Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez Rocks (PCT Halfmile 453.5) to Indian Canyon Trailhead (PCT 444.2) (9.3 miles, +2,000/-2,300 feet). One thing I didn’t realize about my campsite last night: I was about a mile from the 14, which is busier than many interstates I’ve travelled.  It wasn’t too bad, but it did remind me of what it sounds like…

Agua Dulce

San Francisquito Canyon Road (PCT Halfmile 478.2) to Vasquez Rocks (PCT 453.5) (24.7 miles, +4,000/-4,900 feet). Time to continue my adventures on the PCT! Except for the Mountain Fire Closure, I have completed everything up to Acton KOA, so ideally I would have started from there and headed north.  But I only had two days…

The Kelly Ditch Trail

William Heise County Park to Lake Cuyamaca and back (11.5 miles, +2,900/-2,900 feet). BarnFinder was back in town for the holidays and I haven’t seen him that much because of his work schedule, so we decided to do a day hike nearby.  We’ve both hiked just about all the main hikes that are within a…

Mortero Palms

Mortero Palms trailhead to saddle with Goat Canyon (4 miles, +1,600/-1,600 feet). Half Cookie and I wanted a nice day hike for the holidays, and since it’s been pretty cold for us here in San Diego (below 60!) we decided to go to the desert. I’ve always had my eye on a cross-country route to…

San Gorgonio Pass

PCT Halfmile 201.7 to Whitewater Preserve (17.5 miles, +2,000/-5,000 feet). I was so worried that it would be windy last night, given how much it howled during the day.  But the wind disappeared at sunset and it never came back, giving me a perfectly calm night and a great sleep. My knees ached from yesterday’s…

Icy Falls

Deer Springs Trailhead to PCT Halfmile 201.7 (22.3 miles, +4,300/-6,700 feet). As I have slowly creeped my way north on the PCT, there has been a missing section that has nagged at me.  On past trips I have explored all around San Jacinto Peak and the San Gorgonio Wilderness, but I never connected the dots,…

A View to the North

Summit Meadow to Sage Flat Trailhead via a 10,000 foot and a 9,400 foot knoll (10 miles +2,300/-5,800 feet). We got up this morning and assessed the weather.  It was probably about 30 degrees last night and we slept with most or all of our clothes.  Tonight it is supposed to be 5 degrees cooler,…

Olancha Pass

Sage Flat Trailhead to Summit Meadow (6 miles, +4,000 feet/-500 feet). It’s been dry so far in the Sierra this year, so I thought we might sneak in one more trip before the whole place gets socked in.  At just four hours door-to-trail, Sage Flat is an extremely convenient place to get up to the…

Bulletproof PCT

Wrightwood to Cajon Junction (24 miles, +3,500/-6,700 feet). Today I had the opportunity to finish up the part of Section D that Half Cookie and I missed when we had to leave trail early last May.  It was a gorgeous day starting out in the low 30s and peaking somewhere in the 50s, and I…

Back in the Saddle

Vincent Gap to Wrightwood (14 miles, +3,500/-4,200 feet). Ever since Half Cookie rolled her ankle and we had to get off trail at Vincent Gap, I’ve had my eye on the part of Section D of the PCT between there and Cajon Junction.  Today I got a chance to hike some of it with my…

Not 30

PCT Halfmile 424.4 to Indian Canyon Trailhead (PCT 444.2) (19.8 miles, +3,000/-6,400 feet). Today was…. interesting. I’m not sure I would do it again.  In fact, I know I wouldn’t.  But sometimes it is useful to have certain experiences because they are novel and they help define the lines within which we color our future…

Trail Gorilla

Mill Creek Summit (PCT Halfmile 418.6) to PCT 424.4 (5.8 miles, +2,200/-1,400 feet). Over the last two and a half years I’ve hiked about 15% of the PCT.  It’s such a beautifully-designed and well-maintained trail that my buddies and I often use it as a baseline to rate other trails (as in “hey, this is…