Journey across California's spellbinding High Sierra, known as one of the world's greatest treks. Meander along mountain routes to the Road's End trailhead, lace up your boots and hit Bubbs Creek Trail. Cross some of John Muir Trail's famed high passes - Glen Pass, at 11,978 feet, and Rae Lake Basin, the namesake of the high-country route. Reach the famed "Golden Gate of the Sierra" bridge and continue on to Paradise Valley. Camp surrounded by spectacular scenery and rise early for the final stretch - with cascading falls bidding you farewell.
Navigate the stunning Rae Lakes Loop through the wilderness of King's Canyon National Park
Tackle the famous Glen Pass at 11,978 feet and camp at Rae Lakes at 10,500 feet
Reach the "Golden Gate of the Sierra," a suspension bridge spanning across Woods Creek
Arrive in Fresno, California, to check in at the DoubleTree by Hilton near the Fresno air terminal any time after 4pm. At 6pm, meet the guides and the group for a welcome dinner and orientation talk; do the final gear check and discuss the details of the trip.
After breakfast, meet the private shuttle for the drive on mostly winding mountain roads to the Road's End trailhead (5,500') in King's Canyon National Park. Adjacent to Sequoia National Park, it is known for its huge sequoia trees and towering granite canyon walls. Lace up your boots and hit the Bubbs Creek Trail, showcasing great hiking through an elevated valley with streams, swimming holes, forests, and dazzling vistas. This evening, camp at the confluence of Charlotte Creek (7,300').
This morning after breakfast, continue following Bubbs Creek upstream all the way to where it meets the legendary John Muir Trail in Vidette Meadow. At the meeting point with this classic trail, one of the world's most famous, turn northward and uphill for a memorable climb beneath the Kearsarge Pinnacles. Arrive to camp at Charlotte Lake (10,390') by mid-afternoon and enjoy free time for swimming and relaxing by the lake.
Wake early today for a challenging but remarkable day that's certain to remain engraved in your memory. The highlight of the day is crossing one of John Muir Trail's famous high passes - Glen Pass, at 11,978'. The views from the top are the most spectacular reward for the workout. Absorb the dazzling scenery before descending into the wildly scenic Rae Lake Basin, the namesake of the famous high-country route. This evening, make camp at Rae Lakes (10,500').
Today enjoy a side hike from Rae Lakes to the remote Sixty Lake Basin, a gorgeous wonderland of alpine lakes and creeks strewn among low granite ridges. Take in the majestic views of the surrounding peaks and then return to the Rae Lakes campsite to enjoy another free afternoon to unwind and enjoy nature.
Rise early this morning to see the sunrise - a marvelous sight in these parts. After another hearty breakfast and packing up camp, continue through the lakes basin, eventually joining with Woods Creek at the "Golden Gate of the Sierra," a suspension bridge that spans the creek. Bid farewell to the John Muir Trail here, turning towards Paradise Valley (8,460'). Make camp this evening at one of the camps along the creek.
This morning, we'll pack up and make our way down the Woods Creek drainage. On our way, we'll pass Castle Domes and Castle Domes Meadow as we follow Woods Creek to one of the largest drainages of the Sierra, the mighty South Fork of the King's River. Enjoy the last night of camping, taking in the vibrant sounds of nature in Paradise Valley.
Today pack your daypack one final time, setting sights on the cold drink that awaits back in King's Canyon. This final stretch of the hike continues to astound: the river intensifies as you pass cascading falls before exiting the trailhead to meet the shuttle sometime in the early afternoon. Enjoy a packed lunch before heading back to Fresno, your final destination.
On this MT Sobek adventure, hikers will have the luxury of seeing this remote wilderness without the burden of carrying a heavy pack.
Experienced, professional guides crafted this adventure exclusively for MT Sobek. It is fully supported with pack stock to do the heavy lifting.
We first guided the John Muir Trail in 1991 and have been leading adventures in the High Sierra for 50 years.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Moderately challenging hikes through California's High Sierra, dining and camping outdoors, swimming in lakes, and time to unwind and take it all in.
A full-service hotel in Fresno to kick off the adventure and camps in pristine wilderness settings along the way.
Temperatures range from 65-75°F in the days with evenings getting down to 35-45°F. Thundershowers are a possibility however heavy storms are unlikely.
Your guides take pride in preparing delicious meals that keep your energy level high even in remote surroundings. Meals are packed with nutrition, are hearty, and will keep you satisfied.
The total mileage of the Rae Lakes Loop is approximately 50 miles in length.
The presence of mosquitos can fluctuate dramatically from year to year depending on the amount of snowfall during the winter. It's recommended to arrive prepared to encounter some mosquitos during your trip.
Cell phone connectivity will be non-existent for the majority of our trip. Connectivity will be possible before and after our time in the wilderness. Guides carry emergency satellite communication devices.
You only carry a daypack the entire way. Mules & guides will carry 15 pounds of each client's gear and you are responsible for carrying any weight over this.
We supply water filters on this trip. Although the water in the Sierra is renowned for its cleanliness, we still take precautions. You are responsible for filtering your own daily water.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"A prominent reason we have chosen MT Sobek as our favorite adventure travel company has been the excellent travel guides."
Carol & Burt D.
MT Sobek Guests
"I have traveled extensively around the world. The experience with MT Sobek was by far the best I have ever had. Thank you for such excellence."
MT Sobek Guest