Day Eight: Barrel Spring to Warner Springs (2nd crossing of Hwy 79)

Today was a short day of hiking, just eight miles to Warner Springs. We stopped at the Community Resource Center for lunch, where they have set up an excellent “PCT Hiker Rest Stop and Shop.”

After lunch we hiked two more miles to the second road crossing, where our friend Warner Springs Monty picked us up and hosted us along with several other hikers.

Photo: Poppies in bloom south of Warner Springs

Trail Date: Thursday, April 10th

Mileage: 10.3 miles


Day Seven: San Felipe Hills (1st Gate) to Barrel Spring

Today we reached the 100 mile point. 101.1 miles actually, since we are camped at Barrel Spring. We are just five miles short of completing 4% of the Pacific Crest Trail.

We are both still enjoying the hike, the amazing views and the wonderful hiking community. Neither of us have any blisters and we are both happy and healthy.

Tomorrow we only hike 10 miles to the community of Warner Springs where we will be hosted for the night in the home of our friend Warner Springs Monty.

Deb is looking forward to a shower and clean laundry.

A chorus of frogs is serenading us to sleep.

Photo: A hiker created a milestone marker made of sticks at the exact location of 100 miles from Campo. The Halfmile App must have been used.

Trail Date: Wednesday, April 9th

Mileage: 15.1 miles


Day Six: Mile 71 to the San Felipe Hills

Today’s section of the Pacific Crest Trail was in Anza-Borrego State Park and the desert was full of blooming flowers and cactus. A very warm but beautiful day of hiking.

This morning we hiked six miles to a highway intersection called Scissors Crossing, where we met our friend JJ. He is working on a photo project about PCT hikers and has been posting excellent work online at He also brought us three gallons of cool water from Julian, which was very much appreciated.

It was a steep climb into the San Felipe Hills with packs heavy from the water, but it was amazing to see all the blooming flowers along the trail.

We camped under the stars again tonight and according to my astronomy app, watched the International Space Station shortly after sunset.

Another wonderful day on the trail.

Photo: A warm but beautiful hike through the blooming ocotillo and other cactus in the San Felipe Hills.

Trail Date: Tuesday, April 8th

Mileage: 15 miles


Day Five: PCT Mile 56 to Mile 71

Today the Pacific Crest Trail descends down from Mount Laguna toward a highway intersection called Scissors Crossing. We had been camping at about 5,200 feet elevation and will be dropping to around 2,200 feet tomorrow.

It was relatively easy downhill walking most of the way. The chaparral was greener than I expected considering the drought we have been experiencing here in California. Wildflowers and cactus are starting to bloom.

The weather is forecast to be warmer tomorrow and combined with the lower elevation it may be a very warm day tomorrow.

Photo: Cactus blooming as the PCT descends towards Scissors Crossing.

Trail Date: Monday, April 7th


Day Four: Mount Laguna to PCT Mile 56

Today was perfect hiking weather as we departed the luxury of the Mount Laguna Lodge and returned back to the Pacific Crest Trail.

Our packs are heavy with four and a half days of food to carry us to our next resupply in Warner Springs, 68 miles by PCT to the north.

The trail traverses across the top of the Laguna Mountains with amazing views of the vast Anza Borrego Desert below.

Several miles of the trail passed through the 2013 Chariot Fire burn area, which was sad, but at the same time interesting to see plants blooming and wildlife returning.

We camped alone for the first time tonight and this was the first night away from roads or civilization. It was a beautiful clear night and we slept out under the stars.

Photo: Amazing views of the Anza-Borrego Desert from the PCT.

Mileage: 14.6 miles


Day Three: Yellow Rose Spring to Mount Laguna

Today we awoke to rain, mist, and drizzle. Rain was not forecasted, but we were not surprised because of the clouds from the previous afternoon.

It felt like the coldest day yet on the Pacific Crest Trail, even though it was actually about 10 degrees warmer than the previous two mornings. After a few hours the drizzle stopped and the hiking was considerably more pleasant.

We reached Mount Laguna by mid-afternoon and stopped by the outfitter who was holding a supply box for us and then checked in to the Mount Laguna Lodge. Quite a few hikers are here tonight.

Photo: Deb in the mist on the trail to Mount Laguna.

Mileage: 11.3 miles

Hiker Tip: Always be prepared for cold wet weather on the PCT.