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Domelands TR

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Domelands TR

Postby tseaney » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:39 pm

I've been lurking on this site for sometime so here is a brief TR of an overnight trip I did in the Domelands Wilderness in January of 2015.

Seeing how the rest of the range either had snow or was not necessarily dog friendly I chose to check out the North side of the Domelands Wilderness hoping to get some nice pictures. I found the hiking to be easy, the temperature extremely mild for January, and two days of solitude. I started from the PCT trailhead off of the Sherman Pass Rd just past Kennedy Meadows. I hiked along the PCT until the end of the canyon that the South Fork of the Kern River Flows through. At this point the view opens up and the terrain becomes easy rolling hills. All of the trails in the area appear to be impacted by the damage from the Manter Fire in 2000 so cross country hiking is almost easier than trying to follow a specific trail.

Picture of the sagebrush along the PCT South of Kennedy Meadows
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Picture of the South Fork of the Kern River from the trail on the hike in
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Following the trail that I assume was used as a road during the 2000 Manter Fire
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More views from the hike in
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I hiked about 8 miles until I found a spot with a decent vantage point and water nearby.

Here is a picture of the sunrise from my campsite. I was hoping the sunrise would light the domes up more or for there to be a few more clouds in the sky to catch the color but this about as good as it got.
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After the sun cam up I packed up camp and started to hike back to Sherman Pass Road. Instead of trying to stick to the faint trails I just aimed straight for the mouth of the S Fk Kern canyon. The terrain in the burn area makes for very easy walking and navigation aslong as you know how to read a topo.

Here is a picture of the burn area from the hike out
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One more picture of the domes on the hike out
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I really enjoyed getting into this area of the Southern Sierras. I have never been in the Domelands Wilderness before but it really is a beautiful place. It was scary how parched the vegetation was for January though. I cant even imagine how beautiful it must have been before the 2000 Manter Fire.

I'm not a snake expert but I wouldn't even consider hiking this area once the overnight low gets above 50. It looks like rattlesnake heaven. Very beautiful area though
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from poor judgment.



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Re: Domelands TR

Postby schmalz » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:48 pm

Thanks for the TR and welcome!

I am interested in this area and I don't see many trip reports from there, so many thanks.
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Re: Domelands TR

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:00 pm

Nice report. The lack of snow is amazing and sobering. Looking at the photos who would ever guess that they were taken in January? I've never been to that part of the Sierra but it looks like a nice place to visit indeed.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Domelands TR

Postby gary c. » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:11 pm

Thanks for the nice report of an area I enjoy also. The roads you saw are from the time before that area was declared a wilderness. You are right about the rattle snakes. I've seen at least one almost every trip I've take down into the canyon and heard of others that claimed to see many more.
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Re: Domelands TR

Postby dougieb » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:05 pm

I am surprised it looks so much like summer out there! Wow, and this is in January... The Domelands is a place I've explored quite a bit on maps but have yet to set foot there. It is such a neat grouping of features, I'm surprised I don't hear about it more often. Is the road to Kennedy Meadows in decent shape? Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Domelands TR

Postby tseaney » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:37 pm

This trip was on January 24 & 25 of this year. It was absolutely sobering that it was as warm and dry as it was. I've only been in the northern section of the wilderness but it appears that the only real trail that is maintained is the PCT. The other "trails" on the topo were very old and faint jeep trails that were difficult to follow at times. With the gentle terrain and the open view cross country navigation was very easy. The day time temps were probably in the mid 60s with the night time temps getting into the 30s on the ridges. All of the creeks were flowing but had a decent amount of ice along the edges.
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from poor judgment.
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Re: Domelands TR

Postby Electra » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:06 pm

I saw the largest rattler I have ever seen in this area along the Kern when I hiked the PCT in 1991. It was at least 7-8 footer and as wide as my fist. Two of us nearly stepped on it. I really enjoyed passing thru this area and it is a great transition into the High Sierra. The Siberian Outpost was memorable as well. 1991 was a BIG snow year (miracle march) so my main memories are of getting into deep snow quickly after leaving kennedy meadows, a far cry from your photos.
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Re: Domelands TR

Postby limpingcrab » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:25 pm

Thanks for sharing, I love that area! Still need to get out there with the climbing gear, I've heard great things...

Awesome pictures too, especially the first one
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