Death Valley Details

Panamint Range, June 24 – July 1, 2013

UPDATE:  Thank you all for a fun, productive, and exciting week in Death Valley!  With 20 scientists, volunteers, and students we completed all 4 sites in record time.  We identified 49 alpine species at the tops of the Panamint Range’s highest peaks and established permanent survey plots on all aspects of each summit.

A special thank you to all our participants: Jane Cipra, Drew Kaiser, Shannon Mazzei & Matt Romeyn from Death Valley National Park, Mary Levandowski from the National Park Service Mojave Desert Network Inventory and Monitoring Program, Angela Evenden from the California Ecosystems Cooperative Studies Unit, Chris Kopp & Ellen Esch from UC Santa Diego, Meagan Oldfather & Mike Koontz from UC Berkeley, Naomi Fraga from Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden, Melissa Lippincott from Power Engineers, Colin Maher from the U. of Montana, Adelia Barber from UC Santa Cruz, and botanists Jim & Catie Bishop, Jan Nachlinger, Viriginia Moran, Nan Carnal, and Jody Steffan-Campbell.

Some pictures from our week in the Panamint Range:


Key Personnel:
Jane Cipra (Death Valley NP Botanist)
Drew Kaiser (Death Valley NP Intern)
Angie Evenden (California Ecosystems Cooperative Studies Unit, CA-CESU)
Adelia Barber (Field Organizer)

Camping Details:
We’ll be car-camping at the Mahogany Flat campground, at 8,133 ft. The last two miles of the road into this campground is for high-clearance vehicles only and 4WD is recommended. Volunteers with low-clearance vehicles can park at Charcoal Kilns parking area, and we can shuttle people and gear up to Mahogany Flat.

Please bring all your own food, cooking, and camping equipment. There are often impromptu shared meals around our camps, but please come prepared to feed yourself. The campground has tables, fire pits, and toilets but NO water, so bring all water you will need for the week.

Temperatures at this elevation for July in Death Valley are expected to be in the low to mid 80’s for the week. BUT, all types of weather are possible so come prepared with layers for much hotter or colder weather.

Download the Death-Valley-National-Park-map.pdf to direct yourself to the Wildrose Campground, depending on which direction you are coming from. From the Wildrose Campground, it’s another 7 miles to the Charcoal Kilns (the last 4.5 miles are unpaved gravel). You can either park at the Charcoal Kilns and have your gear shuttled up to Mahogany Flat or drive yourself another 2 miles up the road.

Here is a snapshot of the Wildrose area from the map:

death valley map

We will be able to drive past the Mahogany Flat campground in NPS vehicles, and park at the radio towers on Rogers Peak, thus starting our hikes at ~ 10,000 ft.

Download PDF with pictures and topo maps of the sites

From Rogers Peak, our hiking distances are:
low site: .4 miles round trip, 250 ft elevation gain (easy!)
high site #1, Bennett Peak: 1.8 miles round trip, ~700 ft elevation gain
mid site: 3.3 miles round trip, ~500 ft elevation gain
high site #2, middle summit of telescope: 10.8 miles round trip, ~1900 elevation gain

Daily Schedule:
June 22/23 – feel free to arrive early if you need to acclimate
June 24 – most crew arrives at Mahogany Flat, we will be available to shuttle gear from the charcoal kilns all afternoon/ evening
June 25 – hike to low site
June 26 – hike to Bennett Peak
June 27 – hike to mid site (optional: backpack camp the night on the ridge near the mid site, half-way to telescope)
June 28 – hike to Telescope Peak, weather permitting
June 29 – July 1 – If we have perfect weather, we might be done with the surveys by this date, in which case we’ll spend a couple days keying our specimens at camp and sending recon teams back to the sites if there are lingering taxonomic questions. However, if we’ve had bad weather or long days we might be still working at the sites all weekend.

Other Important Documents:

Plant List with photos – 37 pages (13MB)

Plant List with photos – 11 pages (13MB)

PDF with pictures and topo maps of the sites

To prepare for the GLORIA sampling protocol:
GLORIA Sampling Design Chapter (updated)

The full GLORIA manual (without the updated sampling design chapter):

Expedited Set-up of a GLORIA Summit, by Jim Bishop