Rushing waterfalls, deep canyons, quiet forests, soaring alpine views, and lush meadows full of seasonal wildflowers…hikers of the Rae Lakes Loop in Kings Canyon National Park can have it all in one long loop trail.
This hike deserves its reputation as one of the premier hikes in Sequoia and Kings Canyon, if not in the entire Sierra.
The loop is 48 miles long, and climbs from 5035′ (1535m) at the trailhead to 11,978′ (3651m) at Glen Pass. After a two-mile level hike from Roads End, the South Fork of the Kings River trail ascends 1,600 feet to beautiful Paradise Valley. Hikers then cross the South Fork on a new bridge and climb steadily up Woods Creek. Impressive granite features loom high above on the canyon walls. At Woods Creek Crossing, the trail joins the PCT and follows it for the next 15 miles up on a steady climb to stunning Rae Lakes and over Glen Pass. The pass provides breathtaking views of the Sierra Crest. Finally, the Rae Lakes Loop descends Bubbs Creek through a series of lush meadows back to the South Fork of the Kings River and the trail head at Roads End.
Highlights: Stream, lakes, nice forest, mountain views
- Near: Kings Canyon, CA
- Distance: 46 miles round trip
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 7700 ft.
- Hike Time: 5 days
- Difficulty: 9/10
- Trail Condition: well maintained trail
- GPX File Download: >>CLICK HERE<<
- Rating: 5/5
Getting to the Trailhead:
Hwy I-5 (north) to Hwy 99 (north) to Hwy 41 (north) to Hwy 180 (east) to Roads End.
Trail Detail Map