We reached the closure of the Pacific Crest Trail at mile 162.6 this morning and began our little adventure of finding a way around the Mountain Forest Fire closure area. So far, it has gone pretty well.
In case anyone is interested, this is the route we took:
At the PCT closure signs we took the unsigned trail fork (opposite direction from Cedar Springs) that switchbacks down the west side of the mountain and eventually ends at paved Morris Ranch Road.
We followed Morris Ranch Road south (left) until we found a gate for an unpaved road near a powerline. The signs at the gate say “Fobes Trail 4E04” and “Road 6S05 1 1/2.”
Enter the gate and follow the unpaved road (and powerline) to a dry creekbed just east of Hwy 74.
We continued following the powerline to Hwy 74, through the gates on both sides of the highway and continuing west to a larger powerline.
We followed the unpaved road under the larger powerline north as it parallels Hwy 74.
When we reached Thomas Mountain Road (6S13) we road walked a little over a mile on Hwy 74 to the Hurkey Creek Campground, where we are spending the night before continuing part two of the adventure tomorrow.
This alternate route was about 11.3 miles after we departed the PCT. We did not see any water on this route except for the Lake Hemet Store near the end.
A Google Earth track of our route is here or a .GPX format here.
Photo: The Pacific Crest Trail is closed at mile 162.6 due a wildfire last year.
Trail Date: Monday, April 14th
Mileage: 15.5 miles