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Tehipite Valley

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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby maverick » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:52 am

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


Best water show in the Sierra during peak run-off, in an average to above average snow year.
Encountered black flies in July, but none in August, same for rattlers. Black flies were also busy on the Copper Creek Trail in July when doing
Simpson from RE in another year.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby Hobbes » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:24 pm

All right, now I'm officially stoked. One, because I wasn't sure about the trail conditions from Simpson (if coming in from S Lake) to TV, and secondly, because TV would make for an awesome 2016 meet-up.

Mav, if you go ahead and announce the 2016 location, then I won't have to think about TV this year. LOL
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby DavePloessel » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:35 pm

jenreyn wrote: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.


that looks awesome!

TV is one of the two possible "long" trips my wife and I have planned for this summer.. i think those pics will help sway the case that way
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby Mike M. » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:17 pm

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


That's what I would do, and what I did in 1977, during a similar spell of drought years. Back then there was a sturdy bridge across Palisade Creek at the JMT/Simpson Meadow junction. That bridge is gone now; you have to ford the creek at a wide spot below the old bridge. That spot is well marked. Also, back in the day, there was a log-bridge crossing at Simpson Meadow, but it was badly beaten up then and no longer exists, to the best of my knowledge. Bottom line: a June hike down there this year from the JMT will involve two high-water crossings. I'd probably opt for early August.

The section of trail from the Simpson Meadow/JMT junction to where it intersects Cartridge Creek is absolutely beautiful and is highly recommended. At Simpson Meadow, once across the river, the trail down to Tehipite (at least back in 1977) was in OK shape and easy to follow. It is a hot hike, so be sure to do it early in the day. I saw a few rattlesnakes and some exotic flowering succulents. Open views are hard to find in Tehipite Valley. It has a mixed forest floor, which blocks good views. Bugs were bad down there; I found sanctuary by walking into the middle of the river, to a little rock/sand bar, which was surprisingly free of insects. Great views of the dramatic canyons on the south side of the valley can be had by walking upslope on the north side. I only stayed one night and found the place a little inhospitable because of the insects, the lack of open vistas, and the heat. It is worth a visit for sure. My brother loves this place and has spent weeks there; it is one of his favorites. Go figure.

Mike
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby Jimr » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:32 pm

What?!
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby jenreyn » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:34 pm

Funny you say no insects in the river or sand bar....that is exactly where we camped. On a sand bar since it was devoid of flies and such :)
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby Jimr » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:37 pm

The thumbshots.com icon brings you to the next installment of the saga.
What?!
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:05 pm

Wow! What a story. I am glad it all turned out OK.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:22 pm

Make sure you have a head net. The little gnat flies that I simply call face flies are horrendous down there. Once you enter the oak forests it's all over.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby jmherrell » Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:11 am

Not a lot to add but everyone's trip is different. I entered from the Rancheria trailhead in June 82, a high water year. The switchbacks are steep of course but a bigger problem was the numerous big steps. It's annoying both up and down. From some of the very difficult descents I've heard of I'm guessing that a big problem is walking off the end of a switchback probably enabled by game trails. The poison oak started at about 5000'.

Crown Creek was impassable of course at least for mortals. We spent two days in the valley and explored. A trip to Little Tehipite Valley was not worth it. A hike to the base of Silver Spray Falls turned into a bloody dead manzanita bushwhack, almost worth it.

One bear I think several times, no problems. 2 rattle snakes, no problems. No memorable bug problems, bug problems are always memorable even after many years.

I'm glad I did it once but will probably not return.

Jim
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby jmherrell » Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:03 pm

For the curious who don't care about the "I did Tehipite Valley" T-shirt, there are a couple of overlooks with excellent views. At the top of the switchbacks there are excellent views down. From point 7,230 there are excellent views of the dome from a mile away. Leave the trail near Hay Meadow and head northeast a half mile.

Jim
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby limpingcrab » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:10 pm

OK, I haven't been in Tehipite proper but I've been to the top of Tehipite Dome, up to Little Tehipite Valley, into the Gorge of Despair and down a ways from Simpson Meadow so I am familiar with the approaches. Don't write off the Wishon approach too soon. If you go up to Spanish Mountain and then down to Geraldine Lakes the are amazing views and it's a beautiful little basin with few people. You'll need those trail-finding skills you mentioned.

At the same time, the Middle Fork of the Kings is Beautiful all the way down but if you can work out a shuttle it would be nice to avoid walking all the way down and all the way back up it. I came from South Lake in August of 2011 and was the first person to do those creek crossing and didn't have any problems (although I'm very comfortable with river crossings). No fly problems. They actually sent a trail crew person all the way to Simpson Meadow with instructions to count downed trees and look for our bodies in the river :)

Going up from Road's End and down "The ****" and back out would probably be more work than necessary since it's beautiful but not significantly more so than the other routes.

20131012_020.jpg

Upper Geraldine Lake, the Obelisk and the Middle Fork drainage from Spanish Mountain.
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