Southern California section of the Pacific Crest Trail permanently protected

The Boy Scout property in Soledad Canyon. Photo by Mark Larabee.

In 1907, English soldier Robert Baden-Powell devised the Boy Scouts motto, “Be Prepared.” The story goes that upon hearing the motto, someone asked the scouting founder the inevitable question: “Prepared for what?”

“Why, for any old thing,” he replied.

Scouting is a program for young people to learn how to handle what life throws at them — to be prepared. The same is often said of the life-changing hiking and horseback-riding experiences provided by the Pacific Crest Trail.

Last year, the Greater Los Angeles Area Boy Scout Council decided they were ready to sell a property that was not core to its programs. The five acres sits in Soledad Canyon in Southern California and includes a short section of the PCT. Rather than put the land on the market, the council reached out to the Pacific Crest Trail Association to see if we would be interested in purchasing it.

The PCT crosses the Soledad Canyon property. Photo by Megan Wargo.

Thanks to the determined support of our members and donors, we were prepared to act. We are pleased to announce that the PCTA successfully purchased the property this month, protecting .17 miles of the PCT, expansive views of hilly desert terrain and crucial wildlife habitat.

Soledad Canyon lies between the Castaic Mountains toward the northwest and the San Gabriel Mountains to the southeast. It provides an important ecological transition zone between coastal and desert habitats. The canyon is one of the few wildlife corridors in the Santa Clara River System, allowing wildlife movement between these two mountain ranges.

The PCTA’s Land protection program preserves the trail experience and protects crucial habitat. Photo by Megan Wargo.

The PCTA will own and manage the property until it can be transferred to public ownership through the U.S. Forest Service for long-term management and protection.

Thank you to the Greater Los Angeles Area Boy Scout Council for its partnership in permanently protecting this section of the PCT. A special thanks to all of the PCTA’s land protection supporters who ensure that the PCTA can “Be Prepared” to acquire unprotected properties along the trail before the opportunity is lost forever.


You can donate to the PCTA’s Land Protection Fund and help protect the last 10% of the trail that remains on private property.

Author: Megan Wargo

Megan Wargo is PCTA’s Director of Land Protection. She oversees a program dedicated to protecting the landscape and trail miles that are still held by private landowners. Megan brings more than a dozen years of experience leading teams and managing landscape-scale conservation projects.