Section A

Anza Borrego 2013

By: Steve Sheppard- Turtleback
April 16th, 2013

Other than a need for lobbing an overgrown section south of Rodriguez jeep trail junction water tank and to just south of Chariot Canyon…5000 feet is cold right now, but the trail is groomed nicely! Zebra tail rattle snakes are coming out and sitting on the trail right before third cache. Only Long creek is flowing until Barrel Spring! Third Gate water cache is down down down at the four wheeler trail and the wind is a hazard through the Lagunas as usual. I recommend stopping at Scissors Crossing and preparing for a long fourteen miles to third cache. Hopefully there will be plenty of water for those starting at kickoff! Barrel Spring is flowing nicely and there is a lard herd of dairy cows being used through ranch before Warner Spring.

section a water report

By: Troop 673 - Mike Kelley
March 18th, 2013

There was water available several places throughout the first twenty miles of the PCT from Mexico. Most likely due to rain a week ago. Of course the creek at 4.4 miles was slowly flowing. In the area around mile 9 there were several places where a small amount of water was running off rocks below the trail, overlooking the flat valley below with cows grazing. At around mile 15, off the south boundary road around 200 feet before taking the trail down into Hauser Creek area, there was water dripping down the embankment above the roadway. Hauser Creek was dry around the trail.

January 2, 2013

By: D. Curtis Stenger

Hiked mile 77 (Scissors Crossing) to mile 111 (2nd crossing of Highway 79) as a series of dayhikes December 28, 2012  January 1, 2013. The Stewart fire of August 2012 (southern half of the San Felipe Hills) left a completely charred, barren landscape. Surprisingly, trail tread in the burn remains in very good shape with virtually no erosion (so far). Although much of the desert flora of the southern half of the San Felipe Hills was destroyed there are some unburned remnants, such that through hikers may still experience ocotillo, agave, two species of yucca, and nine species of cactus. Also present (persisting even in the burn) was the California native succulent Dudleya lanceolata. The northern edge of the burn is a wide tractor line located ~50 yards south of the 3rd Gate Cache (mile 90). No water at cache as of 12/31/12. Most gates in the San Felipe Hills have the adjacent barbed-wire peeled back, leaving a ~10 foot wide gap in the fence next to each gate. Trail tread in the unburned, northern half of the San Felipe Hills also in good shape but brush beginning to encroach on trail (miles 96-98). Trail north of Barrel Springs (mile 101) to 2nd crossing of Highway 79 (mile 111) in good shape. Small population of the succulent Dudleya pulverulenta in rocks just north of San Ysidro Creek (mile 105) crossing. A local indicated that Warner Springs Resort has been sold to a local Indian tribe that plans to convert the facility into a casino.

Natural water sources: Barrel Springs (mile 101) flowing well; San Ysidro Creek (mile 105) dry; water flowing in upper region of Canada Verde (mile 108) when first (Nobo) encountered to about ~100 yards downstream but otherwise dry; Warner Springs Ranch Creek (mile 111) dry.

Parking access to trail: Very large parking area on San Felipe Road just north of Scissors Crossing (mile 77); large, roadside pull-through turnout on Montezuma Valley Road near Barrel Springs (mile 101); turnout at Highway 79 1st crossing (mile 109) across from CDF fire station; large turnout at Highway 79 2nd crossing (mile 111) a few yards west of bridge over Warner Springs Ranch Creek (to access trail, cross bridge then descend into creekbed). We also utilized parking at the San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area Information Kiosk (west side of San Felipe Road ~5 miles north of Scissors Crossing) 1 mile west of PCT to split San Felipe Hills into two day hikes. Trail can be accessed by following rough dirt road east to base of hills, then cross-country (east) along spur ridge (on north side of wash). Trail accessed, after 900 feet gain in elevation from parking area, at mile 89.75. Note that this access route was in the burned area (will likely become difficult/unusable in a few years after regrowth) and that the parking area is not visible from the PCT at mile 89.75.

All mileage points based on Halfmile’s Google Earth waypoints. Daytripper.

December 17, 2012

By: alphabetsoup

The trail north from Rodriquez spur truck trail is badly eroded, washed out and extremely difficult to hike for about 5-6 miles along the north face of granite mountain .The washout continues for about half a mile out on the San Felipe valley floor. Recent wildfires have burned most of the vegetation off the mountain and heavy rains are washing large amounts of debris/soil/sand down the washes into the valley. Can be difficult to find the trail as you descend the mountain to cross the valley. Recent heavy rains AFTER this hike have likely made conditions worse. (Hiked this section 12/3/12 thru 12/9/12)

August 29, 2012

By: Ontime

The trail is in good condition everywhere, but it should be marker better. I had half milers maps, the data book, and a compass, but got lost many times. I got a GPS at Aqua Dulce CA. I was sure that I would not be successful on my hike without it.

April 11, 2012

Hiked the first 26 miles. Plenty of water. Trail down Hauser Canyon a bit overgrown, but otherwise everything in great shape. Construction on the power line just before Hauser has a lot of helicopters bringing in huge loads of equipment, but more interesting than annoying.

April 8, 2012

Took my two sons on a spring break hike of section A for the first week of April and found good overall trail conditions.

Be careful on the top of Hauser Mt. We found 2 be hives next to the trail in rocks. One of my sons was stung.

Thanks to the trail crew in Chariot Canyon for the water and the great trail work.

Ryan Hill

Escondido Ca.