Jennie Lakes Wilderness

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Jennie Lakes Wilderness
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Map showing the location of Jennie Lakes Wilderness
Map showing the location of Jennie Lakes Wilderness
Location Tulare County, California
Nearest city Fresno
Coordinates 36°41′00″N 118°40′00″W / 36.68333°N 118.66667°W / 36.68333; -118.66667Coordinates: 36°41′00″N 118°40′00″W / 36.68333°N 118.66667°W / 36.68333; -118.66667
Area 10,556 acres (42.72 km2)
Established 1984
Governing body U.S. Forest Service

Jennie Lakes Wilderness is a protected area in the Sierra Nevada, in Tulare County, California. It is located 60 miles (97 km) east of Fresno and managed by the US Forest Service.

Jennie Lakes Wilderness is about nine square miles within the Sequoia National Forest, that was established by the California Wilderness Act of 1984,[1] and added to the National Wilderness Preservation System.

The Jennie Lakes Wilderness is a classic high Sierra landscape. A 10,500 acre area with a mixture of lakes, mountain peaks, forests, meadows and streams, most of which is above 7,000 feet (2,100 meters) in elevation. The wilderness contains variations of alpine and sub-alpine forest. Lodgepole Pines, Red and White Firs and White (Mountain) Pine dominate the area, while you'll also see Jeffrey Pines and a few juniper. In the summer, lovely wildflowers abound. Jennie Lake sits about 9,000 feet (2,750 meters) above sea level and Weaver Lake is slightly lower.

The summit of Mitchell Peak is the highest point in the wilderness at 10,365 feet (3,140 meters) and features panoramic views into the heart of the wilderness as well as Kings Canyon National Park.

In the Jennie Lakes Wilderness, there are two principal lakes, Jennie Ellis Lake and Weaver Lake - both of which offer beautiful scenery and a multitude of recreation opportunities. Both tend to be busy on weekends (especially holidays!) but during weekdays you should find solitude. Weaver Lake attracts a lot of day hikers as it lies close to the trailhead. Jennie Lake is often a stop for hikers coming from or going into Sequoia National Park to the south.

Please do not camp within 100' of either of the main lakes. Due to growing overuse, a Forest Order is in effect during the busy summer season to help protect the fragile riparian areas near the lakeshores.

Smaller and more remote, there is also a pond above JO Pass about a mile east of Jennie Lake and "Poison Pond" sits about a half-mile south of Weaver Lake. Both have a few campsites around them.

There are four trailheads that give access to 26 miles of trails as well as connecting you to the epic Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park's backcountry - Big Meadow, Rowell Meadow, Marvin Pass and Stony Creek.[2]

Geography

Jennie Lakes Wilderness is situated immediately north of Sequoia National Park and west of Kings Canyon National Park.

The wilderness area is bisected by the Boulder Creek canyon that is 1,000 feet (300 m) deep. The eastern half is a high plateau bounded by a ridge and the western half is dominated by Shell Mountain 9,594 feet (2,924 m) as well as Weaver Lake. Elevations range from 6,640 feet (2,020 m) to 10,365 feet (3,159 m) at Mitchell Peak.

There are six lakes within the wilderness, with Jennie Lake the largest and highest in elevation at 9,000 feet (2,700 m). Boulder Creek flows from Jennie Lake and is a major tributary to the South Fork Kings River. Stony Creek begins south of Shell Mountain and flows into the North Fork Kaweah River.

Ecology

Red fir and lodgepole pine are the primary forest cover with granitic outcroppings typical of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Black bears are common in the area.

Recreation

Recreational activities include day hiking, backpacking, horsepacking, fishing, and cross-country skiing.

The Forest Service encourages the practice of Leave No Trace principles of outdoor travel to minimize human impact on the environment.

See also

References

Adkinson, Ron Wild Northern California. The Globe Pequot Press, 2001

Footnotes

  1. ^ The California Wilderness Act of 1984 in PDF format
  2. ^ Sequoia National Forest Wilderness Ranger's official report

External links

  • Hume Lake Ranger District Wilderness: unofficial website
  • USDA Forest Service: Sequoia National Forest Wilderness Areas
  • Wilderness.net: Jennie Lakes Wilderness website
  • Photo of Jennie Lake.
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