JMT – Twin Lakes to Rae Lakes, Kings Canyon Natl Park, CA

August 23, 2014
John Muir Trail (JMT)
Day 20 – Twin Lakes (10,890ft) to Rae Lakes (10,560ft) via Woods Creek junction (8,510ft),
11.7 miles.
Camped near Sixty Lake Basin junction.

Kings Canyon Natl Park - Above Twin Lakes

Woke to calm blue skies. As we eat breakfast the sun rises over the facing peak lighting the campsite and taking the chill off the cold morning air. Glowing peaks reflect in the still lake waters. The skies were to remain clear blue for the rest of the day without a thought of a cloud.

Kings Canyon Natl Park - Twin Lakes to Rae Lakes

From the ridge where we were camped the trail descends rapidly past Twin Lakes and Sawmill Pass junction. Still descending we emerge from the forest on the cliff above Woods Creek.

Kings Canyon Natl Park - Twin Lakes to Rae Lakes Kings Canyon Natl Park - Twin Lakes to Rae Lakes

The shallow waters tumble down rugged slabs then wide smooth slabs interspersed with deep clear pools. For once we are walking with the sun behind us and towards the beautifully lit landscape.

Kings Canyon Natl Park - Twin Lakes to Rae Lakes

After passing by the valley we assume from the map that will next climb, the trail suddenly switches back to make the final descent to Wood Creek junction (8,510ft), the low point of the day. “Crazy bridge”, as one passing hiker  calls it, is a one person suspension bridge that crosses the creek at the junction. From here it’s all uphill to Glenn Pass.

Kings Canyon Natl Park - Twin Lakes to Rae Lakes

The first four miles, now walking into the sun, is hot and dry through open forest and brush land with the best peak views behind us. Here we gain most of the day’s 2000ft elevation change.

Kings Canyon Natl Park - Twin Lakes to Rae Lakes

Near the end of this section with just clear blue skies in front of us it looks as if we will run out of mountains. Suddenly we climb up and over one last ridge and enter Rae Lakes Basin with picturesque lakes framed by rugged peaks.

Kings Canyon Natl Park - Twin Lakes to Rae Lakes Kings Canyon Natl Park - Twin Lakes to Rae Lakes Kings Canyon Natl Park - Twin Lakes to Rae Lakes Kings Canyon Natl Park - Rae Lakes

A magical landscape, the gentle, uphill trail contours a couple of lakes starting with Dollar Lake and ending at Rae Lakes where we look for a campsite.

Kings Canyon Natl Park - Rae Lakes Kings Canyon Natl Park - Rae Lakes Kings Canyon Natl Park - Rae Lakes

We find a sandy spot with great lake views just past the Sixty Lake Basin Trail junction at the end of Upper Rae Lake, saving the final steep two mile push to Glen Pass for tomorrow morning. The wind picks up as we are setting up camp but dies long before dark.

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This entry was posted in Hiking, John Muir Trail (JMT) California, Travel, Travel Western US and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to JMT – Twin Lakes to Rae Lakes, Kings Canyon Natl Park, CA

  1. Madeleine says:

    Quel fabuleux voyage vous faites! Quel courage!

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