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Tehipite Valley

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Tehipite Valley

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:52 pm

Since everyone is asking about trips for the summer, I guess I could also ask for some advise. Tehipite Valley has been on my "must see" list for years. I though this year would be a good bet because I am poor at stream crossings, and the Middle Fork at Simpson Meadow may be reasonable to cross this summer. Three ways to get there - from South Lake, from Roads End, or from Wishon/Rancheria. I am leaning towards South Lake. But both South Lake and Roads End require the bushwhack down the canyon. I am pretty good at route finding through brush but is it worth it? How much of the original trail remains? The long haul through penned-in forest from Wishon does not appeal to me but it still may be the best in spite of not being very scenic or am I wrong - is it scenic? (does not look so from the map). From Roads end you get hit with huge elevation gains both in and out. I have been up Copper Creek twice and it really is not that bad, but coming up out of Simpson Meadow looks to be less appealing. Also, what would be the best time? I pretty much expect Tehipite to be hot no matter when I go. For me, it is about the same hours driving to get any of the three trailheads. I would also like to keep days on the trial 10 days of under. I particularly would like to hear from those of you who have actually been to Tehipite Valley.



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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby jenreyn » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:22 pm

I did a loop from Lamarck Col to Martha Lake, over the pass to Lake 10232, over Blue Canyon Pass down to Tehipite and out South Lake. We did that in 6-7 days but it was rushed at times. I honestly wished I had more time to explore in the valley itself and fish the river. There are some great swimming holes between Tehipite and Simpson Meadow along with great looking trout. I have wanted to go back to just fish that section. Beautiful water.....amazing trees; They were really impressive. Huge old growth, cedars and oaks. My partner is an arborist and he was in awe at the size of some of the trees. The trail is there, however you have to look very closely at times. It is overgrown in places, but I heard two years ago the Park had a trail crew go through and cut back some of the foliage. I heard they rebuilt the cabin at Simpson Meadow and rerouted the trail through the meadow. That was the crux for us in regards to following the trail as it disappeared near where the bridge used to exist. I would recommend fall as the time to go. We were there in mid September and it was still hot, approaching low 90's. There is sufficient canopy to keep you cool enough. But if I had a choice to go back I'd try early October. There may even be some fall color in the oaks by that time. The only thing I'd really caution you on are the black flies! They were horrendous. I brought a bug net because I was warned about them. However, because the trail is hard to follow at times( looking for padded duff), the mesh in front of my eyes made it hard enough to decipher the way trail went. So without the bug net we booked it until we were a few miles before Simpson Meadow. We didn't see any snakes, although I know the place has the reputation for them. Nor did we encounter poison oak once in the valley proper. We passed some on the switchbacks down into the valley. All in all its a wonderfully wild place in the Sierras. I think of it as one of those places that is somewhat unspoiled due to the nature of not many people going there. Also, as stated above, the fishing below Simpson looked terrific. I didn't catch many in Tehipite Valley proper though. Heres a few pics from my trip about four years ago.
Attachments
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Fishing Tehipite Valley proper
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Big trees
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Another stretch
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Fishing hole, pretty waters
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More example of trail
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Example of trail
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:33 pm

Have been to TV twice from WR, once via Copper to Simpson, and once via Goddard.

Like the Tuolumne River timing the run-off is very important (LeConte/Waterwheel), not only because
of the river crossings, but also getting the right water volumes in the falls near there prime or close to it,
but this of course flirts with the dangerous crossings of the Kings.

Would either go in late June or early July this year to catch a decent flow in Blue Canyon Falls, Silver
Spray Falls, and several other un-named ones on the southern side of the Valley, which to me are the
highlights as a photographer (besides the Kings River and the T Dome), or wait till September/October and
enter via Little Tehipite Valley, which is a route I am considering if another trip falls thru, also timing
the trip around a full moon would be important.

The trail down from WR to TV is quite rugged, and steep in sections, it needs an early descent
and ascent to avoid the heat and sun exposure. The ascent from Simpson with an early start
is long but fine, and I assume you will be staying at either Horseshoe, State, or Granite Lakes
for a night before an early descent of CT, which makes the trip a little more comfortable, and to me
more scenic (side trip to upper Volcanic Lakes is well worth the extra time and effort).

This drought year is really having me think about visiting TV, but it is also a one of the front runners
for next years HST Meet-up.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby fourputt » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:53 pm

Biggest dome in the Sierra rising above your campsite makes it entirely scenic.

Prettiest part of the Middle Fork Trail is between Blue Canyon Falls and Crown Creek which no doubt has been has been crossable all this year.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fourputt/ ... 577891678/
Last edited by fourputt on Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:08 pm

Yeap, GOD (Gorge of Despair) is fabulous. Would love to have been with the team in wet suits that supposedly
repelled down it, that must have been a riot, if true.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby jenreyn » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:13 pm

I really want to go to GOD. Just to peer down and across the valley......and there is supposed to be some nice rock in there. Just hard finding those willing to make that trek in there.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:16 pm

I plan on revisiting the Monarch Divide in June, specifically spending time along the edge of Tehipite Valley, in
pre-scouted points to do some photography, GOD is one of the main areas on my list.

PS Anything with those initials it has got to be out of this world (pun intended)!
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:24 pm

I think the long haul, followed by the switchbacks buried under pine needles and leaves, is the least appealing option - but perhaps I am biased because of the incidents that have occurred on that route.

Thinking of tehipite makes me remember this trip report: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5480

And these guys: http://blog.aire.com/2013/06/middle-for ... river.html
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:25 am

Thanks for the information. The photos are great and I am glad to hear that some of the old trail is at least faintly visible. Are the black flies seasonal or a all-season thing? Are they really black flies? I have run into little black swarming things along the shores of Lake Tulainyo- the same bug? I suspect that part of the bug problem is stagnant air deep within the canyon. A stiff breeze would help. As for rattlesnakes, I lived in rattlesnake country for 25 years so know how to deal with those.

I have decided to go in from South Lake- take the trails all the way to Simpson Meadow, 2-3 days or so going down and back to Tehipite and unless running out of time, return up Palisade Creek to Palisade Lake and follow the High Route back to Dusy Basin. If I choose to spend another day in Tehipite Valley, then I could just walk back out the trail. Nine day trip. I have never been in the Middle Fork canyon below the JMT so I really want to see this too. Google Earth shows that the bridge at the JMT-Simpson Meadow trail junction is washed out. Is it still gone or has it been rebuilt?

AT - I agree with you. Although I have not done it the route in from Wishon just does not look appealing. Too woodsy for my taste and the steep descent on the trial would be horrible on my old knees. Maybe if the CCC ever works on that trail and cleans it up I would reconsider. The route from Roads End involves about 4000 feet more elevation gain after I consider a day-hike up to Devils Washbowl from Simpson Meadow.

Now I just have to figure out when to go. If I return via the High Route between Palisade Lake and Dusy Basin I also have to consider the snow and mosquitoes up at those elevations. I am going to be in Wyoming the last half of September to second week in October so that time frame is out. I would also avoid peak runoff, but am not sure about when that would be this year. It would also be really cool to go when there is a full moon. I did the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne in a full moon and it was fantastic.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby Jimr » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:52 am

good call skipping WR down to TV. Not only is the trail down steep and slippery, but once you leave Crown Meadow, there is a lot of tree fall to climb over. When I was there, we had no black fly issues at all. Even though it was very hot during the day, next to the river was much cooler.
What?!
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:24 am

OK Jim- when were you there? What dates what year. That would give me an idea of when flies may be less bothersome.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby dapperdave » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:29 am

WD,

The Wife and I visited TV in the last week of October 2014 from Roads End (in via Copper Creek out via MF Kings, JMT, Woods Creek.) The trail from Simpson Meadow to TV. was faint, but not a bushwhack by any means.

We encountered "Black Flies", they were like a small black beetle which didn't bite, but liked to swarm your face and get in your eyes.

IMO the section of the MF Kings from around a mile below Devil's Bathtub to the JMT is wonderfully scenic.

The bridge near the JMT had not been rebuilt.

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