Caution: Poodle-Dog Bush

Post from the Sequoia National Forest to all visitors.

Poodle-dog bush can cause severe irritation to the skin if touched, akin to poison oak or poison ivy. It can raise blisters lasting as long as two weeks or more. The plant is covered in sticky hairs, which can dislodge easily and can be passed on to hikers who touch it or brush up against it. The swelling, rash and itching appear twelve hours to two days after contact. Use caution and avoid this plant.

It is found in nearly all habitat types that have recently burned including conifer forests, chaparral, oak woodland and riparian areas. Poodle-dog bush is frequently found along trails.

Wear long sleeves and pants if you plan to visit the Sequoia National Forest within previously fire burned areas.  This plant was recently found in the Converse Basin area on the Hume Lake Ranger District.  Historically, it has been discovered in areas burned by wildfire which is happening more across the Forest and in Giant Sequoia National Monument. Notes are as follows:

          This native California shrub grows at elevations from 300 to 7,500 feet. It can grow almost 10 feet tall, and has purple bell-shaped flowers.

          It is a perennial, woody shrub with long shiny leaves. It emits an unpleasant, slightly pungent odor.

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National Trails Day Coming

national trails day june 2019

June 1 is National Trails Day. A perfect time to get outside and make a difference on a trail. If you are interested, make sure to check out the link below to find an spot near you. If there isn’t one nearby, but you want to start an event there is information on how to do so. Go and help a trail!

American Hiking Society’s National Trail Day

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It’s All Yours

Many will head outdoors this weekend in some fashion or another. If you haven’t been to a National Forest in awhile, I encourage you to plan a day trip and go see it. The video above really captures some great scenery and drives a good point home. You OWN the National Forests. It is YOUR taxes that have secured these lands for multiple use benefit. Get out and see them. Get involved in some way to make them better for the next generation and the next.

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National Trails Day – June 2


Image from American Hiking Society

Mark your calendar for June 2 as it is National Trail Day! There are various way you can participate this year from simply just going on a hike to maintaining trails to special trail events and more. You can also donate financially to the cause and get some swag in return. To learn more, you can check out American Hiking Society website.

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Last Snow Survey of 2018


The last snow survey results are in for 2018! May is the final survey for the area near the Monarch Wilderness. Unfortunately the results are bad. The Kings River Basin is at 36% of normal for this time of year. If you are wanting to find sheets of snow, you’ll need to get high in elevation.

Anything less than 8,000 feet to be exact had no snow on the course. This does not mean people passing by won’t see a patch or two of snow at lower elevations. It is just not enough snow to record on the actual snow courses. If you did not know, these snow survey courses have been surveyed in the same spots for decades.

Going into the summer backpacking season, make sure to note your water sources. If you head out into the wilderness, please consider sharing a trip report or sending in info on where creeks were flowing. This will help others going out to plan accordingly. It is greatly appreciated.

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Free: Backpacker Magazines

Some may already know this, but here it is for those who do not. If you are interested in reading through older Backpacker Magazines, then you are in luck. Google has archived dozens, if not hundreds, of the publisher’s magazines. Best part? They are free for you to enjoy. Great way to “go back” to a time period to see the best gear for that season, how trails were being shown, trips that are still viable today, and more. Enjoy!

Google Books’ Archive of Backpacker Magazines (2009 and older)

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The April Snow Survey Report

kings april 2018.PNG

The important April 1 snow survey results are in…well most of the stations have reported their findings to the State of California’s CDEC. What are the results? For the Kings River watershed, the snow pack sits at 64% of normal. A nice jump up from last months norm, but not enough to hit at or close to our average snow pack conditions.

What will this mean for the summer backpacking season? Potentially one could see dryer conditions, lower flows in perennial creeks, lower lake levels, and a higher risk of wildfire danger. Users will need to plan their water stops accordingly and share information (hopefully share it with us!). If the wildfire danger is elevated to certain levels, as we have seen in the past, this could eliminate camp fires for wilderness users. Stove use has been allowed even in fire restrictions. It is not certain when and if this will happen, but the past years of drought show a continual use of fire restrictions applied to the National Forests and Parks up and down the Sierra Nevada mountains.

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Snow Survey Results: Is That All?


The snow results are in for the March 1 survey. Currently the Kings River Basin only has about 16% of the normal amount of snow for March. If the mountains do not receive anymore snow for the rest of the year, it will be at 14% for the year. This is looking to be another bad water year for the Sierra Nevada mountains as well as the valley below. However, do you noticed something in the image above?

What is not accounted for in the snow surveys is the recent storm. The snow survey dates are back in the early to mid 20’s of February. The most recent storm could potentially drop about 4 feet of snow for elevations over 7,000 feet! The results would not be included in the data above as the storm went from March 1 to March 3. We will have to wait to see what the results will be in the April 1 survey.

Do you have any photos from the past weekend? Want to share for others to see? Feel free to post and share!

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What to Do?


Marvin and Family by Tom Armstrong

The snow pack is not doing so great as of the February 1 survey. However, we still have this month and March to go. They are both typically the wetter months. If the snow pack does not improve significantly, what will you do? Will you plan an earlier trip into the wilderness or go at your usual time?

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Into 2018 We Go!


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