Hiking with Holly

Rae Lakes Loop: Day 3

Sept 30

Mileage: 8


Woke up to some condensation on the tent, but not a bad way to start our day.  We got on our way and starting climbing again.  What a surprise!


As we hike and continue past our turn-around point from yesterday, we are very grateful for our decision to go back.  There is nothing as far as campsites go for a very long time. Our goal is to get to Rae Lakes today.  That will set us up for the best possible position to climb over Glen Pass tomorrow.



We finally come across the sign I was not looking forward to.  It was the 10,000’ sign.  This means no campfire tonight.  We will be high, clear, and cold!


Our first lake of the trip makes its appearance to us.  It’s Arrowhead Lake.  I now know 3 lakes named Arrowhead. I wonder how many other ones there are in the world? Such random thoughts I have while hiking.

Arrowhead Lake

We make our way past it and head to Dollar Lake.  It’s time for a lunch break and to rest our feet.

Dollar Lake
Eating lunch and relaxing at Dollar Lake

I have to say, I am feeling quite well though.  The Diamox is working like magic.  The only thing is, it has a weird side effect that can be quite disturbing at first.  Right after taking it, it makes your face/hands get all tingly and go numb for like 30 min.  It fades away after that, but when you do not know that is a side effect and you are out in the wilderness, it can be panic inducing!

Fin dome

The next stop on our trail will be Rae Lakes.  I am excited to see these lakes that make up 1 big lake, because many people say this is their favorite area on the John Muir Trail.


As we make our way towards the lakes Gannon shouts behind me, “Bear!”  I stop and look right where he is pointing.  I see a little behind followed by another whole cub!  Oh man…where is the mama?  Is she in the lead or following from behind?  If behind is the case, I need to look left immediately!  I look left and to my relief, she was in the lead.  How fun to see them!  They are more common here, as there are more people here.


The lakes are beautiful and it is getting later in the afternoon.  We are looking for a good campsite. This is always the worst part of the day for us.  We hate looking for campsites.  We hike all the way to the other end of the lakes to get the furthest we can before we need to start climbing.  We find a site, but it is right next to some others.  We drop our stuff and Gannon goes to find a private site.  He comes back within 10 min.  We move to the new private site and go about our routine.  Green tea, unpack, set-up tent, filter water, and get dinner going.

This is a good site, but this whole area is not a good place for going to the bathroom.  Trying to find a place where no one is going to see you doing your business is hard to come by here.  It is hard to be stealth, but we do our best. Lots of people here tonight!


There is a very loud group closer to where we saw the bears.  They are laughing and having a grand ‘ol time till 10:00 pm.  We name them “the party group”.  I have no idea how they even have any energy to laugh that hard and loud!  We all need our rest.  There is a big mountain pass to climb tomorrow.

Sunset on Painted Lady
Watching our show in the tent

The stars are out again in all their glory.  I never tire of looking at them.  They are soo close and vibrant it feels like you could reach out and touch them.  Only one more night left and I can’t start to feel sad about it.  I have to save all my energy for tomorrow.

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