Explore Summer 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer 2017 Map
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Went during the Government shutdown and had the place to ourselves!

Gorgeous views, moderate hike

Amazing trip! The scenery was off the charts! Please note that there is no fishing along the route.

backpacking
1 month ago

Counterclockwise is definitely the way to go. I'd much rather start the trip with the burned forest section and end on a beautiful note than vice versa. If you go clockwise you also have to start with an immediate straight up hill. Gorgeous trip though either way.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome loop! Long Canyon is one of the most stunning ascents in the trinity Alps with granite peaks that tower over the trail. Lots of running water throughout the ascent. At the branch for the loop portion, went clockwise. The trail disappears at a few times but picked it back up quickly. Sweet views of the interior portion of trinity alps. Directions to the TH: head north on highway 3 north of trinity lake and take a left on a paved “Long Canyon Road.” Take a right on Canyon View Drive.

Loved backpacking this trail. I did this over three days and two nights. Beautiful views and very peaceful. I loved hearing the waves crash all day (and night). Do your planning and research about trip logistics and high/low tide times. Backpacking in the sand was challenging at first, but I got used to it after a few hours. July 2018.

backpacking
2 months ago

I've hiked this trail twice so far. Both times I went clockwise and not the ccw most recommend. I prefer getting the elevation done the first day, camp around green lakes then hike the rest in the morning.

one week ago, we went clockwise. Did hiker summit, camped a couple miles before wasco. 11 miles day 1. second day we added canyon meadow trail, and then continued back to loop and back to car at PCT lot. 17 miles day 2 for a total of around 28 miles in two days. Amazing and beautiful trip, highly suggest. Saw one mountain goat. Clear blue skies, just some cold cold wind.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a really good trail, with outstanding scenery.

Like Albert below, I did this trail in reverse and started with the steep ascent up to the saddle. I didn’t actually find it hard to spot the trail at all, although I did it today (October 22) and it was fairly well worn in after a season. I think going uphill makes the trail easier to spot too. In spring or summer the leaves on the bushes might make it a little trickier. Either way, don’t be put off by the reviews below.

After reaching the saddle the rest of the route was mainly downhill, with the additional advantage that most of the views are in front of you as you walk.

It took me 7 and a quarter hours with plenty of breaks, and my watch says that my moving time was 5 and a half hours. My watch recorded the route as 22.3km or 13.8 miles, which is a bit longer than AllTrails describes it.

Thoroughly good trail, and I’d love to do it again.

backpacking
2 months ago

I started this loop from onion valley and did it counterclockwise. I believe it is a harder route starting from the eastern Sierra side, which added an extra 10 miles or so, but the hike up and over kearsarge pass is well worth the extra mileage.

It took 4 days at a relatively moderate pace to complete the loop. My last day was only a six mile day so it is definitely possible to do it in 3 days starting from onion valley.

Mosquitos weren’t too bad in late July though I’ve heard that they’re horrendous earlier in the season. Bugs other than mosquitos were a nuisance so I highly recommend a bug net around your head which I wore half the hike.

There are plenty of people on the trail with pct and jmt hikers making their way on the eastern parts of the loop.

Visually stunning.

Just completed yesterday. Started Monday from TL Lodge and went clockwise, as suggested. If I had do overs I would do CCW and end on easy, cruising trail rather than the sandpit climb back up to the lodge.
Water crossing were all easily done with dry feet except for the last one, White River, when done CW. I easily forded that one. Rock hopping possible, I'm sure, if you are willing to scout up and down the river a ways. I determined the ford the safest and fastest way and it felt refreshing on my worn feet.
Trail conditions are great. Water sources plentiful even with many dried out for the season. Completed in 2.5 days. 40's at night. Cool in the mornings but hot in the afternoons. Pack appropriately for 3 seasons and get out there and do it while the window is still open. From what I hear, this is atypical for this time of year. Glad I was able to sneak it in!

hiking
3 months ago

We did this trip counter clockwise from Oct 5-12. We tacked on a few side trips including Kearsarge Lakes and 60 Lakes Basin. We had one snow storm the day before doing Glen Pass but we just delayed our ascent a few hours until the sun had melted the pass on the south side and then things were not that bad. It was spectacular. I would recommend spending at least one day at Rae Lakes, it is the jewel of the hike. Water was available along the entire trip except for the ascent up Glen Pass. I carried 1 liter of water on me the entire trip and it worked well for me. Bring warm clothes as several nights got down into the teens. We saw several bears but they all kept their distance from us and we had no negative encounters. Bugs were almost non-existant but we did see 4 different snake species including a rattlesnake the first day hiking in. This was definitely a worth while trip and I will do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing, beautiful, majestic! Mellow climb the entire way, nothing to make the rating more than moderate. BUT!!! Beware the last two miles unless you have the gift of clairvoyance and are a mountain goat. The trail becomes hard to find along a steep cliff side. I lost the trail multiple times whilst crawling along the mountain slopes. It was difficult but the views.... the views were amazing. I would recommend the last stretch only for serious hikers/climbers.

Solid hike. Can be done in 1 night. I left the site at 9am from the campsite and went counterclockwise (see Sweeney review below, very helpful) and went until 5pm, made it most of the way to Lake Vernon but was just too spent from the elevation gain so just found a spot for myself. The next day I took the detours to Lake Vernon and Laurel Lake, finding the latter MUCH more worth it, started at 9am and was back in my car by 6pm. It's doable but I was moving. Set aside some time to get around Laurel Lake, you won't regret it. You get some views of the Lake that are really spectacular and much better than some you get of Lake Vernon. I passed an gentleman on the trail who said he had also camped lakeside at Laurel, and I would recommend that much over camping near Lake Vernon based on what I saw. Per the review below, I agree that the trajectory of the trip gets a little odd if you go clockwise, but there's a way to make it work. Overall, good trail, lots of varied and interesting terrain. lovely views. Will likely do again with friends or family.

This trail is beautiful especially in the fall. I did the hike alone but i don’t recommend that. A few dangers to keep in mind: the fog can roll in quickly and you can lose visibility. I hiked it September 28- October 2 2018. I was 1 mile from the lodge and the fog rolled in and i lost the trail. Pretty much where the hiker that just died was found a week later. It was scary but i had a beacon in case of emergency. I ended up by palmer lift up on the glacier. It was very scary. I got lucky and the fog cleared for a second and i saw the palmer lift and then it disappeared again. I started to head that direction and back down hill when i got a brief glimpse of the lodge and then it also disappeared again. I was lucky i was in a ravine that went straight to the lodge. I was stuck up there for 6 hrs before i found my way back. I almost used my beacon but grateful i didn’t have to. I totally recommend the hike you just need to be prepared for anything. I plan to go back and see where i went wrong. I also am advocating for a sign to be added where that turn off is. Multiple hikers have gotten lost there. Good luck it was absolutely breathtaking and i feel like a badass fir completing the hike solo. Yeah me!!

Began at 7am and completed clockwise loop in 1 day. Precipitation most of the day and clouds finally cleared around mile 30 for some great views. Not much runoff so river crossing were relatively dry. No GPS signal for offline map, garmin watch or inreach tracker that day around Heather and Clark creek so study that area well to avoid losing the trail.

This trail is amazing the sand will definitely take its toll on the legs. I recommend checking the tides before even getting your permit. The second impassable is slippery even at .2 to 1 foot there are parts will you will be walking on like tide pools.

There are plenty of places for water
Cooskie Creek is definitely campable and had amazing views

Truly incredible backpacking trip made more exciting by the challenge of managing schedules around the tides which make the trail impassable for stretches at a time. All different kinds of undeveloped coast for your enjoyment and it really did feel “lost”. Most days we saw only 4-6 people and no one else slept at the same campsites as us. It is busier in summer, we went at end of September when they limit permits per day to 30 instead of 60 and which is close to the rainy season so we got sprinkled on a bit the last day. I would do it again in a heart beat!

I strongly disagree with people who say the hike is the hardest hike they’ve ever been on - I would argue they likely have little to no experience backpacking in The West. I wasn’t even sore when we finished the trail. As someone who has summitted many 14ers including Whitney and also backpacked most of Yosemite, this was more mental challenge and less physical than the others I mentioned. Only about 5 miles of this trail is a typical trail. The rest is packed sand, fluffy sand, pebbles, boulders, or some kind of lava rock. Trekking poles are a must if you are prone to rolling your ankle (or just want to move quickly without fear of losing balance on boulder fields). You will need to think about where you are going before you take each step most of the way.

I think anyone in moderate or better shape can handle this trip but give yourself an extra day or two so you aren’t in a time crunch and tempted to take risks with the tide. The trail is truly impassable in 2 stretches and there is no where to wait it out if you are between campsites - you will be swept out to sea and die. So... be smart and err on the safe side. Rule of thumb is be out of impassable zones 2 hrs before high tide and wait until 2 hours after as there are sneaker tides that shoot up occasionally as the tide goes out. We would get up at 6am, hike until 2 hours before high tide and set up our tent at a campsite for a nap, cook a hot meal and pump water for that four hour window and then hike until dark once it was safe to continue.

The first 4 miles and last 4 miles are the toughest because it is soft sand that your feet sinks into so it takes a lot of effort, esp with an extra 35 lbs of backpack. I had no sleep the night before as I drove up from SF after midnight and was ready to turn around a mile or so into Mattole Beach but I am glad I did not. The worst of it’s the very beginning or the very end.

If you’re thinking about doing it, you should. Note permits can be a challenge so apply sooner than later!

Well graded for the most part and very well maintained. Many miles above the treeline, offering amazing views on the top part of the mountain and its many glaciers. River fording can be tricky, but is a major highlight of the Trail.
Found much secludedness when we tackled the whole trail in early october. Got snowed on! Great experience.

3 months ago

Stunning hike, hardly a dull moment anywhere on this trail. We did the loop clockwise in 4 days camping at Upper Paradise Valley, Middle Rae Lake and Junction Meadow. Would have spent an extra day at the Rae Lakes if we had the time. We went just after the permit season ended and the weather was perfect but did get cold at night. No crossings and very few bugs. Abundant access to water for most of the trail except the Glen pass area. Highly recommend.

Dropped by later in the season (late October) last year and was blocked by snow after 5 miles or so ... so I made a point to come back a bit earlier this year and I'm so glad I did as the fall colors and the tail end of the summer bloom was in full effect. I went counter Clockwise and the timing worked out nicely with the sunset and sunrise. However if you are headed south on the PCT first thing in the morning you will likely meet more people - In my case at least 5 groups of hunters and 4 groups of hikers. (I would go clockwise if I wanted to avoid people on the full loop. ) I ended up camping on the downslope somewhere around where the trail branches off for summit lake. This spot was amazing for a 360 degree view of sunset, moonrise, and then sunrise.

backpacking
3 months ago

WARNING: this trail is NOT 37 miles. NPS has accurate mileage information: https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/rae-lakes-loop.htm

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked the loop on 9/27 - 9/28 of 2018 CCW. The first few miles in this direction is through an area that has completely burned out and the dead trees look very eerie. Glad I went CCW so as to get this section over in the beginning of the trek and leave the great views for the end.

Lots of water sources in all areas EXCEPT NONE between the southern part where the trail turns sharply north. Before you start the northerly trek up to No Name Lake (CCW direction), be sure you have plenty of water. Lake and creek are not safe to drink. Lot's of sweat and the need to stay hydrated is very important. Three liters was barely enough for myself and dog. Were thirsty when arriving back to the lake and TH.

Worst part of the trip was being worried about following the correct trail. The entire Rim trail is horribly marked and there's several intersections with trails that have NO signs and are not on any map or Garmin. It was kind of crazy this way! Example, you're walking the RIM trail and you come across a sign that simply says "TRAIL" with an arrow heading off to the cliff. Then there's fork where it says horses one direction and hikers in the other, so you think you're at the section where the livestock trail begins and you only have 1.5 miles to the lake. But then a couple more miles later you actually come to that junction and wonder what the heck just happened.

Overall great hike but plan accordingly with water and be sure to navigate well. If you take the wrong path then you'll add extra miles on to your trip.

Incredible views and an incredible hike.

I enjoyed the views ... but it is nowhere near 34 miles. It is closer to 20 miles. I went counterclockwise and found it moderate only because I was carrying a pack. It could easily be done as a day hike.

backpacking
3 months ago

Did the loop from 9/26-9/29. Gnats were a pain from 5,000-7,000ft. Save yourself endless swatting and bring a head net.

Spectacular!! Spent 3 unusual days on the trail, starting at Roads End where we were told we couldn’t go clockwise around the loop. At that time, we felt like it wasn’t a big deal but it definitely changed the trip. After many conversations with other hikers we discovered Counter has a much steeper incline with several switchbacks on your 2 day journey to Glenn’s Pass, whereas Clockwise is still up hill the entire way, but the incline is more gradual. We hiked Day 1 from Roads End to Junction Meadow, around 10 miles steeply uphill and it kicked our butt pretty good. Saw a rattle snake on the trail which was pretty cool. Met a lot of really cool hikers of all backgrounds. It was a challenging hike with many rewards. Day 2 we had a shorter day as my partner was beginning to experience the effects of altitude and we made it to Charlotte Lake around 2 pm to camp for the night. I highly recommend this beautiful spot. Unfortunately throughout the night my partner’s symptoms worsened so we had to get up early and head the 17 miles back down to Roads End. I can say heading down this side of the trail was amazingly beautiful! All in all a great 3 days and because I wasn’t able to make the summit and swim in Rae Lake, it is a great motivation to head back next year for round 2.

backpacking
3 months ago

We did the loop in clockwise direction in 3 days and 3 nights. Would have been really tough the other direction. Wish we had spent longer at Rae Lakes, it's really a magical place. We went in September right after quota season ended. They now have self-issue permits. The climb was reasonable, good footing in terms of traction, so trekking poles are probably unnecessary, but it did vary from sand-like gravel to boulders. Trail was always obvious. We encountered people every 3 miles or so, more at campsites obviously.

Temperature was in 80s during the day and quite hot in some of the areas without shade. Dropped to 40s at night, pretty chilly with wind. Sun went down behind the mountains around 5:30 and went up around 7. No precipitation and only saw a couple small snow patches around Glen Pass. Bugs were active the first and last 3 miles of the loop towards Roads End.

Bear containers are a must. We encountered 4 who were easily spooked by yelling and waving arms. Didn't see rattlesnakes.

No campfires above 10,000. Recommended campsites: Upper Paradise, Rae Lakes, Junction Meadow.

We had 1L of water per person with us as you have easy access to a stream or a lake almost the whole time. We had Purinize drops and Lifestraw.

Absolutely stunning views, especially of the local snow-capped peaks to the southeast of Goat Lake and the valley to the south, as viewed from the section of the trail before arriving at Goat Lake (travelling clockwise). It's a long day hike, taking us more than 6 hours, but well worth it. One of my best hikes ever!

backpacking
3 months ago

Gorgeous! We were a group of 4 and we did the clockwise loop in three days and two nights.

The first day we did 16 miles from roads end to woods creek (all gradual uphill). We had a bear in our camp at night trying to get into nearby bear canisters.

Second day we did 14 miles from woods creek to Charlotte Lake. The Rae Lakes area was breathtaking and Glen Pass was a killer!

Last day we had 16 miles to get to roads end but luckily all nice and gradual downhill.

We all would recommend that you actually did this in 4 days and 3 nights instead. This would have give us more time to just chill and enjoy the beautiful nature.

Enjoy!

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