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#14135 - 05/16/11 06:28 PM Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak
rpm Offline


Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 65
Loc: San Diego, CA
Anybody here been to Domeland Wilderness area recently? It is basically the southern tip of the Sierras. Apparently it is not a very popular area when compared to other regions of the Sierras, but still has some good trails. I'm planning a camping/hiking trip memorial day weekend.

Webpages report the area gets very hot in the summer and the best time of year to visit is early summer. There are no permits required wink

Any first hand information or current reports would be great! I'm curious about road conditions also.


Edited by rpm (05/16/11 06:29 PM)

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#14136 - 05/16/11 06:42 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: rpm]
Tomcat_rc Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 49
Loc: Ridgecrest
What approach are you planning?

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#14140 - 05/16/11 08:51 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: rpm]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Here is a link to a trip I led in there back in '06.
http://www.outdoorsclub.org/event.php?event_id=10939
NOTE the associated tab for pictures!

A dryer year, and I remember thinking that I wouldn't want to do it any later, it was already getting warm. This was along the Kern River.

We drove up the night before the hike began, and stayed at the Long Valley Campground, accessed via Canebrake Road off of 178:
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bakersfield/Programs/Recreation_opportunities/CPSRMA_Campgrounds.html

We then drove about 7 miles up the road, to a parking area very near an old road out of Rockhouse, that was to be our exit route. We then hiked a couple of miles further up the road, to meet up with the PCT, which we followed down into the Basin. The streams were dried up, so we headed cross country over to the Kern River, and made a makeshift camp. Next day, hiked back down steam 5 miles or so, past the intersection with the exit trail, to a nice campsite. Next morning, hiked out, was to the cars by 11am.

Lotsa snakes! You need to filter the water here, it is known for it's giardia contamination.

Generally, a very nice trip.

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#14195 - 05/18/11 10:58 AM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: rpm]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
I worked on the PCT into Rock House Basin a few weeks ago and there was no snow until about 8000 feet. Even with the extra snow falling the last couple of days it should melt off fast.

Here is a shot from a distance of Domeland Wilderness taken on April 22 at about 7700 feet. Most of what you see in the distance with snow is over 9000 feet.
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#14198 - 05/18/11 11:42 AM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: RoguePhotonic]
rpm Offline


Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 65
Loc: San Diego, CA
I'm not sure what approach to take. I know there are roads on the east side from 395, but roads on the west provide better access. I've read reports the roads on the west side can be confusing and unmarked. Is that true?

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#14212 - 05/18/11 05:07 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: rpm]
lethal Offline


Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
we were there last year in june
lots of rattlesnakes
kern river is very murky and full of sediment this time of year

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#14213 - 05/18/11 05:09 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: lethal]
lethal Offline


Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
we are going in next week

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#14214 - 05/18/11 05:19 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: lethal]
lethal Offline


Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
trails from the west side are in very poor to none existant

most of the way will be bushwhacking and tough

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#14215 - 05/18/11 05:20 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: lethal]
Tomcat_rc Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 49
Loc: Ridgecrest
If you leave from Long Valley Campground, crossing the Kern River could be treacherous. If you cross north at the PCT bridge, you will have a longer trip to reach Rockhouse Peak. Crossing west from Rockhouse Meadow the trail is no longer maintained and easy to lose(Rattlesnake or Woodpecker Trail).
Approaching from the west from Manter Meadow,the road to Big Meadow(Cherry Hill Rd.) may not be open until later in the season.


Edited by Tomcat_rc (05/18/11 05:38 PM)
Edit Reason: mis-id'd peak

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#14216 - 05/18/11 05:30 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: lethal]
lethal Offline


Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4
Loc: CA
headed to Whitney from there

has anyone attempted Whitney from Guitar Lake yet this year?

a conditions report would be appreciated.

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#14221 - 05/18/11 08:19 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: lethal]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: lethal
headed to Whitney from there

has anyone attempted Whitney from Guitar Lake yet this year?

a conditions report would be appreciated.


don't hijack the thread!

I'm not totally sure what is meant by a west approach. If from Big Meadows, some great trails and terrain, a couple of nice mountains to climb.

I think that is where I took Paul Garry on his first mountaineering climb, of Taylor Dome and/or Siretta peak. Those were the days! I think I took 30-some odd people on that "intro to mountaineering" trip, when I could still walk.
frown

I agree with Tom, that the access by way of Cherry Hill Road could very well be delayed, and should definitely be verified by a call to Kernville Ranger Station.

I really like that area. It gets very little attention. Unlike the East approaches, it remains good into the summer.

Fording the Kern this year is going to be a real challenge. I'll bet it's a raging inferno by now. I hope the bridge I helped rebuild last year 2 mi north of Kennedy Meadows is ok. Took 15 of us a week.

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#14222 - 05/18/11 08:36 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: Tomcat_rc]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Tomcat_rc
If you leave from Long Valley Campground, crossing the Kern River could be treacherous. If you cross north at the PCT bridge, you will have a longer trip to reach Rockhouse Peak. Crossing west from Rockhouse Meadow the trail is no longer maintained and easy to lose(Rattlesnake or Woodpecker Trail).
Approaching from the west from Manter Meadow,the road to Big Meadow(Cherry Hill Rd.) may not be open until later in the season.


Tom, I think the crossing below LV Campground would be terrible, at least it's looked that way every time I've looked at it. I hate to think of it now.

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#14279 - 05/20/11 03:13 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: Ken]
HyltonHiker Offline


Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 17
Loc: Lake Isabella, CA,USA
I was on a backpacking trip there last week, took the PCT from Canebrake Rd to Kennedy Mdws and on that side of Rockhouse is the only way to go in the west side from Big Mdw is closed and will remain that way for at least another month the river is rageing and UNCROSSABLE!! so your best bet is on the east side of Rockhouse Basin and you cant acsess any peaks that way because of the uncrossable river. And yes the bridge north of Kennedy Mdws CG is still there and in very good shape.

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#14304 - 05/21/11 03:03 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: HyltonHiker]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Thanks for the TR and the bridge report! Glad to hear it is ok!

How far north did you go? I'm interested in where you ran into snow?

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#14306 - 05/21/11 06:31 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: Ken]
HyltonHiker Offline


Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 17
Loc: Lake Isabella, CA,USA
I just went as far as Clover Mdw then dove off the trail to bag Crag pk,there is no snow at all in the area just a few patches of it on Crag.You dont start hitting the big snow until you get to Olancha Pk then its all snow from there.

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#14307 - 05/21/11 06:52 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: HyltonHiker]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Thanks! That helps for planning a trail work trip for next year. I didn't have a sense of snow beyond crag creek.

by the way, where the trail crosses crag creek, which is below clover meadow, there is a nice spot to camp I've taken people for years. I'm thinking the fire may have taken it. do you have any thoughts?

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#14308 - 05/21/11 08:57 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: rpm]
marmoting Offline


Registered: 09/22/10
Posts: 14
Loc: CA
If the road into Big Meadow is open, I would use it rather than use an eastern approach. I didn't think the road was hard to follow and seemed reasonably well signed. Many of the trails in Domelands are returning to nature and some of them are just a memory, especially some coming in from the east.

A year and a half ago, there was a good sized fallen tree spanning the Kern River a couple of hundred feet north of where the trail to Rockhouse Meadow crosses the river. There is no guarantee that it is still there, but it gives you a shot at crossing this early in the year if you have to come in from the east. Unfortunately, the trail from there up to the pass south of Rockhouse Peak is almost non-existent.

There are plenty of fun domes to scramble up. A couple of the more popular ones are Taylor and Rockhouse. If you are comfortable with 4th class, give a shot at the Stegosaurus Fin summit block- it will be the highlight of your trip.

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#14311 - 05/22/11 11:51 AM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: marmoting]
HyltonHiker Offline


Registered: 03/17/11
Posts: 17
Loc: Lake Isabella, CA,USA
Yes sadly the Clover Fire did comsume alot of that area where Crag Ck crosses but the trail is in good shape though. While were on the subject of trail work Im a PCTA member and Im very interested in working on parts of that trail mainly in the Owens Pk Wilderness since I live in the Lake Isabella area when are you going to do trail work in that area or anywhere for that matter? I would like to join you all.

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#14316 - 05/22/11 01:55 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: HyltonHiker]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Hylton, would love to have you!

Currently, we have a trip scheduled for Oct for that area:
I'm currently scheduled to be the leader of that trip, which we've put off twice. We'll probably stay in the vicinity of Dutch John Meadows, on the Haiwee Pass Trail lateral.

In fact, you're welcome on any trip, they're fun, and free.

---------------
http://www.trailcrew.org/forum4/

October 2011
Start Date October 1
End Date October 9
Project Name - PCT Trail Kennedy Meadow
Event Type - Backpacking only
Limited to 15 volunteers
Project location; PCT Trail from Kennedy Meadows north to the Inyo National Forest Boundary arrive at trail head on a Friday or Saturday and have the supplies and equipment packed up to the USFS approved base camp location. The following day we will begin trail work and work to the following weekend departing on Sunday

Project description:

Projects:
1. This project is for trail maintenance on the PCT trail has not received managed trail maintenance in the past several years, and is in need of trail tread and drainage work, and clearing of downed trees
2. Brush trail four feet out from center line.
3. Repair and clean existing water bars
4. GPS existing water bars
5. Install new water bars if needed
6. With the use of cross cut saws remove any fallen trees that are impeding trail conditions for hikers.

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#14327 - 05/22/11 07:05 PM Re: Domeland Wilderness Rockhouse Peak [Re: rpm]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Your a bit late for this season HyltonHiker as the PCTA and SCA has completed a number of projects on Section G and Section F in the last couple of months. I just got back from working on section F last Wednesday!

Keep your eye on the PCTA's volunteer schedule and you never know when something may be near you. It will probably be fall though before more projects are scheduled near Isabella.

I need to get out with you some time Ken and the whole High Sierra Volunteer Crew! I just need to find a project that works for me.
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