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4 days ago

I would like to come back and do this again, but on a cloudy day. Maybe in October or November. Because of the fires, the air was pretty smoggy and everything looked dry. The falls are all dried out at this time.

I started at 05:45 AM. Two other gentlemen started at the same time. Someone else started at 07:00 AM and he caught up and passed me on the way to the top haha.

Lots of beautiful views and it is fun to see the sun touch everything and then come down to completely different lighting. No surprise, lots of switchbacks, but it is a fun, challenging, enjoyable hike. It took me 3.5 hours to make it to the top and two hours to get back down.

Glacier Point is a madhouse.

I had an amazing experience getting to run into a momma bear and cub on the way back down. She was on trail as I was cantering down, we both scared the life out of each other as I turned the switchback and she was less than 15 feet away. I kept my eyes on them and they watched me as I passed. Pictures are lame, because I wasn't about to be one of those people who gets too close and then dies. I just held my camera in the air and clicked while I backed up. Just wonderful! I hope I never forget that moment.

5 days ago

Successfully tackled this adventure as a 3 day/2 night backpacking trip with three great friends. We took the clockwise route around the loop trail. Note that the total distance was longer than indicated in the description of this hike. The National Parks Service web site indicates that the loop trail distance is 41.4 miles long. Our hike was just over 46 miles in all. The difference in distance is likely a combination of GPS accuracy and some side treks along the way. Camping at Charlotte Lake for our second night did add 2.6 miles to the overall distance. Our hiking itinerary was as follows (distances as indicated by GPS tracking):
Day 1 - Road's End to Woods Creek Crossing (16 miles)
Day 2 - Woods Creek Crossing to Charlotte Lake (14 miles)
Day 3 - Charlotte Lake to Road's End (16.07 miles)

Overall this is an epic hike! One of my new favorites. Completing it in 3 days is a physical challenge, which may be easier for some than others. Climbing to the summit of Glenn Pass from either direction is taxing. Have plenty of water, electrolytes, energy gels, or whatever else may give you the strength to persevere.

The scenery is fantastic, wildlife encounters are memorable (deer, marmot, pika, squirrels, chipmunks, snakes, lizards, and bear). We didn't fish but we did talk with a few others who were fishing along the way and they all reported great success.

This is a beautiful trail, and probably that's an understatement.
For starters, this was my first ever backpacking trip. So, first ever backpacking trip for a person who's 5feet (petite) and who hits the gym 10times a month on average. Whatever i read on this site and several other blogs definitely made me feel scared that I might not complete this and I'm doing something dumb. All i want to say is, this is not an impossible trail, being in shape and being fit helps, doing other backpacking trips before this might help too. But this can very much be your first backpacking trip as well. But again, if you're one of those who might get tired or might face severe body aches walking 5miles on flat/concrete land - then you might not want to consider doing this one. (I do want to add that I was on ibuprofen all three nights while hiking to reduce some body pains)

We started off at Mattole on Wednesday evening around 5PM and walked till about 8PM and camped around the lighthouse. We were not in the more crowded campground areas, we just managed to find a spot where it was just us and that did feel good.
Thursday - we started from the lighthouse and began walking around the first impassable spot, we took a lot of breaks, enjoyed the views, and hiked till Randall Creek and camped there. Again, we managed to find a not-at-all crowded spot which worked good.
Friday - we started from Randall Creek and started walking the flat lands, again we took a lot of breaks, enjoyed the wind, the sun, the views and by the end of the day we came a bit farther than the major campground and again camped in a secluded spot (this one is just before the next impassable section)
Saturday - we were determined to complete this trail and head back to black sands. we started a little early around 9AM (earlier days was around 11AM) and did not make major stops on the impassable section. We did one major stop at Buck Creek for breakfast and began hiking again. Honestly, the toughest part of the hike is the last 2miles. We successfully finished and reach black sands beach at about 5PM.

Our original plan was Wednesday to Sunday, but we managed to get done by Saturday!

Couple of things:
Take your time, don't be in a rush just to finish the trail for the sake of finishing it. The view, the sun and the wind is pure and gorgeous. I'm very glad we took hour long breaks in so many spots and just enjoyed sitting out there in wilderness doing absolutely nothing.

Rocks maybe your new best friend. I understand a lot of reviews or blogs mentioned the last 5-6miles is beach sand and it is difficult. Heck yeah, it is difficult. For most of the part, i found my way around trying to walk on loose small rocks. For me, every time i saw that i could walk on the rocks, i was pretty glad. This may not work for everyone, keep in mind it is very very easy to sprain your ankle or get your ankle bent while walking on rocks (big or small, both of them exist in this trail)

Tidal timing is everything. I mean it, if you do not feel safe at any of the impassable sections to get through, just stay back. We did that. Honestly, we just memorized the general tidal timings from a high-level perspective. For us it was just being smart about the tides. If you have a general idea about tidal timings and did some good research before, you should be good. Again, carrying a tidal map is an absolute necessity. We did that, but we hardly opened it.

Pack light - if this your first backpacking trip, do pack light. We over analyzed our intake of food and toiletries and packed a little extra than needed. A bit more planning or idea might have helped us on that front. I would definitely suggest you to review your previous hikes you've done and see how your body consistently reacts to hiking. For example: I know if i'm on a long hike, by the end of it I lose most of my appetite and just require more water. But again, i forced myself to eat as much as possible to hike this one.

Stay hydrated, the first 3-5miles may not have any creeks, but there are abundant creeks through out the rest of the trail. So water should never be a problem, except bring a purifier for sure.

Snakes: We did spot a couple of snakes, they were not rattle snakes. Not sure what they were, but we did spot one at Buck Creek while filling water and one around the land where we camped for the 3rd night. Be careful and check your entire surroundings before you camp somewhere.

Enjoy the hike, it's beautiful and has some amazing view of the world's biggest ocean's coastline. Anything said to describe the trails beauty is not sufficient. It is something to just experience and soak it in.

It is a long hike for sure, there were a couple of times in different days where i was tired and waiting to see if there's flat land anywhere at all. It can take a toll on you if you're not mentally up for it. For me, as much as a hike requires physical strength, it requires mental strength too.

10 days ago

Summit date: 9/11/18 - Due to a compressed timeline, I opted to hike from the Cottonwood Lakes Trail Head, and summit Mt. Langley in one day via the New Army Pass Trail. This is approx. a 26 mile day! I started my recording about 3 miles into my hike. Looking back, I would recommend making this a 2 to 3 day hike. With over 4000’ of elevation climb, I was definitely exhausted by the end of the day.

For Sep, the weather was PERFECT! After climbing switchbacks up to the crest of New Army Pass, you get wonderful views of Mount Langley. There is about a 500’ descent in the saddle before a 2500’ ascent to the summit. Be aware - following the defined New Army Pass trail down will take you toward Soldier Lake and away from the Mount Langley summit trail. I had to backtrack, which set me back about 45 mins.

The challenging portion is the last 800’ or so to the summit. I recommend following the cairn trail for the safest ascent to the top. I had to scramble for the first 20 to 30’, which made me second guess about my decision to continue to the top, but after that, the ascent was mostly loose sand in between boulders. After the last cairn, the terrain becomes gradual with the summit in clear view.

11 days ago

Strenuous- best done from the Valley to Glacier Point. Get up early in the morning - switchbacks are difficult, but we are happy we did not do the first half of the climb in the sun! We started at 9am. Bring plenty of water and food. We saw many people not prepared with the right amount of water or shoes.
It took us 3 hours with 2-3 breaks in between to get to the top. About 2-2.5 hours to get down.
Spectacular views at Glacier point and well-worth the hike!

11 days ago

Bring plenty of water! Worth the short detour for stopping at the reservoir and caves on the way.

AMAZING views the entire way up and down. It is strenuous for sure but so worth it. Switchbacks almost all the way up.

13 days ago

Hiking this trail was an amazing experience. We went with a clockwise three night plan. Camped at upper paradise, middle Rae, and junction meadow. All three were great camps. You will travel through thick shady woods, grassy open meadows, and rocky alpine trails, all surrounded by gorgeous peaks. We saw a bear .5 mile past upper paradise, a family of deer at Rae, a marmot, a snake (not rattler), fish, chipmunks. The nights are much colder past 10,000ft elev. There is lots of water along the trail, but from Rae over glen pass to lake Charlotte, there isn’t much. You do get swarmed with gnats in the lower miles to start and finish the loop. Luckily, I brought my mosquito head net. The crossing was only lower shin deep. The suspension bridge was awesome. Had to walk across a second time just for fun. Also, a good time chatting with the JMT hikers from woods creek crossing to over glen pass. A friendly trail crew were blasting rock above vidette meadow, so we got held up for about 20 minutes, but it was nice talking to them and cool to hear the explosion. I definitely recommend this adventure.

13 days ago

I did Mount Langley as a two-day hike. (I can't imagine doing it as a one-day without serious conditioning.) My route was a little different from the one on this page, though.

I began at Horse Meadow, taking the Cottonwood Lakes Trail to the New Army Pass Trail. I then camped at Long Lake. The following day, I continued on the New Army Pass Trail, linking up with the Army Pass Trial via a short connector route shown on this map. I then took the Army Pass Trail to the final approach, in which I took the western-most route as shown on this map.

Next time, I'm going to take the Army Pass Trail (as shown on this page), as it's shorter and has less elevation gain than the New Army Pass Trail. Apparently, snow lingers longer on the Army Pass Trail, though, so check the conditions.


- Bring a GPS device. There are a couple places where the trail is hard to follow and splits up.
- Pack light when you summit. Bring the bare minimum: water, first-aid kit, navigation device, jacket, etc.
- Turn back if you don't feel good. Don't risk your life to make the summit.
- There is plenty of water from Horseshoe Meadow to High Lake (just east of Long Lake). I didn't see any water from there to the summit, though.

14 days ago

Camped at the Sentinel campground the night before our permit date for Rae Lakes. Was able to secure a counter-clockwise loop. To get an early morning start, got to the Road's End permit station around 8AM. There were a couple of people ahead of us. Fro being outside the peak season, the trail was still quite busy.

IMPORTANT: bring a bug net, mosquitoes are in full force the first 3-5 miles in either direction.

Saw 1 bear near the Road's end station and 1 rattler about 1/4 before the first bridge (Bailey?).

Really enjoyed the CCW direction. You work hard the first 2 days and the 3rd/4th day should be a breeze. Camped at Vidette Meadow Day 1, and Middle/Upper Rae Day 2...near bear box 3. Planned on camping at Lower Paradise for Day 4, but had the energy and daylight to finish on Day 3.(big miles but mostly downhill).

15 days ago


A few important things that need to be stated:
People using this trail are extremely problematic. Do I have your attention? I’m talking to you. There was trash in damn near every campsite we walked by. Half burned food packs in fire pits, cans, toilet paper and baby wipes every-damn-where, and on far too many occasions, piles of shit with a rock placed over them.

If you do not know what backpacking etiquette is, educate yourself first, OR DO NOT GO.

1. PACK OUT YOUR TRASH. All of it. Do not burn it like an idiot. We all know plastic and foil packaging should not be burned.
2. BURRY your feces and toilet paper (if you don’t pack the TP out; do not burry wipes, they must be packed out) 6-8 inches deep.
3. DO NOT HARASS THE WILDLIFE. This includes getting too close for photos as well as polluting their home with your trash.

This is one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done, and to see the remnants of peak season use litter the pristine gem is beyond disappointing.

i was always in a hurry to see what was around the next corner. next time got to slow down and appreciate it. our August hike had perfect weather and tides. it is a great hike, not nearly as difficult as anticipated. plentiful water, no need to carry more than a liter at a time.

16 days ago

got on the trail around 830am and there were only a few other groups on the way up, plus a couple on their way down, so it was nice and quiet, and well shaded. there aren't any particularly steep sections, just lots of switchbacks which was surprisingly enjoyable. the view from the top is awesome but lots of people, and on the way back down it was fairly busy. couldn't get a good look at yosemite falls but vernal and nevada falls can be seen from the top.

16 days ago

This trail is amazing. It offers the best views of The Valley for a day hike. If you want to get the best out of The Valley in a day, start by 9am at The Valley floor and BE PREPARED. Have at least 3 liters of water or more per person and plenty of salty snacks. Make sure to also have lots of sunscreen and copious amounts of bug spray. For a not-so experienced hiker or outdoorsman, I was able to pace myself to be able to make it all the way to Glacier point and back to The Valley floor. Be aware, it’s tough. But undeniably the greatest scenery is from the top at Glacier point, which has restrooms and a mini mart for water and supplies along with souvenirs.

Left Mattole Sunday morning and made it to Black Sands on Tuesday a little before noon. One of the best backpacking trips I’ve been on. We had one clear day and then a couple foggy days. Make sure you check the tides and truly obey the schedule. There were a few times that we were a couple hours on either side of high tide and we had some waves come up to our waist, this was ok but I can see how some might have gotten washed away if it was any later or earlier. It was definitely not easy and if this is your first backpacking trip I’d recommend doing another trip first before trying this one out. However it is doable if you are in good shape. Lots of walking on sand and loose rocks. Everyone we met on the trail was very nice and our group now has many memories to take home with us. I definitely recommend this trip and would do it again (but for now it’s ice and Advil for the legs).

24 days ago

Can't say we completed the entire loop unfortunately. We entered at Roads End on 8/24/18 where we prepared for the clockwise loop starting on the woods creek trail. We were told about a "small" fire at Bubbs Creek and told not to report it as it was less than 1/2 an acre and the park crew were fully aware. We were told it wouldn't impede us and it was "insignificant". Unfortunately we got turned around at the Bubbs Creek Trail/JMT-PCT junction and had to back track and exit over Kearsarge pass into Onion Valley because the fire had spread and the trail was closed.
The trail up to Bubbs Creek was very well maintained and the scenery breath taking. We ran into a trail crew along the JMT/PCT and thanked them for their upkeep of the trail. They really do a stellar job at keeping the trail well maintained.
Upper Paradise Valley and Rae Lakes are both very busy for camping areas so plan to get there early to ensure a good spot. There were a lot of bugs until we reached Upper Paradise; they weren't a bother at all after that point. We had heard they were a nuisance at Arrowhead and Rae Lakes but we had no issue in late August.
Our planned itinerary:
Day 1 - Ranger Station to Upper Paradise
Day 2 - Upper Paradise to Arrowhead Lake
Day 3 - Arrowhead Lake to Rae Lakes (short day to ensure time at Rae Lakes)
Day 4 - Rae Lakes to Sphinx Junction. This ended up being Rae Lakes to Bubbs Creek, back to Kearsarge Pass to Onion Valley
Day 5 - Sphinx to Ranger station

Incredible! A genuine California experience. Some tips that I learned: hike the trail close to a new moon (the lowest tides will be during the day) and pay attention to vague signs leading you over hat rock. It was a wonderful trip though.

Amazing backpacking trail. beautiful views and campsites along creeks; we got a swim in each night. The low number of permits keep this lightly trafficked and we ran into few people. You do need to plan around the tides and walking on sand and rocks for most of the trail is hard on your feet, so bring tape for blisters. We did the trail in July and had great weather.

24 days ago

26 days ago

The view from the top is spectacular, that’s absolutely true. However, this trail is completely unforgiving and 3 solid hours of pain on the way up, and about 2 hours of agony on the way down. I love to hike, consider myself in pretty good shape, but the whole way up you’re going back and forth on steep, punishing switchbacks that never really reward you with a new view; there was a section in the middle of the climb where I lost track of time because the view literally didn’t seem to change for ages, we didn’t seem to be getting any higher, and every time I thought we were almost at the top, another switchback identical to the last, presented itself. We started the hike at 8am and weren’t down till 2:30pm. At 8am, the sun doesn’t hit you at all on the way up which is a real blessing, and we took plenty of water (5 litres for the two of us) and sunscreen for the way down. Later in the day, the flies at the bottom of the trail are really bad, so I suggest to leave early for that alone if not for the sun. At the top there’s a cabin that has a shop and restrooms but that wasn’t opened when we came on a Monday. Yosemite had also closed the access road due to work on the power lines after the fires I think, so usually a bus runs that you can go up to the top in. I’d probably suggest that for other visitors, as this was not a fun hike, and from what I hear, the waterfall ones seem to be more interesting.

26 days ago

As everyone mentions, the views here are amazing! Standing at the trailhead looking up, it can be very intimidating. I am an occasional hiker is moderate shape and my sister joined me having no hiking experience. Treking poles were a great addition for us that helped tremendously. I was not sure if we would make it to the top since my sister was had not done much hiking. We started at 7:00am and made it to the to by noon. We stopped every now and then to rest the legs and take photos. You start out with great views of the valley entrance and El Cap. Then you slowly work your way around and you begin to see the whole valley. When you finally get to see Half Dome in the distance you know you are over halfway up and it the view alone gives you motivation to keep going. We packed a lunch and ate at the top and then grabbed an ice cream from the shop. They also appeared to have a few different shirts/items in this gift shop that they did not have on the valley floor. The views up top were very rewarding. The hike down was the part that made the legs hurt with being sore from the up hike and now plowing down all our body weight on each step. We met tons of people while we were on the way down and they all asked how close they were. Only one group could we tell them that they were close. DO NOT expect to go up and back in a few hours. You need to be prepared with water/food/proper footwear for this hike. There is no way most of the people we met could have made it up and down before dark. Always pack a flashlight for this reason. There is no bus from the top back down to the bottom. Be prepared and this hike will be one of the best you ever do! For us the hike up was 7am-12noon & the hike down was 1:30pm-4pm.

26 days ago

Great challenging trail. I would definitely rate this hard due to the constant uphill switchbacks. I just took my time and made it to the top and back down to the shuttle stop in 6 1/2 hours. Total miles 12. I’m 61 so I’m sure younger folks could do it faster. Beautiful views along the trail. Saw deer!

Amazing views of Sentinel, ElCapitan and the valley - must go to Glacier Point for spectacular views of Half Dome and Vernal/Nevada Falls ... and to get water for the way back down. It goes up and up and up - 58 switchbacks (who’s counting?). Definitely get early AM start as most of the up is in the shade. Less experienced climbers should consider taking a bus down from Glacier Point. Bring lots of water and food for the trip - saw lots of folks with cameras and purses and not much else.

26 days ago

incredible trail with an incredible view, and even more expectacular on the top!

26 days ago

Did the hike anti-clockwise as I did not plan to do this trail when I set off but decided to try it instead of doing an out and back hike to Lower Twin Lake. Found the burnt areas around Cluster lake quite eerie and didn't really enjoy that section of the hike. A little bit of ascent but overall pretty steady going.

28 days ago

A 1988 Anuerism/Major Stroke Survivior completed the trail 4 days in 2000, and 6 days in 2018. The latest was a lot more difficult and exhausting but just as beautiful and exciting. Except the 2 encounters with Ratters.

28 days ago

The Rae Lakes trail is awesome! Varied, difficult, and breathtakingly beautiful, and sometimes a little scary! Saw bears twice on the trail in the middle of the afternoon a bit too close for comfort, but survived. My favorite heavenly spot was first encountering the reflection of Finn Dome in Rae Lakes in that gorgeous valley.

Great trail! Definitely pretty tough with the switchbacks but if you go in the morning you will have shade all the way up. And there are water fountains and a gift shop at the top (glacier point). Absolutely worth every step.

Great hike. We spent 6 days doing the loop with a zero day near Rae lakes.

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