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Is This Rancheria or Crown Valley Trailhead?

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Postby SSSdave » Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:08 pm

Buck that talk of going in the snow had me wondering haha.

So you are wanting to go in there in the October to mid November period? I just looked at the CDEC full natural flow historic monthly data and it shows the lowest flows on the Kings into Pine Flat occur in October and are about 350 cfs versus 6700 cfs in June. Both the Kings and San Joaquin flows hit their minimums a month later than the more northerly rivers due to their higher snowier alpine areas.

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/repo ... 00510.html

Of course storms often start coming in during October so late September to mid October is probably your best bet. The sun is at such a low altitude even at midday later in the fall that there are likely a lot of shadows way down in that deep canyon.

...David



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Postby Buck Forester » Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:39 pm

Hey SSSdave! That's good info, I've been trying to track down cfs flows on the Kings and didn't find that site. We're going to try this over 4-days around February 20th. I'm not sure what the flows are in February, how do you query that site you just gave for October flows? I'd like to see the February flows. I would image Sept-Oct would be the best time to go for lowest flows (and good fishing!), but I would think mid-Feb would be doable, especially during a cold snap, but I am really not sure. I want it to be hardcore and epic for a possible publication submission, but I have a baby on the way so I don't wanna die! :D
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Postby SSSdave » Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:20 pm

Buck, CDEC is a huge labyrinth of terse data and hard to reach web directories of course:

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/lsreports/FNF

The few reports with SUM in the name give yearly monthly acreage flows. I would expect February is almost never a viable choice because the confluence is only about 3k elevation hence well below typical daily freezing levels and subject to rain runoff. Average show 1608 cfs or about 5 times the minimum. So late September may be the wise choice and not anytime after winter storms have started.

...David
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Postby Buck Forester » Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:35 pm

It's probably not doable, but we're gonna go scout it this weekend or next. I'll let ya know what we see down at the confluence. Thanks for the data!
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Postby Buck Forester » Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:38 am

Welp, we hiked to the confluence and up the M.F. Kings a ways, but the water was still a little too high. Here's a quick trip report from my partner-in-crime on this adventure, Jake, which he posted on the Summit Post forum.

--------------------------

Buck Forester and I did a recon trip to the confluence of the Middle Fork and South Fork of the Kings River this weekend (2/4 & 2/5). The South Fork was crossable, although resonably only in one place. I was wearing waders and the water level came to waist level and the current was moderate. Large, slippery boulders made the crossing more difficult.

We then made our way up the Middle Fork approx. 3/4 mile to the first "cliff out" section on the east side of the river. Proceeding beyond that point would have been very difficult given the water flows. We did try to scramble up and over the cliffs, but we balked at some of the exposure and it soon became apparent that we wouldn't get much extra view by continuing anyway so we turned back.

There were lots of cougar and bear tracks in the sand along the M Fork -- very cool.

Also, despite the SEKI website claiming that the winter season gate on HWY 180 is near Yucca Point, we found that they had reverted to the "old" gate closure, which as at the Hume Lake road. A staffer at the visitor center said "sometimes" the road is closed down by Yucca Point and then usually later in the season they closed it at Hume Lake. It pays to call ahead, I guess. We walked from the gate closure, which added 14+ miles RT to our planned hike. The road was entirely snow-free.

Jake
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Postby giantbrookie » Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:36 am

That is a serious adventure. I kind of shiver and such just thinking of it. Certainly forcing the rest of the canyon to Tehipite looks like an undertaking of Muir-ish proportions. I'd guess there would be abundant class 3 and better portions you'd have to deal with, too.
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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Postby Buck Forester » Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:52 pm

Hey bigbrookie, man, the rivers looked awesome for fishing! I just assumed it would be closed to fishing this time of year, but reading the posted regs at the trailhead I didn't notice any opening/closing dates, just catch-and-release and single hooks limitations. Do you know if it's open or not down there? The water was wonderfully clear, emerald in the pools, and although we didn't see any trout (the pools were deep), it looked incredible for fishing. The amount of bear and cougar tracks were amazing, along with lots of other fresh tracks in the sand.
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Postby giantbrookie » Tue Feb 07, 2006 3:17 pm

Buck Forester wrote:Hey bigbrookie, man, the rivers looked awesome for fishing! I just assumed it would be closed to fishing this time of year, but reading the posted regs at the trailhead I didn't notice any opening/closing dates, just catch-and-release and single hooks limitations. Do you know if it's open or not down there? The water was wonderfully clear, emerald in the pools, and although we didn't see any trout (the pools were deep), it looked incredible for fishing. The amount of bear and cougar tracks were amazing, along with lots of other fresh tracks in the sand.


I don't know when the season is open or closed for that part of the Kings. I sort of assumed it's far enough upstream that it is closed until the "standard" stream opener (downstream portions of some of the streams have a longer season). However, I don't know for sure not having the regs. in front of me. I believe you can download a pdf with the fishing regs. that has all the seasons plus special regs. section from the Dept. Fish and Game website. I'll bet there are vanishingly few folks that fish that reach of the river. There are probably some browns and rainbows the size of my legs in there. I like hitting remote places but one look at the topo is enough to keep me away from that part of canyon. I will try to put in some time in Tehepite either this season or next, however (by dropping in the easy way).
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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Postby krudler » Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:30 pm

Wow Buck - awesome, really awesome :eek:

Cant wait to go Tehipite.

By the way, to my original question, I guess the trailhead in the map is Crown Valley, as Rancheria is the one a bit NNE of there at the end of the road on the side of that hill.
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Postby billy the kid » Sun May 14, 2006 9:35 pm

hi all i was planning on a long backpacking trip in this area and this one looks awesome but i was getting a little confused by all the testimonials. heres my question how hard is this trip i read above someone gave buck foresters route a class 3 but how does the rancheria trail stack up mainly is there any climbing involved and is this trip possible in june or are there creek/river crossings that would be to high. i also just wanted to add i havnt really looked at to many maps of this trail because if there is climbing involved theres no point
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Postby giantbrookie » Mon May 15, 2006 9:20 pm

billy the kid wrote:hi all i was planning on a long backpacking trip in this area and this one looks awesome but i was getting a little confused by all the testimonials. heres my question how hard is this trip i read above someone gave buck foresters route a class 3 but how does the rancheria trail stack up mainly is there any climbing involved and is this trip possible in june or are there creek/river crossings that would be to high. i also just wanted to add i havnt really looked at to many maps of this trail because if there is climbing involved theres no point

No, you don't have to worry about class 3 or class 3+ unless you are trying to force the trailless canyon of the Middle Fork downstream of Tehipite Valley (this was the source of the comment about class 3). The trail going out of Rancheria is just that--a trail, so nothing remotely approaching class 3 is required to hike the trail (as is the case for any official trail).
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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Postby Buck Forester » Tue May 16, 2006 2:54 pm

Hey billy the kid, if you're looking to get to Tehipite Valley this summer via the Rancheria Trailhead, it's an easy, relatively flat walk for the first 15 miles through lovely forests and meadows. The creek crossings on a couple of the creeks in early season (early-mid June on a year like this year) might be exciting and require some planning, but with common sense they are totally doable. The drop down into Tehipite Valley, although trailed, is very overgrown with brush, quite steep for a trail, covered in pine needles and oak leaves which makes it slippery. Sometimes it's even difficult to follow the trail if you're not paying careful attention even though there's only one way to go... down. If you're doing it all in one day, after the 15 miles to the valley rim you're rather tired, and then the constant downhill pounding on the last steep three miles will make you especially thankful when you reach the valley floor! But watch your step... lotsa rattlesnakes! But you're rewarded with a beautiful and remote canyon, most likely all to yourself. Tehipite Dome is the largest piece of granite in the Sierra (so I've read), even bigger than Half Dome. Once you are in the valley in early summer, you are pretty much stuck on the west side of the river due to the high flows. You could probably swim across in some places but it's a pretty big, cold river down there. Later in the year you can wade across it no problemo. But early in the season it's a pretty exciting ford of Crown Creek in the valley, below Silver Spray Falls, but doable, especially with trekking poles. I love it there.
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