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Tephite Valley trip

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Tephite Valley trip

Postby richlong8 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:02 am

I am planning a trip to Tephite the last week of weekend of September for 6 days. I have never been there, so any prior visitors might be able to help me out, since there is so little info out there. This is definitely a fishing trip, not just a backpack to a remote area.

Two of us will sleep at the trailhead Friday night, so we can get a sunrise start. My plan is to go all the way to Tephite in one day. Then layover for 3 days exploring and fishing the Middle Fork. Then take 2 days to get back to the trailhead on days 5 and 6. We have done similar treks when neccessary in one day, and I know it would be brutal, but doable for us.

My logic is this: Spanish Lake, Geraldine Lake, look small and shallow, and off the most direct route to the valley. We might be willing to change the plan and take 2 days to get in, if the fishing is better than what it looks at those lakes, or in Crown Valley.

My questions are this:
1. Without giving away fishing "secrets", any info or opinions on Geraldine or Spanish lakes, or Crown Creek camping or fishing would be appreciated.
2. Is it good for camping as soon as you hit the Kings river valley floor, or do you have to go significantly up or downstream?
3. It looks like the trail veers north as soon as you hit the valley floor to ford Crown Creek. Is the river accessibility better upstream than when you first reach valley floor?
4. Does the river really pool up between the 2 waterfalls(Blue and Silver Spray), like the topo map shows?
5. The little info I have seen on Little Tephite Valley says the route into the valley, and the valley are snake infested. Comments? sounds like a good place to fish to me! We will have snake chaps and water shoes.

any comments or input are appreciated- even if its partial info, it will help us

richard



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Re: Tephite Valley trip

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:12 am

Hi Richard

Check out this previous thread.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5324
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Re: Tephite Valley trip

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:17 am

richlong8 wrote:My plan is to go all the way to Tephite in one day.

You know better than any of us what you're capable of, but...I would not, repeat not, repeat not recommend this. It isn't just 18 miles; it's 18 miles, the last three miles of which are a punishing 3,700' plunge down switchbacks so steep you wonder why they bothered with switchbacks at all, with loose ankle-busting type rock along the last thousand feet or so of the descent. Also: poison oak to watch out for. It's not a good stretch to do when you've already done a full day's hike and then some.

That said, I'm not trying to scare you off Tehipite altogether--it's an amazing place, well worth the trouble it takes to get there. I just would be very wary of trying to do it in a day; YMMV.

Edit: and as Maverick says, lots of good information in that thread, and in various other threads over the years (just search for "tehipite").
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Re: Tephite Valley trip

Postby richlong8 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:06 pm

Maverick, I had checked out that previous thread, and done a search, but very little is coming up, mostly my own posts. Tephite Tom, you have convinced me! Perhaps that Rodgers Creek area is fishable, sounds like a logical place to camp. We should still get down to the valley at a decent time on day 2.
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Re: Tephite Valley trip

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:24 pm

Getting to LTV you also have a lot of poison oak to contend with, I mean a jungle
of it.
An old TR from another site mentions an old sheep herds camp used to be there
a long time ago.
Like TT mentions, it is a long way down, and not the best for those with aging
knees, though hiking poles do help a lot.
Also make sure you get an early start back out!
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Re: Tephite Valley trip

Postby richlong8 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:12 pm

Thanks for the poison oak tip, I always bring long pants and long sleeve shirt when river fishing. But that does not sound like fun. Bound to be ticks as well at that elevation....better be careful, I will talk myself out of it, and head back to Puppet Lake instead!
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Re: Tephite Valley trip

Postby lambertiana » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:16 pm

I agree with TT, going all the way to Tehipite in one day should be reserved for the cruel and unusual punishment category.

A lot of the Crown Valley area is privately owned, and there are prominent signs stating that camping is not allowed. Once you leave Crown Valley, the trail does not go near Crown Creek. Rodgers Creek could possibly be fishable, but where the trail crosses it, it is not very large.

Good luck on the trip. I have seen pictures of fish caught in Tehipite, and it looks like a fisherman's paradise. Beautiful browns and rainbows. I don't recall an unusual amount of pools there, it seemed typical for a stream of that size in a canyon like that.

The trail dumps you right on the edge of the water when you reach the bottom, but then cuts away from the river for a ways. Then you get to a large flat area where you cross Crown Creek, and there is good river access all through that section. If you have several days to explore, you can try fishing up Crown Creek toward Silver Spray falls, or go up the river as far as you want, there is regualar water access with a good combination of rapids and pools all the way up to Simpson Meadow and beyond. In fact, if you had the time and inclination, I would be curious if there is good fishing in Devil's Washbowl above Simpson, it would be a great setting for fishing.

The first picture gives a bird-eye view of the valley, you can see some of the river. The second picture was taken where the trail first gets to the bottom. You go through the trees on the left to get to the large flat main valley. The other two pictures are random shots along the river within about a mile upstream of the main valley. You should see more water, these pictures were taken in August 2007, when the snowpack was about one third what it was this year.
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Re: Tephite Valley trip

Postby rlown » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:21 pm

richlong8 wrote:Thanks for the poison oak tip, I always bring long pants and long sleeve shirt when river fishing. But that does not sound like fun. Bound to be ticks as well at that elevation....better be careful, I will talk myself out of it, and head back to Puppet Lake instead!


Go to Tehipite, Rich. Won't be any fish left at Puppet after 9/16.. :p just kidding. We might leave you a couple.

C&R -1 smallie per night/per person.
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Re: Tephite Valley trip

Postby richlong8 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:34 pm

I first read about Tephite Valley in detail from Phil Arnot's book, "The High Sierra".(great book)
And I have been determined to see it for myself for quite some time. Lambertiana, thanks for your very helpful post. Now, it makes more sense to me why the trail veers over to Crown Creek.Great pics! I may just settle for fishing my way upstream, and leave Little Tephite for another trip, or never!
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Re: Tephite Valley trip

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:01 pm

maverick wrote:Getting to LTV you also have a lot of poison oak to contend with, I mean a jungle
of it.

That's what made me turn back from LTV when I was there in 1991. There was a stretch where the trail was on the side of a cliff straight down to the river and there was tons of poison oak on the uphill side and the margin between misery and certain death was a matter of maybe 10". I turned back; call me a coward, but I'm a live coward, and I don't itch. ;)
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Re: Tephite Valley trip

Postby richlong8 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:14 pm

I can't imagine the trail being in any better shape 20 years later. I don't think this area gets a whole lot of visitors. I am already looking forward to hearing the "quiet" in Tephite Valley, as I sit in my office in beautiful, scenic Bakersfield, California, 110 degrees outside, with air so thick you can cut it with a knife.
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Re: Tephite Valley trip

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:42 pm

Rich, stick with TV, it really is a step back in time, and all the solitude you can ask for!
The falls will not be at there peak, but still very nice, and I to have read Phil's description
of TV, and he is right on.
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