A new monument at the Pacific Crest Trail southern terminus

By Barney Scout Mann, PCTA board member

It was a sight not seen in almost 30 years. For three hours last Saturday, there was no monument marking the southern end of the PCT on the desert rise south of Campo. The familiar silhouette made by five fir pillars was gone.

In a long-planned and well-choreographed action, PCTA volunteers erected the trail’s new southern terminus monument. The old one had been showing its age. Campo weather, including harsh summer sun and winter rain and snow, had changed the foot-thick wooden posts into cavity-ridden teeth. There were deep cracks and pervasive wood rot. Once as rigid as stone monoliths, two of the posts could be rocked back and forth by hand.


Just after the new main pole was planted in the earth – Volunteers George Boone, Steve Ayers, Greg Bruce, Michael Lewis, Don Line and John Shelton.

Originally erected in 1988, the monument and its northern twin were built to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the National Trails System Act. That act designated the first two national scenic trails, the PCT and its eastern cousin, the Appalachian Trail.


A good view of why replacement was needed. Volunteers Steve Ayers and Mark Murdock carrying away a rotted pillar.

PCTA volunteer Michael Lewis played an integral role in replacing this iconic monument. Mike contributed more than 300 volunteer hours to PCTA in 2015 – nearly 1/3 of those hours on the monument alone. He reviewed the monument’s original plans from 1988– saved in the PCTA’s archives, coordinated the logistics with volunteers and agency partners, acquired tools and new fir timbers, even managed the lettering and staining. On Saturday, he had no lack of help. A spirited crew in hardhats and worn Carhartts joined Lewis for the digging and heavy lifting.

Many thanks to all who took part in this project.


The end of a good morning’s work. (From L to R) George Boone, Jim Hawkins, Jan Hawkins, Don Line, Steve Ayers, Michael Lewis, Greg Bruce, Mark Murdock, John Shelton, Molly Cromwell, Ben Barry, Bob Griffis and Barney Mann. Debi Rodriguez is not pictured. All volunteers except for Ben Barry, PCTA technical advisor.

A video captured the PCT’s Iwo Jima moment, as many hands tilted the tallest post from horizontal to skyward.

See if you can pick out two changes. Hint: One involves two digits. The second can be found with a compass. The answers will be published in the Spring issue of the PCT Communicator.

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