Explore the most popular hiking trails near Cedar Grove with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
1 month ago

A lovely summer week in the Sierra - one of the best! The lakes were glassy in the mornings and reflected the surroundings flawlessly. We did the loop clock-wise. There were lots of rattlesnakes up to Paradise Meadows.

backpacking
1 month ago

absolutely amazing one of the best things iv ever done

backpacking
2 months ago

An super awesome trail, I can remember seeing a reflection of the Milky Way in Littel Rae lake Along side of Fin Dome!!!! In2000 Can’t wait to get back there this summer!!!

backpacking
6 months ago

Had a great trip here on an unusually warm and clear weekend in late October. We did the clockwise loop from Road's End in 3 days / two nights. All told I would've enjoyed having another day or two to spend up by the lakes. The total mileage for the loop from Road's End is more like 42 and of the few other parties we saw it seemed like 4 or 5 days was the more common outing. This is a really fine bit of the sierras!

Quick and enjoyable out and back with amazing views at the summit. Not too difficult but can be tough if you are not used to altitudes.

backpacking
7 months ago

Hiked Sept 26-30th, stayed at Middle Paradise, Woods Crossing, Rae Lakes, and Junction Meadow. Bear boxes at parking lot and each camp site (except at Junction Meadow).

Perfect time of year to visit, since not crowded but still beautiful. Got cold enough at night at Rae Lakes to freeze the hose of our Camelbak. Some ice on trail up to glen pass at 11 am. Barely any snow on glen pass, and was easy enough to hike over the one patch at the top after noon in regular shoes/boots.

Wildlife highlights: lots of warblers including Hermit and Townsend's in Paradise Valley, Northern Saw-whet owl tooting at Middle Paradise, Lewis's woodpecker just past Paradise Bridge, lots of Clark's nutcrackers, marmots near Rae lakes ranger station, lots of pikas between Rae lakes and glen pass, large flocks of evening grosbeaks and band-tailed pigeons below junction meadow, and an inquisitive marten right above sphinx creek.

backpacking
8 months ago

First backpacking trip was amazing at this loop. Spectacular views, river crossings, and suspension bridges. just be prepared for any weather at any time!

backpacking
8 months ago

Walk-up permits available starting the day before at 1pm. Get them at Road's End permit station. But seems like only 5 available per day.

Allocate 3-4 days to complete the loop. Bear canisters are required, as this is an active black bear area, even though we didn't encounter any. Mosquito headnets are highly recommended as there are miles of trail thru swarms of gnats and mosquitos. Water sources abound, so no need to carry more than 2 liters at a time; bring a water filter, though.

Going clockwise along the loop is recommended, and pretty much what everyone does. First night in Upper Paradise Valley. Second night at Middle Rae Lakes. Third night at Junction Meadow.

Still some snow around Glen Pass, but there's none of the trail. Temperatures were mild. +40 degree sleeping back was enough for me.

Wildlife we encountered: Deer, marmots, chipmunks, rattlesnake.

A great, short day hike that is too many visitors miss out on. Perhaps it is so lightly trekked due to its steepness. Despite the rating here, this trail is NOT easy. It's short, but very steep and strenuous, rising 1500 feet over 2 miles of switchbacks. That workout is rewarded with sweeping views of the canyon and the Monarch Divide to the north. You also pass thru a wide extent of forest that was burned in 2015.

Our Labor Day weekend hike took 3 hours and we saw only 1 other hiker (heading down as we ascended) the entire time.

9 months ago

Fun times. Glen pass ain't bad at all!!!

Easy paved trail to beautiful and powerful waterfall. Lots of rock to sit on and enjoy the falls

backpacking
9 months ago

This is an amazing backpacking loop. I did it in July of 2016 and loved it. Here is my trip report with a bunch of pictures and logistical info: https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/rae-lakes-loop/

I hiked this peak as an early morning hike with some friends of mine, and it was a challenge making it up to the peak for the sunrise, but it was so worth it! To see the mountains bathed in blankets of clouds and early morning sunlight was amazing

backpacking
9 months ago

Fantastic loop. Especially at Rae Lakes and the campsites before and after your night at Rae Lakes. Spectacular views. It will make you sweat and work for it but well worth it!

backpacking
10 months ago

I did this loop with 3 others back in 2012. We did go counterclockwise and glad we did. It puts you into the back-country the very first day. Meaning, at the foot of high peaks. It would take almost 3 days before you got that if you go the other way. We hiked from roads end to a spot along Bubbs creek just before Junction Meadow. That was about nine miles for the first day with full packs. That was enough. Had a big bear walk right thru our camp that evening right as we were getting in our tents. He never even looked at us, just kept going. The next day we connected with the PCT and went up out of Vidette Meadow. We took a detour for one night over to the Kearsarge Lakes. Very well worth it. It is really beautiful in here. The next day we took the trail from the lakes upwards towards Kearsarge pass, and then hung a left on the high trail that reconnects to the PCT. The views from this trail are some of the best I have seen anywhere in the Sierra. Once back on the PCT, it was up and over Glen Pass and down to the Rae Lakes where we spent 2 nights. On our down day the next day, we did a day hike up towards the 60 lakes basin. We went over the pass and down a short distance but did not go all the way into the basin. Had a short lunch break with an awesome view up and down the 60 Lakes area. Then back down to our camp spot for our last night. A nice refreshing swim in Upper Rae Lake felt good after that day hike too!! That evening the mosquitoes zeroed in on us and we were forced into our tents sooner than we wanted. Heard a massive rock fall up by Dragon Lake as we sat in our tents kicking back. That was really something. Wasn’t sure what it was at first, then there was no mistaking that sound. Mother Nature unleashed. The next morning we packed up while being totally harassed by tons of mosquitoes. The worst I have seen on all my trips. Couldn’t wait to get walking. It was pretty much all downhill from there back to the truck over the next 3 days. We camped one night at Woods creek Jct. And then another at lower Paradise. Then had an easy hike out the last day. The water in the Kings that year was unusually low. Went swimming right by our camp site in lower paradise. Don’t think you’d be doing that this year (2017), or on any normal year. 2012 was a very lackluster winter for the Sierra. In fact, we did this hike in mid-June that year. It is one of the best loops in the Sierra, and it is also one that’s on everyone’s list, as it is heavily used. Lots of people on these trails.

backpacking
10 months ago

I did this trail last year (2016) and I loved it so much, I was really looking forward to doing it again. However, I just got off the phone with the wilderness office about the washed out bridge. Even by my permit date (7/18) he wasn't sure if the water would be low enough to rock-hop/cross. Counter-clockwise is intense, so not sure if I want to do an in-and-out (assuming I could even get permits). Anyone recommend a good five day hike?

backpacking
10 months ago

Most incredible hike of my life. The scenery is just incredible.

We did the hike in 4 days / 3 nights (10 miles per day). The hike is strenuous. If you want to spend a day chilling by the lakes, I recommend 5 days.

Only down side was mosquitos - they were extremely dense and biting. I recommend head nets and thick clothes so you don't get eaten alive!

backpacking
11 months ago

We're doing counter clockwise starting 7/2. Since the bridge is out, we were planning on doing an out and back to Rae Lakes. Has anyone been over Glen Pass lately? Is it safe?

backpacking
11 months ago

Headed out from Woods Creek on 7/3, wondering if the river will be passable ?

backpacking
11 months ago

061017 Trail update: Bridge is still out at Paradise Valley South Fork of Kings River. However, we did the out and back for this route (20 miles). Stunning views and great hike!!!

Steep climb on a well maintained trail. Not too many big steps or rocks to deal with for most of the length of the trail. I agree with other reviews that this trail is not "easy" due to the steep climb over a short distance and the exposure to the sun for the entire length of the trail.

Beautiful views of the valley, peaks, and varying vegetation along most of the trail length. Well worth the hard work needed to reach the overlook point.

I went at sunset and the colors were amazing in all directions. If you do this, each person in your party should take a headlamp, which you will definitely need during the descent.

Most amazing views... vast Valley scenes to walking thru lush Meadows. The lakes were absolutely amazing, we stayed at Arrow head lake b4 proceeding over the pass. Not a super rigorous hike overall and well worth it for the views. we did the trip in 4 days which made it quite easy going, 1 of the days we spent entirely at the lakes. been on several trips and this by far was the best experience for me.

backpacking
11 months ago

The immense snowfall and the subsequent melt from this winter has washed out the bridge crossing the South Fork above upper Paradise and the suspension bridge before the JMT. That being said, it was gorgeous and the trails were super gnarly. You can scale massive boulders or slog through waist-deep flood water. Epic. Bears (plus two cubs) and rattlesnakes abound. Check when they have those bridges fixed (who knows when) and have at it! Was told by numerous sources there were still ~15 ft of snow at Rae Lakes. The counter-clockwise route is very steep, but you may be able to get up further. I turned around after heading clockwise and went up the first two miles to Sphinx Creek Junction the other direction. Two rangers passed by with skis to suss things out. I presume you could get much higher going that way with skis or snowshoes! Views and falls were astonishing. Cannot wait to return.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

we didn't make the whole loop but we went counter clockwise to Charlotte lake and back. extremely hard counter clockwise. everybody on the trail says clockwise is easier. but amazing and I would do it again. we did see 2 rattlesnakes when we did this hike.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Rae lakes is like no other place...brook trout on almost every cast...its no wonder why this is a favorite section of the JMT and PCT...wilderness permit applications start on March 1st...Wood Creek and Bubbs creek go fast...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Went August 2016. Absolutely amazing! 5 days. Counter clock wise.

hiking
Sunday, January 08, 2017

My friend and I, did this trail the late autumn just before a snow has covered all this area. We squeezed this trail in 2 days and that pretty intense for us. We walked from sunrise to sunset with short breaks on the trail. I'd say, splitting it on 3 days would be better and give more time to enjoy the beautiful landscapes. Believe me, they are gorgeous there.

hiking
Monday, September 12, 2016

The views at the top are amazing. The rest of the hike was through the forest with a bunch of teaser views.

on Rae Lakes Trail

backpacking
Thursday, September 08, 2016

I couldn't agree more with all the reviews here. Wish I had made my trip longer, but condensed the trip into 3 days as we went clockwise from Road's End. Stunning wilderness, many breathtaking views, gorgeous lake views and pristine wildlife. We encountered a total of 5 bears, so don't be foolish and enter without a bear canister (they're required for a reason). I only wish I had taken more time to venture off trail in the gorgeous 60 lakes basin

hiking
Thursday, September 08, 2016

Honestly, this is a butt kicker. Since it was rated as easy I took a first timer with me. This should probably be considered a moderate trail. It does get you tired after a while since it's literally always going up. The views at the top are incredible. It is so worth it, we stayed at the top for a while! The views are just incredible. The trail didn't really take us that long to get it done but it did get us really tired

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