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Kellys Camp Spring (Ontario Peak Trail)
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simonov
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Location: Truckee Meadows USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

I'm no geologist, but from what little I understand about these things, I have two theories:

1. Sometimes springs just dry up.  The subterranean watercourse gets shifted for some reason and the water no longer appears at the surface at the usual location.  I hope that's not what happened here, because it would probably be a permanent change.

2. The current dry spring is the result of the multi-year drought that ended this last winter.  Despite the single good season of precipitation, the aquifer that supplied the spring has been too depleted by the several years of drought preceding it.  If this is the case, then a few good years should get the spring flowing again.
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Hikin_Jim
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is so weird.  It was fine during the drought, and now that we've had a good year it's dry?  Hunh?

HJ
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was there three weeks ago, and the pipe was barely dripping, but the water was flowing out of the ground above the pipe, and filling the pool quite nicely.  We filtered our water from the pool.  When I look at your before and after pictures, it seems that when the pipe was working properly the ground above the pipe was dry.

From what I understand, these spring pipes lead to a loosely-constructed wooden box that was buried underground years ago.  The box has plenty of surface area and fills with water from underground seepage.  The pipe extends into the box about halfway up and relieves the box of excess water.  Eventually, sediment can fill the bottom half of the box and block the outflow.  At that point the box fills up and the spring seeks outlet through the ground above (and downhill from) the buried box.  This, I believe, is what we are seeing now.

These spring boxes are meant to be cleaned of sediment every so often, and I'm sure this one hasn't been.  The men who built it may have died of old age by now.  Of course, it's so old that the box itself may have collapsed.

If some kind soul hiked up there with an electrician's snake or a small plumber's snake (use a NEW plumbers snake, please - not the nasty one you used to clean your toilet and/or sink drains!) they might be able to remove the blockage in the box.  Unless it collapsed.  Then the only hope is a new box.  Crying or Very sad

Here's my video of the spring from three weeks ago (June 19):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/5067...8943401/in/set-72157624344833602/
Compare it to what you saw yesterday.  I'll bet it's flowing out of the ground about the same.

I'd rather believe that the spring/box/pipe is damaged than that the spring itself is drying up.  But you might well be correct.  Springs come and go, and no one really knows why...
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simonov
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the box is collapsed or filled with sediments, then the artesian well will be a thing of the past.  Given that it's in a Federal Wilderness Area, there's little chance the box will be repaired.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

simonov wrote:
If the box is collapsed or filled with sediments, then the artesian well will be a thing of the past.  Given that it's in a Federal Wilderness Area, there's little chance the box will be repaired.
 

What usually happens with a spring like the one at Kellys is that someone will see a seep or dampish area.  They'll put in a spring box to improve the flow and make the water more accessible.  Those pipes were a real God send when they were flowing, but if the spring box collapses or fills, the water should still be seeping.  It might be possible to to dig a simple "seep pit", wait a while, let it fill, and then extract water.  Dunno, but might be worth trying.  Losing the water at Kellys would render a really good site far more inaccessible.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone looked in the creek area (northeast-ish) below the camp? There is usually water down there.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:36 am    Post subject: Kellys Camp water Reply with quote

We hiked Ontario Peak Saturday, Sept 18.  The water situation at Kellys has not changed.  The first pipe is dry.  There is water pooling at the second pipe, but it is coming from underground not the pipe.  As an open pool, I think you want to purify this water before using.



Someone has done a little excavation just up the hill, I assume, trying to locate a better flow.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just carry my own water up from Columbine Spring and suggest other people do the same.

The realization that Kelly's is the only water available at those elevations for the bighorns, deer and other animals that live up there makes me reluctant to suck the pool dry with my Katadyn.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard K, where exactly is the pipe located at the camp?  Elwood and I were through there yesterday as well, but could not locate the pipe.

Simonov, do you consider the water from Columbine safe to drink without filtering?  I'd think so, given that it's coming directly out of the ground, but would like to hear some other opinions...
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:26 am    Post subject: Kellys Reply with quote

The pipes are located across the camp from the trail.  From where the trail takes a left turn to head up to the Bighorn/Ontario junction, keep walking west about 100 feet.  Look for a patch of green grass. There is a faint use trail leading to the pipes.

We have been drinking Columbine Spring water without treatment for 12 years - along with several thousand Koreans.

Simonov is correct.  Leave this little dribble of water for the animals.  Stock up at Columbine which always has a good flow.
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simonov
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Location: Truckee Meadows USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

turtle wrote:
Simonov, do you consider the water from Columbine safe to drink without filtering?  


Since it comes right out of the mountain, I would say yes, unequivocally.

But then I never treated my water until very recently when I started hiking with a Katadyn, which I use as much for the convenience of pumping out water without all the crap floating in it as for concern about microorganisms.
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 8:03 pm    Post subject: Kelly's camp Reply with quote

I'm heading up to Kelly's this weekend. I remember reading the spring is inop. Is that still the case? If so, can we fix it?
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spring is not flowing.  As to whether or not you can fix it, that remains to be seen.  I think you'd probably need a pick and a shovel to dig it out.  The spring box probably needs to cleared out or replaced.

Good luck,

HJ
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:44 pm    Post subject: Kellys Camp water flowing Reply with quote

We hiked to Kellys Camp Saturday 6/11.  Someone has repaired the spring box and installed a new pipe.  Water is flowing better than ever.  Thanks to whoever did this work.  This is the second spring.  A large, dead tree came down during the winter directly on top of the first spring, but it never had much of a flow anyway.




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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great!  I'll be heading up there ASAP!

Now I wonder who could have repaired that spring box?  Anyone we know?
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome, I have never seen any water up at Kellys before. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet!!!

HJ
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:33 am    Post subject: Kellys Camp water still flowing Reply with quote

We hiked Ontario Peak yesterday 7/2.  The water flow is still excellent.  A camper told us that the rangers rebuilt the spring box.  Also, the spring about 1/2 mile below the saddle still has great flow.






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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will Kellys Camp spring flow for the rest of the summer?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject: Kellys Camp water Reply with quote

muddeer wrote:
Will Kellys Camp spring flow for the rest of the summer?


The old spring tended to dry up by the end of summer.  With the spring box being rebuilt and this being a wet year, it may last longer.  It would be useful if those who spend time at Kellys would report on the flow.

The spring 1/2 mile below the saddle has always been dry by August, but the flow this year is stronger than usual.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Richard.  I may lead a beginners' backpacking trip up there this summer.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject: Re: Kellys Camp water Reply with quote

RichardK wrote:
The old spring tended to dry up by the end of summer.  With the spring box being rebuilt and this being a wet year, it may last longer.  It would be useful if those who spend time at Kellys would report on the flow.


Exactly two liters per minute on 3 July.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Kellys Camp water still flowing Reply with quote

RichardK wrote:
We hiked Ontario Peak yesterday 7/2.  The water flow is still excellent.  A camper told us that the rangers rebuilt the spring box.

Nice! It's always great to see examples of our Adventure Pass $ at work. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Kellys Camp water still flowing Reply with quote

RichardK wrote:
 Also, the spring about 1/2 mile below the saddle still has great flow.
Do you mean Columbine Spring?

HJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:27 am    Post subject: Spring Reply with quote

HJ - No, Columbine is more like a full mile below the saddle and always flows.  There is a small spring about 1/2 mile below the saddle that has early season water.  Last Saturday 7/23, it had slowed down quite a bit.  It will be dry soon.  From the trail, it looks like a small, short creek.  I have never explored upstream to find the source.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:07 am    Post subject: Re: Spring Reply with quote

RichardK wrote:
HJ - No, Columbine is more like a full mile below the saddle and always flows.  There is a small spring about 1/2 mile below the saddle that has early season water.  Last Saturday 7/23, it had slowed down quite a bit.  It will be dry soon.  From the trail, it looks like a small, short creek.  I have never explored upstream to find the source.

I've wondered about that one--always figured it was a creek coming from snowmelt above.

FYI for anyone interested: As of Saturday, Kelly Spring was producing ~1 liter/minute.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Reply with quote

RichardK wrote:
HJ - No, Columbine is more like a full mile below the saddle and always flows.  There is a small spring about 1/2 mile below the saddle that has early season water.  Last Saturday 7/23, it had slowed down quite a bit.  It will be dry soon.  From the trail, it looks like a small, short creek.  I have never explored upstream to find the source.
OK, I think I know where you're talking about.

I didn't think you meant Columbine.  I've never seen Columbine dry.

HJ
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:29 pm    Post subject: Springs still flowing at Kelly Camp Reply with quote

Today I hiked up Ice House Canyon to Kelly Camp and back.  The weather was almost perfect.  At Kelly Camp I stopped by both springs to check their flow.  The main spring (the one with the PVC pipe) was flowing 350 ML per minute, down from 2 months ago when I checked it.  The other one had a somewhat better flow IMO.  However, I could not measure it since it flows into a small pool.

The temps were pretty chilly at the camp, 44f in the shade at around 8:30 a.m.  It was a little warmer at the Ice House Canyon Saddle, 51f in the shade.

If you haven't done so it's now time to head up the canyon to view the fall foliage.  A lot of the trees and bushes are at or near their peak.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good info and good pics.  Thanks!

HJ
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I missed you; I went to Cuca.
It was a stupendous day.

My T/R is posted on Calimountains and is worth a read because of the surprise I had...
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:17 am    Post subject: Kellys water Reply with quote

The repair job on the spring must have been a good one. It's usually dry by October. Thanks for posting the info!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stopped by Kelly Spring last night and as one might expect, it's pretty much closed for the season.

Spring flow: ~1 drop/min  


Nipply temps


Fall-down tree on lower Icehouse Trail
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:31 am    Post subject: Winds Reply with quote

It looks like the wind storm hit Icehouse Canyon.  Did you see many downed trees overall?  The Whitney Portal Store board reports a lot of trees came down there, but the buildings and trailhead structure were spared. Mammoth Lakes basin reportedly has 300 fallen trees.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard~I only saw a few downed trees; expected to see more. The one that fell across the trail was the largest.
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 6:42 pm    Post subject: Water status at Kelly Camp? (Icehouse Canyon Area) Reply with quote

Have plans to hike cucamonga peak from icehouse canyon, then descend and camp for the night at Kelly Camp.

My question is, what is the water situation at Kelly Camp?  I know there is suppose to be a pipe installed that provides water, but various reports I've found from past years indicate it doesnt always have water.  

Anyone been there recently?
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I passed through Kelly Camp last week. I'm not sure about the pipe but there was a large group of college aged campers there and they said they were getting water from a stream just north of the campsite. I didn't check it out to confirm, but I do recall there is a small seasonal stream north of there.
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim, was there any water flowing?
Thinking of spending the weekend up there and would rather not have to carry a couple gallons with me...

thanks,
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The water was flowing Sunday. Nice and cool. The old metal pipe and box have been replaced, there is a white plastic pipe now.

There were even a couple of old dirty patches of snow near the camp, which could be used to cool a beverage.
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, thanks. Home for the weekend.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone who's been up there recently know if there is still water at Kelly Camp?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was there on Memorial Day weekend (ten days ago) and the spring was running fine, flowing at about 600 ml per minute (two minutes for a very full nalgene bottle).  There is also a small pool/seep in the ravine 100 feet from the spring a bit further from camp.  I saw a deer drinking from it.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got back from Kelly Camp. Stayed Friday night June 15.  Water is still flowing in a steady trickle. Filled a liter bottle in about 2-3 minutes.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:55 pm    Post subject: Kelly Camp Water Report, Both Springs Reply with quote

Today on my way to Bighorn Peak I stopped by both springs to check their flow.  The flow out of the pipe remains unchanged from the last report.  The flow from the spring without the pipe is very slow.   I didn't measure its flow rate but it didn't take very long to fill its depression up after I cleared all the water out of it.  This is a "pump only" spring.  It could be an alternative source if the water coming out of the pipe stops flowing later in the year.  

Water reports would be helpful for the remainder of the year for both springs.  Anyone that happens to be in the area of these springs please check on them if you have time.  Thank you.


Hiiker

Pipe flow


Other spring


Temp at Kelly Camp 9 a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: Kellys Camp Reply with quote

I have read various reports about other unpiped springs in the Kellys Camp area, but I have never been sure about their locations.  Where is this spring located?

Since this was a low snow year, I expect these springs to dry up at some point. So, frequent reports are very helpful for trip planning. Thank you for posting.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's only about 25 yards from the pipe.  I took this photo last Oct.

Other spring location
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Location: Orange County, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hiiker wrote:
It's only about 25 yards from the pipe.  I took this photo last Oct.

Other spring location
So, basically just downstream.

Interesting that they only repaired one of the pipes (there used to be two).

HJ
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Dave G



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Location: Brea, CA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hikin_Jim wrote:
hiiker wrote:
It's only about 25 yards from the pipe.  I took this photo last Oct.

Other spring location
So, basically just downstream.

Interesting that they only repaired one of the pipes (there used to be two).

HJ


I was up there today and the spring is still trickling--I'd estimate about 4 minutes to fill a liter bottle.

The "other spring" in the photo is in the Lost Creek drainage and is just west of the present spring. It has always been dry in my experience, except for run-off/snow melt. There are some old rusty tools and PVC pipe buried over there. Downhill from the present spring there are wet areas caused by the spring overflow. There was a pipe there for a time when the old spring box was clogging up, but I believe the source was the same.
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Hikin_Jim
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Location: Orange County, CA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good updates; thanks, Dave.

HJ
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Location: Monterey Park, CA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a steady but very weak flow at the Kelly Camp pipe yesterday. You could probably get a liter after a few minutes.


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taktical



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Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:37 am    Post subject: Kelly's Camp - Water Report? Reply with quote

Has anyone been through Kelly's Camp recently? If so, I would appreciate any report on the condition of the spring. Thanks in advance.

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