen lake trail: 70 miles round trip of serious hiking with a heavy pack. Some things to look out for: east bank trail has quite a few trees over it, but passable. the creek crossing at Roland campground you either have to go boots off and knee deep or look upstream and you will see a log going over 10' above the creek. be careful, this is just a log and not flattened; scootch across and don't run the risk. before the first footbridge east bank hugs the cliff face beware of a place where the trail has fallen off to a pylon log below. there are holes in the dirt between the log and where the trail used to be so use caution as you get across, the soil is very loose. from there it's smooth sailing through the foot bridges to lightning creek. lightning creek trail is deceivingly difficult. the climb is much longer and higher than what you would think with lots of dicey goat trail cliffside sections when you get near the top. the decent on the backside to deer lick cabin is smoother, but a fairly quick decent so be sure your shins and knees are ready for it. watch for the trail to cut to a bridge before you get to deer lick cabin. it's boarded up which kind of sucked because it would be a great place to rest after the wicked climb lightning creek trail tuned out to be. if you can push it get to nightmare camp, it looked cool even though I didn't stop. everything is smooth past the lakes, no time to stop in but I plan to one day. no rangers or border patrol up at Hozomeen campground, just a bunch of cool Canadians having a good time. stayed at international point campground for a day, which is a nice clean car/RV style grounds. tooled around the Skagit side then headed back all the way to the trailhead with a stop overnight at lodgepole on the lake. all in all it was an awesome trip. I would rate it as semi-difficult.

Stunning. Challenging and technical with lots of verticals. We left our car at China Beach and took the west coast shuttle to Port Renfrew. We camped at Little Kuitsche Creek, Chin Beach and Bear Beach. They were all lgreat places to camp... Lots of space, pretty level. The forest hiking was lovely and the beaches were stunning.
Definitely use gaitors...there's a lot of mud and boggy parts. We went in early July. The trail is very wild. There was a hornet's nest in a mud bog just south of Sombrio so be careful.

hiking
2 days ago

I love this trail! I haven't done the full loop (just the half loop), but hope to come back again.

Bring trekking poles and be very careful walking on the boardwalk sections and rocks if it's wet. When I was here (on 8/16/18) there were many sections of the coastal trail that were overgrown, requiring bushwhacking through weeds that are 5' to 6.5' tall. You can usually find your way in spite of this, but be careful because the rocks you can't see because of the weeds are VERY slippery and are a recipe for a fall or a rolled ankle.

There's also a 1.2 mile detour on the inland trail between the Black Point Brook trail and the parking lot trailhead.

The mosquitoes weren't much of a bother, but the horse flies are another story and they are everywhere where the coastal trail meets the black point brook trail.

Overall, a great trail with truly stunning views. My suggestion is the get an early start if you're doing the entire loop. But if you only have a short time, definitely walk from the parking lot to the coastal overlook.

I have done this hike many times over the years. I write this comment for day hikers - the costal part of this trail is too gorgeous and beautiful to waste anytime on the forrest part. My recommendation is to walk to the coast on Eastern most trail and then walk as far as you you like along the coast and then reverse so you can view the coast the other way and have lunch at the Northern most costal part before the trail goes back inland to the parking lot. You maximize you coast hike and your lunch stop is unbeatable for scenery,

backpacking
3 days ago

One of the greatest Sierra hikes I have ever done. We took 7 days to complete the CW loop so we could take our time while on the JMT portion. It was well worth it and highly encourage anyone with the time to do the same. We saw 2 Bears at middle paradise but they never messed with us, however the squirrels at middle Rae Lake did. They attempted to eat into our snack bags within minutes of us taking a break! The trail was in good shape with the exception of the bridge being out at upper paradise (feet wet crossing) and another one just before Bubbs ands Woods creek meet up (easy bolder hop).

hiking
4 days ago

Brought the dog and kids, lots of rocks and vines to climb and step over through the trail, the first lookout point you can climb down rocks to go swimming, clean clear water, very cold, and slippery rocks underneath.

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike. Strenuous due to mileage and terrain which is rocky at times and mostly tree roots. but certainly not steep. The fatigue comes from having to watch where you step over the course of 10 ½ miles. (Yes 10 ½ miles, there is a detour around a bog at about the 7th mile). My friend and I did it in 6 hrs with a break for lunch and a few snack stops. The coastal section is stunning. My brief view of the campsites found them pretty unappealing
Bring water and snacks. But perfectly fine for a day hike.

Had a blast on the hunt trail. waterfall was awesome. Getting through the boulders was a blast. Tough trail and it's pretty relentless after the first couple miles. I thought the hellbrook on mt Mansfield was tougher but it was shorter. This reminded me of Franconia a bit with the peaks. Hung out in the stream for awhile on the way back down. All in took 9 hours with about an hour of hanging out at the top and awhile in the stream.

Excellent trail! Definitely difficult and I would not have packed my own water because there are plenty of water spots along the trail if you are camping. Beautiful views and a really awesome camping site at about the halfway mark.

Drove two hours, and let me tell you it was worth it!

Good exercise but that’s about it

hiking
8 days ago

Loved this hike. Saw three moose and then a black bear that came walking toward me on the trail. I just got off the trail and he wandered into the woods. I made it to the Lake in just over 3 hours, spent an hour up at the lake and 3 coming down with wildlife picture time. This hike is rated difficult, but I would rate it moderate because I live at altitude. I think a Difficult rating is accurate if you're coming from low altitude and not accustomed to frequent trail hikes. All in all, it was gorgeous and I recommend it!

Awesome workout. Pretty steep and rocky at times but the views are amazing. Worth the pain

The trail from Lake Sabrina to Blue Lake is fairly arduous, especially with heavy packs though the scenery is spectacular. The trail from Donkey Lake to Blue Lake is sometimes hard to follow since it’s not well marked.

I only plan to do the Hunt trails to ascend and then do knife edge trail and return.

It’s pictured rocks...it rocks!

We did it in 2 days, 53km (we went the wrong way for 5km ). Very nice hike but not that easy as we did a lot of km each day. Views on the 7 summits are breathtaking. Don’t worry for the water, there’s a lot of place to refill all the way to Galehead Shelter. Make sure to have enough water at this point because the next water supply is on the way down. So you must have at least 2L from galehead to the end of the hike ( if you do it in 2 days ). Many campsite are available all the way. Make sure to not have to much weight in your backpack and hike sticks. For the rest, you must be in shape to do this trail. Definitely recommend.

Please please please be careful if you hike off-road here. We have had way too many casualties here in the last few years from people swimming next to the falls or getting too close to cliffs. Bringing dogs or small children is not a good idea because the trail is so steep in some spots.

All of that said, the best time to come is Spring because the falls are still full, and the hikes are gorgeous. I do three different locations: hike out to where you can stand above the falls, hike along the walls of the canyon, and hike down to the water. The trail down to the water is very worn. It gets extremely hot here, so multiple water bottles is a must. Also, parking is by check or cash only unless you have a Discover pass.

backpacking
10 days ago

We did this trail with an overnight in one of the campsite. First day was foggy but kept the heat and humidity at bay. It brought a different element to my pictures. The trail is rated as hard, although it was more moderate to me. There are sections of steep inclines after the first outlook. Toward the campsite, there are a lot of over grown vegetation. Check yourself for ticks. There is no good water sources that we came across. Only nasty water if your really desperate. We stayed at the 2nd site at near the second beach which was newly added from high demand. Big campsite with a toilet that needs to be relocated. Nevertheless, the best view while doing my morning constitution. Mosquitoes were relentless. They bite through you clothes even with 40 deet bug spray. So bring some flamethrowers. Just kidding! No sunrise view for us due to overcast next morning but i can imagine how beautiful it can be. We saw many day hikers, but everyone was really nice. I’m definitely coming back here in the fall, maybe even the winter. It’s very beautiful and peaceful here. You won’t be disappointed.

hiking
10 days ago

We started on the Lake Solitude trail at 10. It’s quit an uphill the first part. Very beautiful scenery going up. Wildflowers were in full array
The trail was pretty crowded when we were heading down. We went at a moderate pace Went about a mile passed the 4.5 mile fork signage. It was 2.7 more from the sign to Lake Solitude. But my legs were shot from the uphills so we turned around then
Got back to the boat at 3:00.
The parking lot was jammed and there’s lots of construction

backpacking
11 days ago

Made this Clockwise hike with Dan M (previous review). I’d like to emphasize our selection of camp sights as I felt ours was a great way to enjoy the best part of this loop. If you’re hiking the Rae Lakes Loop why not spend some time at Rae Lakes?

Day 1 - Ranger Station to Upper Paradise

Day 2 - Upper to Dollar Lake. Sure, with an early start, you can make it Rae Lakes, but this would be a tough ~14 mile day with ~3,600’ of elevation gain putting you at Rae late afternoon when most of the better Camp sites are taken. And then since you can only stay 1 night at Rae you’re out the next morning having only spent the evening and night at the best part of this trail.

Day 3 - Dollar to Rae Lakes. This is a short 4 mile hike. The crown jewel of this hike is Rae Lakes. The Dollar Lake stop puts you at Rae before noon, with your choice of any Campsite. We selected the little peninsula in the NW corner of Upper Rae just to the east of the little strait or stream connecting Upper and Middle. We were able to relax here all day, swimming in both Upper and Middle, fishing, talking with the exhausted clockwise hikers coming from Upper and the counterclockwise hikers coming thru the pass. Also enjoyed talking with all the JMT’ers and PCT’ers. This was an awesome, relaxing, well-needed restful day for some Hikers from Louisiana (elevation 12 feet).

Day 4 - Rae to Sphinx - up early to enjoy the views from Glen pass at dawn. It’s all down hill (stairs) from here. This is about 14 miles. You can make it all the way but for us it would’ve been late and we didn’t want to drive the 2 hours back to Fresno on that winding mountain road at dusk.

Day 5 - Sphinx back to the Ranger Station.

If you have 4 nights I recommend this itinerary. If we had to do it over again we perhaps make Day 4 shorter and Day 5 longer.

All in all a great hike! Enjoy.

hiking
11 days ago

We were a group consisting of two 50 year old boys and three 20ish year old men. We did the loop clockwise camping 4 nights. Camping spots were Upper Paradise, Dollar Lake, Upper Rae Lake, and Spynx.
River crossing at Upper was fine as we utilized a log jam roughly 200 yards downstream from the bridge location. The only issues we had was with water filtration due to our filter choices but it did slow us down to enjoy the views and catch our breath. We carried each one liter and I would recommend 2 liters for the pass as its a long haul over to the next fill up area. I would also recommend an early start for the pass as it does get warm fast. We started at 6 A.M. to cross over Glen. Saw bears at upper and spynx.

Not hikers at all but my family of 6 did pretty well August 3. We got a little late start packing up our campsite so we got to Jenny lake at about 10 am and snagged one of the last parking spots. 1030 we were on the other side of Jenny lake starting up cascade canyon. The first half a mile up slope made me think we’d turn around at the end of the cascade canyon trail, but as the trail leveled off some and my youngest,(12 year old daughter) and I caught our breath hope returned of going farther. We were treated with a cow moose and calf keeping their eyes on a black bear munching on berries. Awesome! With that 20 minute or so break we made it to the fork in 2.5 hours. We decided to go on to lake solitude. Another 1.75 hours we arrived at lake solitude. Four of us including my daughter jumped into the water and discovered the lake was not fed by hot springs but glaciers that were still touching the lake. Stayed about 45 minutes. So glad we made the decision to go on. Got a little low on water on our 3 hour return to the boat (with a 20 minute bull moose stop) but dipped our bottles into the stream by a football bridge and risked some untreated water. No one sick yet four days later. Filter will be on my Christmas list! Got to the boat with 30 minutes to spare and were treated to another black bear eating berries right by the boat. About 8 hours round trip with a decent pace (where it was busier earlier in the day some avid hikers passed us and we passed others on a more leisurely pace). Id definitely recommend going the distance to lake solitude. Absolutely stunning views all the way up and what a treat when that lake with the rocky peninsula appears at the top.

backpacking
11 days ago

I've read somewhere that this is the most often done hike in the High Sierra and it is easy to see why. You really get the taste of just about everything here - from lush meadows, pleasant forests and swift rivers with waterfalls to snowy mountain passes and crystal lakes, and all that beauty in a loop that can be done in a couple of days! You really can't go any better than this.
We did our hike in the clockwise direction in 3 and a 1/2 days and it wouldn't be that difficult to do it in 3 if needed.
On the first day, we started from the permit station at around 10am and reached the Upper Paradise by mid-afternoon. The bridge over the river is still out and we met several groups of people who turned back at the sight of the river that needs to be forded. That said, with hiking poles for extra support and sandals or water-shoes to give you some grip, we didn't really feel that it would be quite that bad. Mid-June, the water reached to just around the upper part of my thighs (I'm 6'1") and I'm sure that later in summer, it will be lower than that (if you're not unlucky with rain).
On the second day, first thing in the morning, we forded the river and hiked up to where the trail meets the PCT/JMT (in the upper right "corner" on the map) and followed those to the Upper Rae Lake where we set up camp at around 5 or 6pm. This was by far the most strenuous day of the hike with 3600+ feet of elevation gain and quite a few up-and-down bits, especially in the first part, which added some extra feet to boot. Nevertheless, the views along this section are just spectacular as you slowly ascend above the treeline, and the lakes themselves are simply breath-taking.
On the third day, we started with the first light in order to reach Glen pass before the sun would soften the snow, making it more difficult and dangerous to walk on. Especially since we didn't have any micro-spikes or snow-axes, we were a bit worried but, as it turns out, with hiking poles and sturdy boots, the pass was nowhere near as bad as we had feared. Later in summer, things are bound to get even easier, but I would definitely think twice about doing this when there is a lot of snow. After you reach the pass, it's all downhill from there and there was no snow at all on the southern side, making the descent a walk in the park. We reached Charlotte Meadows by around 3:30pm and for a moment we debated whether to stick to the plan and set up camp there or hike all the way back to the car. In the end, we decided to take it easy and spent the rest of the afternoon bird-watching, but it's easy to see how one could make it from the Lakes back to the permit station in a day, albeit a fairly hard one.
On the fourth day, it only took a couple of hours to get to the end.
So, in summary, this hike is definitely right there in the top best hikes that I've ever done and I can happily recommend it to anyone who likes the outdoors and is not afraid of backpacking.
As other have said, the clockwise direction seemed easier with the ascent being more gradual, and I also felt that it worked better in terms of dividing the trail into manageable sections in a way that you get to camp by the lakes, which I can't recommend enough.
Finally, while on the trail, particularly in the lower sections, keep an eye out for rattlesnakes - we encountered two, and one of them let us get within striking distance before it started rattling, all coiled up and scary as hell. We froze and it slithered backwards off the trail while still coiled (I didn't even know that they can do that!) never once taking it's eyes off us, so no harm done, but it did scare me a lot. We haven't seen any bears but plenty of deer, a variety of lizards, birds, some marmots and a pika at the top of Glen Pass.

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