Fall 2012. A week spent on the Rae Lakes loop in the incredible (and underrated) backcountry of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.
6 days and 6 nights on this long, quite difficult, and incredibly beautiful trail. My friends and I probably chose one of the best times to conquer this 46-mile (74 km) loop partially overlapping the John Muir Trail, as the mosquitoes have completely gone away along with the summer crowds. The elevation fluctuated from 5000 to 12,000 feet (1500 – 3600 meters), and temperatures ranged from t-shirt daytime weather near the beginning of the hike to below freezing by the Rae Lakes at just over 10,500 ft (3200 m). I can highly recommend this route to experienced backpackers, or folks in good physical shape accompanied by friends with familiarity going longer distances and at higher altitudes. Water was pretty plentiful even in October, but one should still be prepared to have at least a full day’s worth of hydration.
Below are only a tiny collection of photographs from this great trip, but they are certainly some of the fondest memories. For this backpacking adventure, I brought along a Canon 50D paired with the 10-22mm ultrawide alongside the (almost vintage) 70-210mm, Canon’s first autofocus tele zoom, introduced May 1987(!). Solidly built, push-pull zoom (fast! but prone to zoom-creeping), accurate AF (although a bit slow), constant f/4 aperture – there was a lot to like about this lens that is as old as I am.
A very rough draft video: