Saturday, June 23, 2018 from 8:30 am – early afternoon
Lead by Mary Merriman, Alta Peak Chapter Rare Plant Chair
and Denise Griego, Alta Peak Chapter Secretary
Explore the high altitude flora of Sequoia National Forest Hume Lake District, located between Giant Forest and Grant Grove. Big Meadow has the highest altitude with accessible roads in Tulare County. Its subalpine flora is dominated by lodgepole pine, white/red fir forest on exfoliated granite. It will still be late spring there! We may find a few relatively rare plants, such as Tulare County buckwheat and Sierra bleeding heart and we may find several kinds of monkey flowers although they are more unpredictable in dryish years. Wet meadows hide many floral treasures throughout the season. Shady stream banks harbor a variety of shrubs.
From Three Rivers area, meet at the Veterans Memorial Building on Hwy 198 at 8:30 am for carpooling. Try to bring the fewest number of cars possible. From Visalia area, we will be taking the shorter route up Hwy 180 through the Kings Canyon entrance. If you are coming from Visalia area, contact Mary Merriman at 559-679-9152 or firstname.lastname@example.org for directions up Hwy 180 or for ride-sharing, especially if you do not have a park pass. There is now a $35 entrance fee to the National Parks, so be sure to bring your annual or senior pass.
Meet on the Big Meadow road at 10:30 am at the first parking lot (map link here). There is only one way to turn at the Big Meadow Road but it has a fairly small sign. About 1/4 mile up the Big Meadow road, there is a gate (which will be open) and large parking lot on the right with an outhouse where we will start. We will mostly be driving or walking with no significant hiking but plenty of uneven ground so wear sturdy boots. Bring lunch, water, sunscreen, hat, layered clothing (mornings can be cool), field guides and a lawn chair for lunch.
Big Meadow photo by Denise Griego