Need some inspiration to get outdoors? Well if you do, maybe seeing the clear blue skies, shimmering light reflected on the lake, and a smooth trail to Weaver Lake will get you motivated. Check out Barry’s Kolsky’s overnight trip to Weaver Lake!
Last year in July a hiker headed out to Mitchell Peak to see some amazing views. Not only could you see all of the Jennie Lakes Wilderness, but you can see into the High Sierra. A 3 mile hike that can provide an uphill climb with panoramic rewards.
Have you hiked to Mitchell Peak yet? Maybe this season you will. Thanks Nick for posting the short video on YouTube!
The snow survey results are mostly in for the Kings River Basin. Unfortunately it is going to be another hard year for the wilderness. The snow pack for the Kings River sits at 41% of normal. Temperatures continue to warm in the valleys below, which means continual snow melt on the mountains above. Assuming these conditions remain the same throughout the rest of the year, you’ll need to plan accordingly for drier and hotter weather. This means perennial flows and springs will be key spots to refill on water. Earlier season will help out but as we get to mid to late season, that’s where it is likely to become exceptionally dry. Water will be down to minimal levels. Maybe, on the positive side, the insect season will be shorter? Time will tell.
Snow surveys begin in California near the end of December and last until May. Sometimes, on exceptional years, additional surveys will be done for the month of June. Well the December surveys are in for a few basins within the Sierra Nevada. The primary regions are related to the Sacramento and San Joaquin River systems. The large amount of rain/snow we received over the last several days is well needed in the persistent drought plaguing California. As of this posting, the snow pack is sitting at 45% of normal for the January 1 survey. If there are no more storms to bring snow, the state will be sitting at 17% of normal for the important April 1 survey. Examining the data shows a few peeks into where these systems are “dumping” the snow.
The snow data is updated monthly at the California Data Exchange Center. Looking at the January 1 survey, most of moisture coming down as snow was in the Sacramento region (74% to 97% of normal). The San Joaquin River system is bringing the state average down due to it’s 48% of normal for this time of year. However, keep in mind this is a preliminary survey. All the snow survey courses up and down the Sierra Nevada for many river systems will be completed in February. Let’s hope for more “wet snow” so the water content is high, which means closer to normal averages.
A group 4 people head out into the Jennie Lakes Wilderness back in August before many National Forests were shut down. Here is a summary from creator of the video Kiet.
In August 2021, four friends and I went on a 2 nights backpacking trip to Jennie Lake which is located in the Jennie Lake Wilderness. This area is right next to the northern border of Sequoia National Park. We parked our vehicles at Fox Meadow parking lot/trailhead and hiked to Jennie Lake. Round trip is 10.4 miles with elevation gain of 2063ft.Kiet Nguyen
VALLEJO, Calif., — August 30, 2021. To better provide public and firefighter safety due to the ongoing California wildfire crisis, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing a temporary closure of all National Forests in California. This closure will be in effect from Aug. 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. through September 17, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. This order does not affect the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, which is not in the Pacific Southwest Region.
“We do not take this decision lightly but this is the best choice for public safety,” said Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien. “It is especially hard with the approaching Labor Day weekend, when so many people enjoy our national forests.”
Factors that led to this decision include:
- By temporarily reducing the numbers of people on national forests, we hope to minimize the likelihood that visitors could become entrapped on National Forest System lands during emergency circumstances.
- The closure order will also decrease the potential for new fire starts at a time of extremely limited firefighting resources, and enhance firefighter and community safety by limiting exposure that occurs in public evacuation situations, especially as COVID-19 continues to impact human health and strain hospital resources.
- Due to state-wide conditions, any new fire starts have the potential for large and rapid fire growth with a high risk to life and property. The Forest Service and our partners are absolutely doing all we can to fight these fires and will continue to do so, but the conditions dictate the need for this region-wide closure order.
- Forecasts show that conditions this season are trending the same or worse as we move into late summer and fall.
- Although the potential for large fires and risk to life and property is not new, what is different is that we are facing: (a) record level fuel and fire conditions; (b) fire behavior that is beyond the norm of our experience and models such as large, quick
runs in the night; (c) significantly limited initial attack resources, suppression resources, and Incident Command Teams to combat new fire starts and new large fires; and (d) no predicted weather relief for an extended period of time into the late fall.
The following persons are exempt from this Order:
- Persons with Forest Service Permit No. FS-7700-48 (Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order), specifically exempting them from this Order.
- Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty.
- Persons with a Forest Service special use authorization for an electric transmission line, an oil or gas pipeline, communications site, or any other non-recreation special use.
- Commercial recreational special-use permit holders and their customers are not exempt from this Order. However, commercial recreational special-use permit holders, under the terms and conditions of their permit, may access their permit areas to conduct administrative functions and to protect property and related assets. Recreation residence permit holders are not exempt from this Order.
- Persons with a Forest Service non-special-use written authorization to conduct non- recreational activities, such as harvesting timber or forest products, or grazing livestock.
- Owners or lessees of land, and residents of such private landholdings, to the extent necessary to access their land.
- Persons engaged in a business, trade, or occupation are not exempt from the prohibitions listed above, but may use National Forest System roads to the extent necessary to carry out their business, trade, or occupation.
More than 6,800 wildfires have burned 1.7 million acres across all jurisdictions in California, and the National Wildfire Preparedness Level (PL) has been at PL5 since July 14, 2021, only the third time in the past 20 years that the nation has reached PL 5 by mid-July – indicating the highest level of wildland fire activity.
The Forest Service thanks our partners and the public for their cooperation and understanding of this extreme public safety and fire threat. Citizens with specific questions within their area should consult their local forest website or social media pages for more information.
The main road to access the Jennie Lakes Trailhead (Big Meadow) is open. Users can now enjoy accessing many parts of the Jennie Lakes Wilderness. Due to the drought, it is recommended you pay attention to water sources as many creeks may have lower to no flows. Plan accordingly and be safe!
From the Sequoia National Forest
Most recreation sites on the Hume Lake Ranger District in Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest will be open in time for holiday travelers. Reservations for an overnight stay are encouraged: the area is a very popular destination for travelers. To ensure a camping spot, advanced reservations can be made up to six months in advance by calling (877) 444-6777 or on the web at http://www.recreation.gov. Fire danger is high; please check for current fire restrictions, possibly banning campfires a few days before your trip.
Overnight lodging may be available at Montecito Lake Resort (800) 227-9900 and Stony Creek Lodge (877) 828-1440 in addition to lodging in the neighboring Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Wilderness trailheads for the Jennie Lakes area are open for hikers. The Deer Cove Trailhead is open to access the Monarch Wilderness; the trail past the ridge remains closed due to hazards. The Kanawyer Trail is closed until further notice due to trail conditions. Wilderness permits are not required for the Jennie Lakes or Monarch Wilderness areas managed by the Forest Service.
The following roads will remain closed due to hazards: Boulder Creek (FR-13S23) Road, Tornado Meadow (FR-13S26), Camp 7 (FR-13S05, FR-13S50), and Chimney Rock Road (FR- 14S29). Visitors are expected to “pack it in, pack it out” when visiting public lands, and overnight stays are limited to 14 nights.
The snow survey results are in for the Kings River Basin. The Jennie Lakes Wilderness primarily drains into the Kings River. Site 226, Rowell meadow, and 236, Big Meadows, are some of the closest sites to survey in or near the wilderness. Well the results are not good at all. The Kings River is at 16% of normal for this time of year! Make sure to plan accordingly if you plant to go to the wilderness this season. Be conscious of flowing streams as you pass by as they may not be flowing depending when you go. Be safe and plan accordingly this season.
The snow survey results are in. Unfortunately it is going to be a dry season when it comes to water. The Kings River Basin is at 44% of normal for this time of year. It was very much the same last season. If we don’t get anymore rain or snow going forward, expect conditions to be similar to last season if not worse. Plan accordingly!