After spotting Yosemite from majestic heights, we went to the depths of Kings Canyon (we really know now where the name comes from ;) ). For this park I obtained a permit for a 5 day hike, the famous Rae Lakes Loop. I know you can do it in less days (crazy people we met did it in one day, running), but we took our time to enjoy this amazing park.
Where most people advise to do this loop clockwise, we did it counter-clockwise. The reason why was then we could do the steep climb in two days and take three days for de descend, what we really needed so short after the killing downhilling in Yosemite.
The first day was though again. We had to bring more food - in a bigger (and heavier) bear canister (a bulky, heavy, difficult to open plastic tube), so our packs were heavier. Besides that we had to go through a lot of steep switch-backs again over 10 miles. But we did see our first bear. It was a small baby bear that was just sitting on a rock near the trail. We just made some pictures and passed by because we knew that mom couldn't be far.
Next day we started early because this was the big game day. The landscape fast turned into granite rocks instead of lush vegetation and we walked into the alpines. This was the point where our trail joined the famous John Muir Trail and parts of the Pacific Crest Trail, so we met more people that were already in the mountains for days. At three we came to the highest point of our trip. Glenn Pass. Unfortunately it was the moment when a thunderstorm started and we really needed to hurry down to be in a bit more protected area. This meant that the lion part of the trail was done.
Next three days we did the easy descending back to the trailhead. We enjoyed nature and were completely impressed by the massive rock formations that you can find in Kings Canyon NP.
If you ever go there, make sure you got your permit for this hike!