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Mammoth Pool Road dispersed camping

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Mammoth Pool Road dispersed camping

Postby SSSdave » Mon May 30, 2011 9:46 pm

Friday night drove up a few hours east to a lonely dispersed camping spot with a grand view of the San Joaquin Canyon at about 4k off the Mammoth Pool Road to overnight sleeping inside the Forester. Then Saturday with the well predicted storm bearing down with mostly cloudy skies, enjoyed roadside wildflower closeup work. In the afternoon drove up to the Mile High Curve Scenic viewpoint to size up how much snow was in the high country. Before the storm saw lots of snow in the distance east above 7k with snow roadside at 5k in the shade. Behind me on Chiquito Ridge, Shuteye Peak at 8351 feet was a snow cone. Oh most of the campgrounds were filling up in the afternoon as an army of SUV's began charging up that road by late morning. I'd gotten up at dawn and only saw about a half dozen vehicles until 10am as I raced along at 10mph. And was happy to stay low all day where wildflowers are peaking in Sierra spring greenery like this spot at 3.5k:

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Well I endured the short though intense rain Saturday night again inside the nicely dry Subu at another lower Sierra NF legal disperse camping spot, then bailed Sunday morning when it was obviously going to continue to be windy all day. But Saturday made it all worth it as I added several closeup images to my collection.

Tomcat clover against a charred log:

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Phlox and ceanothus combo:

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This hen sage grouse obliged quietly just a few feet away right beside my car:

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Not only was Miss Grouse about but lots of birds chirping everywhere and constant chipmunks scampering across the road. And of course saw dozens and dozens roadside of everyone's Sierra favorite, the incredible snow plant:

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Lots of dogwood blooming in shady ravines with the red wonders. Then down on the Bass Lake Road hunted through a great many of these rosy fairy lanterns before finding this perfect couple:

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Walked about on some sunny dry gruss slopes where pu$$y paws, harlequin lupine, and these tasty onion grew out of the sandy matrix:

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A 100% crop of Miss Spider in her pink palace:

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Well here's the full downsized image just to show how much detail my G10 delivers. Can you see her?

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Re: Mammoth Pool Road dispersed camping

Postby maverick » Mon May 30, 2011 10:32 pm

Nice flora shots Dave, and you really got that grouse to model for you quite well.
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Re: Mammoth Pool Road dispersed camping

Postby East Side Hiker » Tue May 31, 2011 8:14 am

Nice flower photos, especially of the fairie (I always have spelled that wrong) lanterns - is it a pink Calochortus albus, or? I liked the onions too.

These pictures were at what elevation? 3,500'? Or higher (like the snow plant)?
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Re: Mammoth Pool Road dispersed camping

Postby SSSdave » Tue May 31, 2011 7:38 pm

East Side Hiker wrote:Nice flower photos, especially of the fairie (I always have spelled that wrong) lanterns - is it a pink Calochortus albus, or? I liked the onions too.

These pictures were at what elevation? 3,500'? Or higher (like the snow plant)?


Rosy fairy lantern, aka purple fairy lantern, aka purple globe lily, calochortus amoenus , is one of our most beautiful flowers. A reason once I found an area where they were common that I spent quite some time Sunday morning looking for the best specimen possible. Between North Fork and Bass Lake at 3k. Best wildflowers are now between 3k and 5k but much depends on exposure. Lots of snowplant at 4k to 5k. Sunny south facing grasslands at 3k are already a dry brown. Calochotus is a large family. Also shot these two this weekend though neither are aesthetic enough for my closeup gallery. First is rather inconspicuous Sierra mariposa, calochortus minimus:

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And your white globe lily, calchortus albus:

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Re: Mammoth Pool Road dispersed camping

Postby East Side Hiker » Tue May 31, 2011 8:16 pm

Wonderful photos of Calochortus. Calochortus is one of my favorite genuses. I have 100's in cultivation in my garden. I'd love to get a few seeds of the Calochortus amoenus, which I don't have, and grow them. I just spent the weekend looking at Calochortus pulchellus, C. venustus, C. argillosus, and C. albus (Las Trampus variation). Mt. Diabo has 5 spp of Calochortus, but not C. albus...
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Re: Mammoth Pool Road dispersed camping

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:33 pm

Really great pictures. I really love that road. Early season I have snowshoed to Rock Creek CG (one of the best of the area with some outstanding Native American mortar holes). That road through the foothills early season can be spectacular, as was pointed out here. 6 Mile Curve is one of my favorite lookouts.
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A poor picture from 6 Mile viewpoint. Somebody must have a better picture.
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I bet if the Mammoth Pool overflow does not look like this, it soon will be! Which will make it one of the most impressive cascades in the Sierra. The best manmade one anyway.
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Re: Mammoth Pool Road dispersed camping

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:58 pm

DoyleWDonehoo wrote:Really great pictures. I really love that road. Early season I have snowshoed to Rock Creek CG (one of the best of the area with some outstanding Native American mortar holes). That road through the foothills early season can be spectacular, as was pointed out here. 6 Mile Curve is one of my favorite lookouts.


There is alot up that road from North Fork and generally in that whole zone that is relatively out of the public's awareness. If that feisty storm hadn't occurred Saturday night, I was going to try and camp up atop the rib just above Mile High Curve. The topo shows a short jeep road spur leaving the paved road a bit before the curve going east that I thought might have a great view for dispersed camping. But forgot to check out the road edge on my way back west through that section so still don't know what is actually there.
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Re: Mammoth Pool Road dispersed camping

Postby East Side Hiker » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:22 pm

Off Hwy 88, is Panther Spring Rd. (~5,000'). Park there and wander around, both sides of Panther Spr. Rd. There are many different Calochortus species and hybreds, Fritillarias, Pretty faces, onions, Zigadenus, etc. Its probably just free of snow right now.
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