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Tehipite Valley

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Tehipite Valley

Postby East Side Hiker » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:17 am

Realizing there is never a normal year, I still need to scheduel dates in advance for a trip to Tehipite Dome and Valley. I have two questions:

First, when is the road to the Crown Valley trailhead usually open by (ball park)?

Second, does anyone know when the best time to see the wildflower show in Tehipite Valley? I know it's low elevation and supposedly hotter than Yosemite Valley, so the flower show must be before Yosemite Valley's...



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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:18 am

You will have three logistical issues: the road opening, the high water, and where you really want to be. When you say Dome and Valley, do you mean the top of the dome and then the valley? If both that's a long, hard trip unless you are a climber with a bunch of gear, then it's a long, harder trip.

If you go in early spring (if the road opens that early) the water will be high and dangerous even in the side streams so you might not get all the way down the canyon. If you go later, the water levels drop some, and it will be hot and snakes are out in force, and the flowers are probably mostly done. If you go in from Simpson Meadow you face crossing the river as the bridge washed out eons ago. (Well, years, anyway.)

I've never heard anyone talk about flowers in Tehipite. Fishing, petroglyphs and scenery, yes.

The road to Wishon opened sooner than the one to Courtright. May-June, I think.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby East Side Hiker » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:49 am

I do understand the logistical problems. Been doing this for 48 years (guess I should have explained).

I have heard from reliable sources that the the flower show in Tehipite Valley is one of the best in the Sierra. Since we wanted to see that, we figured we would bag Tehipite Dome on the way in. We'd day hike the Dome from up the trail, then take the trail down into the Valley the next day.

So we were trying to figure out, generally, at that low elevation, when the height of the flower show was, and when the road to the trailhead would be open. I then figured I'd try to find people who could answer the questions.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby maverick » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:15 am

Hi Jdunne

Welcome to HST!
The problem as AlmostThere alluded to is that June even in a lighter snow year
would be a problem from CV, which would probably not be open anyways.
Snow in June will be an issue, unless you do not mind snow shoeing to the rim, and
then crossings become an issue once the spring run-off starts up, which can also
be dealt with if you are determined enough.
I have been to TV a couple of times, but have never considered it a wildflower
destination, and definitely never heard of it being called the best display in the
Sierra!
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby East Side Hiker » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:39 am

My "reliable source" for the wildflower info is a long-time Kings Canyon Widerness Ranger. Maybe the Ranger is wrong, but somehow I doubt it.

If what I hear is true - that Tehipite Valley is a pristine, though smaller, Yosemite Valley - wouldn't it make sense that it has a great wildflower show? Think about it. I imagine that before roads and development, Yosemite Valley had a great floral display. I mean, even with all the current development it still does.

Why wouldn't a remote, untouched, completely wilderness place like Tehipite Valley, at 4,000', have an incredible wildflower show? I mean there are incredible flower shows at 4,000' all over the Sierra even in cow-burnt places. Maybe it isn't part of the Valley's lore because of the access problem - people aren't there early enough to see it. I'm thinking and hoping for very rare species.

But I certainly am not going to snowshoe in there. Bagging the Dome and exploring the Valley, even only on the west side of the MFKs, will take us 10 days minimum with good access.

I'm just trying to figure this out, and asking for info from informed people.

It seems that the problem comes down to access at the right time for flowers. The access is difficult enough, and we certainly have to come from the west - it'll be long enough and not the elevation gains and losses from any other place. And we must have Tehipite Dome.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby balzaccom » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:51 am

Maybe, but I don't think Yosemite Valley has the best flowers in the Sierra, or even near the Park. The best flower show is that area is probably Hite Cove...and it hits its peak in March or early April.

Another great spot is the PCT to Noble Lake out of Ebbetts Pass...but that's much later in the year.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby maverick » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:15 am

Jdunne writes "It seems that the problem comes down to access at the right time
for flowers".
Yes, access is a major issue, and as you mention timing the peak for the flowers
which is like trying to time the fall colors in a remote area of the park, there are
a lot of variables.
At 4000 ft, June to early July is your window, and with a week to 10 day trip
you have to shoot for a time slot some where in the middle, if we have an average
snow year, if our snow averages are below or above average than adjust accordingly
and remember this will not guarantee results, your ranger friend may have visited
during a year of a very high snow year or a lot of spring showers which produced a
spectacular display only witness once in every 10-20 years.
I have been through areas that have produced spectacular displays, and have never
seen the same again.
There are a few TR's about TV you can find in the search feature to get some info
and photo's about the area.
If I remember correctly there is a class 3 route up TD.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby East Side Hiker » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:38 am

Yes, there is a class 3 route up Tehipite Dome. It'll be great up there.

For me, this is the problem with emails - can't always express yourself properly. I didn't mean to say Yosemite has one of the best floral displayes in the Sierra, but at 4000', flowers should be great, especially in a place that's as remote and untouched as Tehipite Valley.

It seems that the middle-to-end of June is the time to go, but the floral show will be over. In my travels, by the then, the show is over at 4,000'. C'est la vie. I'm going anyway. I love rattlesnakes.

And thank you Maverick for the Welcome in a previous note.

I am a botanist. I've been doing the Sierra for 47 years. Was a wilderness ranger for the Forest Service for 10 years. Did the John Muir Trail 7 times; two of those times went from Walker Pass to Sonora Pass. Currently am a fire fighter/ranger toward the end of his career.
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby maverick » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:59 am

When ever you decide to go please write up a TR, I would like to know whether
things turned out as planned.
By the way thanks for you service as a fire fighter, and ranger.
May I ask which NF you work in?
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby ndwoods » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:21 pm

The last week in March is about the best you can get for the wildflowers at Hites Cove if you want to look at the elevations and compare that to Tehipite Valley...yes, TR after would be great!
dee
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby maverick » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:29 pm

Hi Dee, Hites is 2000 ft at its highest point, and TV is 4100 down on the valley floor
I would think it would be difficult to gage on that bases, also since Hites is over a
100 miles north of TV it would receive more rain than TV most of the time, which
is also one of the factors that influence the kind of flower displays one can expect/hope
for.
There are just to many factors that can influence an accurate prediction.
For example do you remember when they had the wild fires in 2008 in the hwy 140 corridor
and then next spring the wild flowers where crazy, all up and down carpeting the hills.


Jdunne, I would love to get your input as a botanist, your knowledge of flowers
in the Sierra must be vast, plus being a former backcountry rangers you must
have first hand knowledge of some spectacular flower displays in the Sierra.
As a photographer, but also an admirer of wild flowers, your input on some locations
in the back country would be greatly appreciated, please pm me, if you'd rather not
share openly in the forum, that is if you are willing to disclose such information.

Thanks Mav
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Re: Tehipite Valley

Postby East Side Hiker » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:07 am

Maveric et. al. interested. This is too confusing and theres so much - not a good description, sorry.

I have 10s of thousands of photos of Sierra flowers, all in order of flowering sequence, by year. But none from Tehipite Valley yet. I have no problem sharing info. You might have to prod me for particulars.

There are so many places with great diversity, but generally I like the Alpine - the remote Alpine like Dana Plateau and the Tioga Crest; but I go all around - Mt. Dana, Mono Pass, Lundy Pass and Canyon (if you can take the people), all the high places above Horseshoe Mdw., Baxter Pass, Shepherd Pass, Bishop Pass and the alpine of the Three Lakes, the other Mono Pass, Frog Lakes Pass (Virginia Lakes), Sonora Pk., Round Top, Rose Mtn. ... Any high place.

I generally spend my time in these, and other, similar areas. What I like to do is drive the few high roads (>10,000'), and go from there. Usually I go the last 2 weeks of July and the first two weeks of Aug. Since every year is different, I get a good diversity of floral periods. This year, I changed and went from Aug 15 to Sept 15 due to the late snow. I missed the cool early stuff (like sky pilots and lewissia), but got the mid-to-late stuff. The alpine spring went quickly despite its lateness.

But I work 10 hour days so I go before and after my month for three day trips and capture all the early and late stuff relative to my month from the 2,000 to 10,000 (as weather allows in the fall) level. Do a lot of Hwy 88 stuff cuz its close and the plant diversity is very great from Pioneer to Hope Valley.

I worked in many NFs - most recently (early 80s and before) Toiyabe, Sequoia, Inyo; others Wasatch, Ashley, Fremont, Arizona in general... That was a long time ago though. Currently am in the Bay Area doing fire fighting and fuel management - 22 dern years.

I wound up in Berkeley following 4 year Toiyabe NF stint to get a MS in Fire/Plant/Wildlife Ecology. Burned-up 4,000 acres of Mt. Hamilton.
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