18 October 2020
Upper Paradise Valley to Roads End
(10 miles, +500/-2,000 feet).
The name of this part of the Rae Lakes Loop always raises my expectations too much. “Paradise” is mostly below treeline, so not exactly what someone who loves the Sierra is looking for. Nonetheless, it *is* a pretty walk past the South Fork of the Kings with its fall colors and I do like the cascades below paradise valley that culminate in Mist Falls.
I started about an hour before daybreak so I could get back to the car in time to drive back to San Diego before dinner. As the sun came up I caught glimpses on the ridge down valley of smoke from the Moraine Fire, a small alpine affair that only has half a dozen firefighters tending it to make sure it does not get out of hand.
The walk through the woods was easy and I hopped and skipped my way down to Mist Falls where I took my only break of the morning. It was really nice because I had them all to myself for quite a while.
Then I put some tunes on my headphones and cranked out the last 4-5 miles back to the car.