Charlotte Lake and Rae Lakes Basin

Independence, California

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The Rae Lakes Basin is arguably one of the prettiest alpine basins in the Sierra Nevada. Large numbers of backpackers certainly think so—this is one of most heavily used and regulated backcountry areas outside of the Whitney Zone (bear canisters are required, and there’s a two-night camping limit). Restrictions aside, a trip to the Rae Lakes may be the quintessential High Sierra outing.

Charlotte Lake and Rae Lakes Basin Professional Review and Guide

"The Rae Lakes Basin is arguably one of the prettiest alpine basins in the Sierra Nevada. Large numbers of backpackers certainly think so—this is one of most heavily used and regulated backcountry areas outside of the Whitney Zone (bear canisters are required, and there’s a two-night camping limit). Restrictions aside, a trip to the Rae Lakes may be the quintessential High Sierra outing."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Independence
Distance: 28.6
Elevation Gain: 4,050 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 3–5 days
Season: Mid-July to early October
Local Contacts: Kings Canyon National Park
Local Maps: USGS’s Kearsarge Peak and Mt. Clarence King

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Jun 2018