FKT: Leor Pantilat - Rae Lakes Loop (CA) - 2010-09-28

Route variation
from Roads End
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
7h 29m 50s

Leor's report is here:

According to the park service, the Rae Lakes Loop is one of the most popular backpacks in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, if not the entire Sierra. The loop is ~42 miles long and climbs from 5,035 ft at the trailhead to 11,978 ft at Glen Pass. The portion between Vidette Meadows and Woods Creek Crossing is along the John Muir Trail and passes through the Rae Lakes area, a chain of large alpine lakes over 10,500 feet with views of rugged Sierra peaks. The trailhead is at Road’s End in magnificent Kings Canyon and travels along Bubbs Creek and Woods Creek, including Vidette Meadows, Castle Domes, and Paradise Valley. I completed the loop in 7:29:50. This is the fastest known time, with the prior FKT of 8:56 held by Dana Taylor. After completing the Rae Lakes Loop in challenging late-season conditions last October, I wanted to come back and run the loop for speed. Conditions this time were idyllic with the trails in great shape and warm temperatures. I got into a nice rhythm heading up Bubbs Creek toward Vidette Meadows and knew it would be a good day when I reached the high point at Glen Pass (just under 12,000 ft) in 3.5 hours. Fortunately, smoke impacts from the Sheep Fire were non-existant with beautiful clear skies. While I took less photography than last time, I couldn’t resist snapping a few pics as I passed Glen Pass and the lovely Rae Lakes. The park service describes the loop as 46 miles but other reports and my experience place the mileage closer to 42 miles. More photos here.

Location Time Elapsed Split Real Time
Road’s End (5,035 ft) 0 0 5:40
Sphinx Junction (6,240 ft) 41:49 41:49 6:22
Junction Meadow (8,136 ft) 1:49:02 1:07:12 7:29
Vidette Meadow (9,514 ft) 2:22:16 33:14 8:02
Glen Pass (11,978 ft) 3:30:10 1:07:54 9:10
Woods Creek Crossing (8,492 ft) 5:10:41 1:40:31 10:51
Road’s End (5,035 ft) 7:29:50 2:19:09 13:10