The Sherman Pass Road and Cherry Hill Roads are open! Enjoy the 2021 access to the Domeland Wilderness! With the drought conditions, plan accordingly as many of the creeks may not be flowing this year.
Although many of the sites were not surveyed this month, what little is there shows bad news for the Kern River Basin. As of the May 1 survey date, the Kern River is at 0%. If we look at the US Forest Service snow monitor for California, which does use snow survey data and remote sensing by NOAA, you can see there really is not large masses of snow in the Kern River Basin. It is a dry year and reports of Giant Sequoias still smoldering from the SQF Complex in 2020 shows how dry it really is out there. Plan accordingly this summer and be water wise!
Results are mostly in for the Kern River Basin. Unfortunately they are not good. Most of the snow surveys have reported in giving a 44% of normal for this time of year. Many are hoping for a “Miracle March” and with a storm potentially coming up this weekend and into next week, maybe it will be a start to achieving that Miracle March. Time will tell.
The first snow survey results are in for February 1. Unfortunately it does not look good right now for the wilderness. Snow survey results discovered the area to be at 39% of normal. However, February and March are typically the “wettest” months in California for this area. March 1 and April 1 surveys will be important to seeing what kind of summer the wilderness will be experiencing.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you made the best of 2020 as much as you possibly could. The 2021 “hiking season” will soon be upon us. As such with a new year comes many new things in various parts of our lives. In respect to the website, there is a new way to communicate using Tapatalk’s forums. I have created a group there called Southern Sierra Wilderness.
The forums will be a new way for the community here to engage. By default the forums are closed to public viewing, meaning you need to join. Membership is completely free and there are several options for you to choose from in order to gain access. I believe it will also be a way for users to better share their adventures and photos of their trips, ask for advice, and general communications about the wilderness. I hope you find it helpful and I look forward to interacting with everyone.
Ready to get started? Simply click the link below to join in! Hope to chat with you soon.
Forums -> Southern Sierra Wilderness via Tapatalk.
Zachary headed out into the Domeland Wilderness for a bit. Here is what he had to report on the trail conditions.
Trail from Big meadow to Manter meadows does not seem to be maintained but is easily followable due to semi consistent use. Once, at Manter meadow, the trail towards church dome is very overgrown and hard to proceed. Although the manter creek trail to little manter meadow is not on many maps, it sees semi consistent traffic and therefore, the trail is followable. The manter creek trail is followable until the descent into Rockhouse meadow where the trail ultimately disappears and it becomes a bushwhack until you reach the meadow. Same goes for the rockhouse meadow to domeland trail. No trail here and sparse blazes to follow. No trail until under Bart Dome. From Bart Dome to Manter meadows there is again a followable trail that sees semi consistent use.
Just a quick note that a user was able to safely drive from Kernville over Sherman Pass and down the 9 mile road.
Here is a trip report from this past weekend from a group who trekked to Manter Meadow. There is also a road condition update. Enjoy!
We just had a great weekend visiting Manter Meadow. I took a small group of people along 34E37 from Big Meadow along the south side of the meadow to the outlet of Manter Meadow.
There were plenty of campsites and enough trees for hammocking. Manter creek was quite full of water and minimal bugs due to the temperatures.
We did encounter a large snake (I could not identify it) soaking up the sun in the meadow. So do be careful out there!
This was our first time visiting Domeland Wilderness and I was blown away. Plenty of rocks to scramble and perfect weather.
As for access, we took Highway 99 from Kernville, then to Sherman Pass road, and taking Cherry Hill road following signs for Big Meadow. Good road condition, high clearance recommended.
The Sequoia National Forest just released information restriction fire use. Here is what the restrictions entail.
PORTERVILLE, Calif, May 8, 2020 – The Sequoia National Forest will enact fire restrictions prohibiting campfires, stove fires, welding, or smoking on all public lands managed by the Forest below 5,000 ft. The restrictions starting Saturday, May 9, are due to a heavy grass fuel load, drying conditions, and established high wildland fire danger.
The Forest is continuing to experience tree mortality, affecting approximately 600,000 acres of forest land. “These conditions coupled with late winter precipitation have resulted in a heavy grass fuel load,” said Forest Supervisor, Teresa Benson. “The restrictions are deemed necessary to protect public safety and prevent human-caused wildfires.”
Effective May 9, and until further notice, the following restrictions are in effect below 5,000 ft:
- No Campfires or Stove Fires. As a reminder, all developed campgrounds are closed under the Regional Order.
- Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit are not exempt from the prohibitions but are allowed to use portable stoves and lanterns with shut-off valves using pressurized gas, liquid fuel, or propane.
- No Smoking is permitted, except within an enclosed vehicle.
- Operating an internal combustion engine off of properly designated roads or trails and welding are all strictly prohibited during the fire restriction period.
- Fireworks, exploding targets, tracer rounds, and other incendiary ammunition or devices are not allowed in the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument at any time. This includes sparklers or safe and sane fireworks.
Human-caused fires can be prevented. One less spark can mean one less wildfire. Do your part to prevent wildfires. To learn more, visit www.preventwildfireca.org/one-less-spark-one-less-wildfire.
Know Before You Go! For additional information regarding fire restrictions, please contact your local Ranger Station Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm or email SM.FS.SequoiaNF@usda.gov for current information.
- Kern River Ranger District 760-549-9533
- Western Divide Ranger District 559-920-0460
- Hume Lake Ranger District 559-791-5758
- Supervisor’s Office 559-920-1588
The road accessing the western portion of the Domeland Wilderness commonly known as the “Cherry Hill” road is open. Users can access the Big Meadow area. Before taking a trip, please make sure to call the Kern River Ranger District Office for the latest road conditions or temporary closures. Have a safe and wonderful time!
If you do go to the Domeland Wilderness, please consider sharing your experience here with others. Many benefit from the trail and trip reports submitted. It helps planning and can reduce frustration to the outdoor community. Thanks!