12 August 2022
Sixty Lakes Basin outlet to Bubbs Creek
(11 miles, +3,200/-2,700 feet).
Today was my favorite day yet!
The weather was perfect.
Half Cookie finally got to see Rae Lakes again.
And UltraShuffle was ear-to-ear smiles going over Glen Pass.
We woke up in our picture-perfect campsite, had a leisurely breakfast, and then made our way across the stream.
The lakes of Rae Lakes valley did not disappoint.
A strange foam caked whirled at our next stream crossing.
At Upper Rae Lake we had lunch and a swim.
Refreshed, we finished rounding Upper Rae Lake and started our ascent to Glen Pass.
We lingered a good long time at the pass before heading down.
Below the first lake, we passed a big group of people surrounding an injured person. They had apparently called for search and rescue for a broken ankle. Ouch!
Shortly after that, we passed “Coyote Bowl,” a tarn where Half Cookie and I camped on our first trip to Rae Lakes. It was nearly empty.
Soon we were back down to tree line as the trail turned above Charlotte Lake.
We heard a chopper coming. Presumably it was for the injured hiker we just passed.
Weirdly, the chopper did not go straight to the injured hiker. Instead it went back and forth between Kearsarge Lakes and Charlotte Lake. Several times, in fact. We almost wondered if it was searching for a different person, since the hikers who had called were using a Garmin, which surely must have sent GPS coordinates. But eventually, the chopper turned towards Glen Pass and disappeared. Hopefully they connected!
Meanwhile, we pressed on. At every trail intersection, the local ranger had posted dire warnings about hungry bears.
The solution? Chase them!
Anyhoo, we continued across the sandy flat between Charlotte and Bullfrog lakes
We started our descent to Bubbs Creek with a visit to a campsite Half Cookie and I used on our first Rae Lakes trip. The views of Vidette from there are tremendous.
But truthfully, the best views of Vidette were yet to come.
When we reached Bubbs Creek we faced another long late afternoon climb to set up for Forester Pass tomorrow. We chatted for a while with a pair of hikers who were finishing up the Kings Canyon High Basin Route before moving on.
I was a little grumpy this afternoon. Our preferred campsite was full of people, and the next alternative was hot, sunny, and full of horse poop. But once we got camp set up, the air cooled, my mood improved, and we enjoyed dinner around a fire ring we were not allowed to use because of the drought.
And our neighbors came over with some questions about the area that I was able to help with. They were very nice.
Tomorrow is Forester Pass. I can’t wait! It will be the first time I have hiked it without snow.