Getting to Saline Valley
From Bishop (Plan on about 3.5 hours):
- Head south on the 395 to the turnoff for the Bristlecone Pine Forest/168 and turn left (east)
- Continue for approximately 2.3 miles until you see Death Valley Road to the right (just before you begin to go into the mountains).
- Turn right here and continue for 12 miles until you see a turnoff for Saline Valley Road/Waucoba Road. From here on you will be on dirt.
- Stay on this road until you reach Saline Valley. Hunter Canyon is just before the dry lake.
From the south/Olancha (Plan on about 4 hours):
- Take the 190 towards Death Valley.
- Turn right to stay on the 190 once you pass Owens Lake (approximately 14.6 miles).
- Continue for approximately 17 miles until you reach Saline Valley Road, turn left.
- Continue on Saline Valley Road for until you reach Saline Valley. Hunter Canyon will be on the left after you pass the dry lake and the salt tram.
Avenza Maps is a free application that you can download onto your phone. This app can use your phone's location, even while offline, to show your position on pre-loaded maps. All of the maps on this page are georeferenced and can be used in this app (or, if you prefer, you can simply print them).
We have included two webinars below to help you become familiar with this program, one for Android and one for iOS platforms. We have also included some slides that are very helpful in covering the basics of this app. You can use this app to record locations, record your tracks, and add photos to point. I highly recommend you become familiar with this application and ensure your maps are loaded prior to leaving for Saline Valley. I also recommend having paper copies with you at all times, as technology frequently fails.
Basic Avenza Instructions (Please note that these instructions were written for Android so iOS may be slightly different):
- Make sure location is turned on in your cell phone settings
- Download the maps from this website and save them to your phone. You can do this one of two ways: From your phone: open this page and download the maps to your phone's memory. From a computer: open this page, download the maps, and email them to yourself. From your phone, open the email, and download and save the maps to your phone's memory. Note: Pay attention to where the file is saved on your phone. You will need it later.
- In your app store, search for Avenza. Install "Avenza Maps - Offline Mapping"
- Open the Avenza App
- Sign-in or create a new account
- Find the plus sign and select "Download or import a map"
- Select "From Device Storage"
- Navigate to where the file is stored on your phone and select the map you would like to import.
- Repeat until you have loaded all the maps you would like to have on your phone.
Hunter Canyon is our highest priority site this year as this canyon contained the majority of the monarchs in 2017. The survey areas are numbered in order of priority to be surveyed. It may be difficult to complete the entire area with a small group as there is a lot of ground to cover and the temperatures are usually fairly warm. You can adjust the survey areas on this map depending on how many surveyors you have, but please focus on the highest priority areas (1-3). In the past, once the sun begins to hit the trees, the monarchs will begin to fly. Try to be at the start of your survey location by 6:00 am so that you can start surveying as soon as it's light enough to see. Take your time on the larger willow and cottonwood trees as the monarchs are well hidden. They tend to be found in the upper 1/3rd of the trees and are not typically found on the up-canyon side (they want protection from the winds).
McElvoy is ideal for small survey groups or individuals that would like to survey. The survey area is much smaller and it is a fairly short hike. In the past, the monarchs were found prior to entering the canyon in the creosote and mesquite in the wash and on the sides of the canyon. Scan all the vegetation for monarchs, you will have to look carefully to find them. I would recommend visiting the canyon in the daylight the day before the survey to become familiar. Please be sure to decontaminate your footwear for this survey as you will be walking through water. If you have time, please complete a habitat assessment forms.
Willow Canyon is another canyon that would be easy for a small team or individual. Willow Canyon can be accessed near the private property located at the mouth of the canyon. Please be respectful of the private lands and do not enter their gate. You can enter the canyon where Willow Creek crosses Saline Valley Road or from just outside the gate to the private residence. Please park your vehicles out of the way of the private property. There is an area on the east side of the wash that has room to park, leave your vehicle in this area. There are a number of areas outlined on the map, but focus your efforts on the lowest (smallest) portion of habitat. Try to be at the site by 6:00 am and it is recommended that you visit the site in the daylight to scout a route and determine how long the hike will take. Please also complete a habitat assessment form (above) for this canyon.