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 www.pct.photography. 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.
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.
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.
We got an early start on the Pacific Crest Trail this morning, departing Hauser Creek shortly after 6 am. It was another chilly morning and our gear was covered with condensation and frost. We need to work on our technique for packing up wet tents in the dark — I’m sure this won’t be the only time we have to do that.
We had an excellent breakfast at the Oak Shores Grocery in Lake Morena Village.
The mild daytime temperatures continued today as we hiked past Boulder Oaks and then up Kitchen Creek. We found very nice camping and good water 4/10 of a mile north of the PCT near the Yellow Rose Spring.
Photo: Deb and our small tent near the large trees at Yellow Rose Spring.
Mileage: 14.8 miles
Hiker Tips: We started the PCT with just 1.5 days food and resupplied at Lake Morena Village. This worked very well for us. The Oak Shores Grocery is now serving excellent food. We had breakfast there and ordered sandwiches that were large enough for both lunch and dinner. It’s only another 1.5 days to Mount Laguna, so you don’t need to carry that much food.
Today we began a long walk. A 2,660 mile walk from the Mexican border to the Canadian border on the Pacific Crest Trail.
White Jeep gave us an early morning ride to the Southern Terminus of the PCT (thanks White Jeep), where about 30 other hikers also started hiking today. A surprisingly large number considering how early in the hiking season it is. The hikers spread out pretty quickly, and we spent the day leapfroging with a half dozen other hikers who walked about the same pace as us.
We decided to only go as far as Hauser Canyon the first day. Our plan is to hike a relatively easy 15 mile per day pace for the next three weeks. Plus, this sets us up to spend Saturday night at Mount Laguna (mile 42).
Mileage: 15.4 miles
Hiker Tips: No water in Hauser Creek. We carried 5 liters of water each from Campo which was about half liter more than we each needed. Temperatures were very mild — low around 27.
Last weekend we hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from Highway 94 to the Lake Morena Campground. We stopped at Hauser Creek for lunch, and to enjoy the fall colors. After lunch we hiked out of the Hauser Canyon and on to the Lake Morena Campground.
I have been doing some blog reorganization recently. Information about Pacific Crest Trail Maps, Smartphone Apps, and other Halfmile Projects will be moving to Halfmileproject.org. Check it out to learn the status of various Halfmile Projects and find other useful Halfmile PCT information.
Lon.net will remain active as my personal blog. Photographs and information about my various travels will continue to be posted here.