Valentine Camp

Valentine Camp Reserve
Valentine Camp / Photo by Lobsang Wangdu

Valentine Camp is a center for research in the high Sierra Nevada. The reserve lies in a glacier-carved basin in a transition zone between the sagebrush desert of the Great Basin and the coniferous forests of the high Sierra Nevada. With its varied topography and soils, the site encompasses several distinct habitats: Sierran upper-montane forest and chaparral, Great Basin sagebrush, and wet montane meadow, all occurring within a relatively small area. Mammoth Creek flows through the site, bordered by high montane riparian vegetation. Several large springs and small seeps add to diverse habitats. Valentine Camp and the NRS’s Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) together comprise Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserves (VESR).

Forest Management

Several fuel reduction projects have been completed in recent years on site to reduce fire hazards and improve forest health.

Public Outreach

Environmental education programs for local elementary school students; K–12 summer school; public tours; short courses; and the Spring Seminar Series of lectures.

Field Courses

Site visits by university courses in geology, environmental science, botany, and plants of the high country.

Environmental monitoring

Long-term monitoring of plant phenology as part of the National Phenology Network; long-term monitoring of forest vegetation; reserve manager monitors development in surrounding area and participates in local planning.

Selected Research

  • Fire ecology: Valentine Camp fire history studies, stand-age analysis, and fuel-loading maps will be used to develop a fire management plan.
  • Wetland mapping project: Identification and delineation of wetlands in Long Valley.
  • Plant ecology: Population ecology, ecophysiology, and genetics of mountain brome grass.
  • Avian ecology: Artificial nest boxes are used to attract house wrens for study in breeding behavior and endocrinology.
  • Expanded research opportunities: Studies of insects, mammals, and amphibians are conducted on the reserve and at other regional sites.

Carol Blanchette
Valentine Camp
1016 Mt. Morrison Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Valentine Camp Reserve website

Mono County, on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in the town of Mammoth Lakes.
Google Map

Housing for 16 in three renovated cabins with modern cooking, sleeping, and bathroom facilities, electricity, Internet, spring water. Other facilities include an Education Center classroom building and limited parking/storage space. Supplies are available in neighboring Mammoth Lakes.

The reserve bibliography includes citations of journal articles, books, theses, art, and other works published about or based on activities conducted at the reserve.

Plant List
Synoptic collections of plants/insects available nearby at Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory and UC Santa Barbara; bibliography of publications based on on-site research; aerial photos.

Staff reserve manager at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory, seasonal on-site caretaker, stewards, laboratory manager, administrative assistant, education coordinator, and teaching staff.

62 hectares (154 acres)

2,437 to 2,605 m (7,994 to 8,545 ft.)

51 to 64 cm (20 to 25 in.) per year.

July maximum: 28 ºC (82 ºF)
January minimum: -10 ºC (14 ºF)
Dendra Weather Data

Will at Valentine Camp
Valentine Camp
Valentine Camp