Drones’s eye view: No. 2 Flume to upper Dinely


Drone footage by SkyHigh Innovations

This segment begins by ascending Dinely Drive to the area where the flume for Kaweah Powerhouse No. 2 bends to the north before its final descent via penstock to near where Kaweah River Drive and Dinely Drive intersect. Powerhouse No. 2 was built in 1904-05, the second of three hydroelectric generating stations built by the Mt. Whitney Power Company, predecessor to Southern California Edison. Drones’s eye view

Farther up Dinely, above the cattle guard near where the road ends at the gate to the Double Eagle Ranch, the Dinely Fire started on Wednesday June 7, 2017. No cause was determined as to what sparked the 300-acre blaze ignited but according to witnesses, an SCE worker was seen in the area doing maintenance on the flume. Drones’s eye view

The late-morning winds were light but erratic that day and embers started the down slope on fire heading straight for several homes directly in the path of the blaze. Some timely and well-placed retardant drops had the desired effect turning the blaze back toward the tinder dry fuel above the flume.  Inspecting the scorched earth later, the retardant drops both on the roofs of the homes and in the adjacent vegetation, had saved the fire from becoming a disaster. Drones’s eye view

In 1928, the National Park Service figured that good fishing might attract some extra tourists. A fish hatchery was built in the river (across the canyon) adjacent to Powerhouse No. 1. at a cost of $20,000. It became a tourist attraction for many years until 1956 when high flood water undermined the foundation and totally destroyed the hatchery building. Some concrete remnants of the fish troughs occasionally turn up during high water events but little else remains. Drones’s eye view

Ending this aerial tour the Riverway Ranch cabins built ca. 1950 as a dude ranch for Hollywood celebs are visible below. In the 1970s, Riverway was re-purposed as a school and residences for use by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Part of their enduring local legacy is that Three Rivers School has for nearly 50 years offered a vegetarian option on its school lunch menu, certainly the first public school in the Valley to do so.    Drones’s eye view 

One thought on “Drones’s eye view: No. 2 Flume to upper Dinely

  • May 29, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Fascinating history. Thank you!


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