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Fishing the West Fork LbNA #16495

Owner:artTrekker Contact Supporter
Plant date:Jul 10, 2005
Found by: MamaSquirrel
Last found: Jul 22, 2013
Hike distance:Unknown
Last edited:Jul 10, 2005
Much of this walk is wheelchair (and stroller) accessible. The boxes require a helper to get to.

Update 5/14/06: checked the boxes today. All are alive and well and accessible. The river does keep rising, though! and if you strike out across the meadow, you may find it a bit marshy. Just buttercups blooming so far.

Hope Valley Wildlife Area, funded by the Wildlife Conservation Board and the Department of Fish and Game, and maintained by Alpine County, lies at the intersection of Hwys 88 and 89, about 15 miles south of South Lake Tahoe. It is an open expanse of meadow, ringed by mountains, with the West Fork of the Carson River running through it. Camping is available just down the canyon at the Hope Valley Resort, or off to the south in the Blue Lakes area. Nicer cabin accommodations are available at Sorensen's Resort. For me, Hope Valley is a little slice of heaven where the dogs can run a great distance, then swim in the river under a calming expanse of sky. The spring offers an ongoing pageant of native flowers blooming, now in summer colors of cinquefoil, sidalcea, yarrow, Jacob's ladder & others; in summer it is paradise for fishermen and hikers; in fall the aspens change and their golden color infiltrates the very air; in winter we strap on our skis and marvel at the purity of such a stretch of snow. (Many people have worked for the protection of this area from development. It is work that continues. You can visit for more info.)

These boxes are probably available three seasons, unless it is a dry winter, then four. You can take Hwy 89 south over Luther Summit from Meyers, on Hwy 50 just down from Echo Summit, or you can take Hwy 88 east from Jackson, or west from Nevada & Woodfords. The small parking lot is just southwest of Pickett's Junction--where 88 & 89 meet--and this is where you'll start your adventure. I am not a fisherman, but I liked the imagery this pastime offered, and it seemed appropriate.

I thank you in advance for taking extra care in the rehiding of all boxes. People and all sorts of animals criss-cross this valley daily, and keeping the boxes well-hidden is essential to their safety.

Box 1. From the Hope Valley Wildlife Area parking lot (you will know it by the sign once you're in, and the several handicapped-designated parking spaces, and the accessible restroom), take the paved path to the right of the restroom. Stay on it past the Fishing Platforms signs. Soon you will come to a bridge over the river. Cross the bridge and continue along the old asphault road. There will be lodgepole pines on your left (short needles, small cones) and old and newer fenceposts on your right. You will see a perfectly flat-topped boulder, upon which some artful passersby have constructed dry piled stone sculpture. Try your hand at it, but don't knock them down! Look beyond this rock to a very large boulder about 31 steps beyond and go to it. Climb up, survey the beauty. In a westerly direction, spy two low boulders with a lodgepole growing up between them. In this in-between space, under stones and pine needles, you will find Hope Valley Fly.

Box 2. Continue on the road in a westerly direction. Come out of the trees and on your right will be a few wooden fenceposts in a row. Remember this number, you will need it later. Now look up to the hillside on your right. See the aspen trees? (They are called quaking aspen for the way their leaves flutter in a breeze.) See the large boulder poking up between them? Go to it. A little trail of sorts goes around the right-hand side. Go up to the back, and see where there are some chock stones wedged between the two boulders. Do not try to disturb the larger, mottled ones. Hope Valley Trout is high and dry here and can be reached by carefully removing the deadwood and the one stone embraced by it. Pay attention to how it all fits together so you can put it back just the same. Go back to the road.

Here you have a choice. You can take the road back the way you came, or you can strike out as we do across the meadow. Roughly aim south-ish at the furthest snowy peak in the row. You will meet up with the river, where you can fish, or swim, or lie in the grass and daydream. If you follow the river around south and east, you will eventually get back to the bridge.

Box 3. Cross back over the bridge and return to the trail that goes to the fishing platforms. From the number of wooden fenceposts you saw earlier, subtract one, and go to the first, second or third faux wooden bench you come to on this trail, according to that number. From behind the bench take 11 steps to the sharp boulder. Take another 8 steps past the left side of it till you see the fallen tree stump. Reach with your right hand and find the fisherman under the stump, behind a stone and some wood debris.

Enjoy your time in Alpine County!

Please do not enter this box into any database. Contact the placer directly to advise of status.