Section E

3-21-19, Section E, South Bound, Mile 558 to Mile 535, Tehachapi Mountains

Sections:
By: Road Dawg
March 26th, 2019

3-21-19, Section E, South Bound, Mile 558 to Mile 535, Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road to Cottonwood Canyon bridge.

-This was a fantastic hike, the trail conditions were perfect: cold, partly sunny, maybe a little windy. The trail is in good to excellent condition overall, a few blowdowns, trail damaged by motorcycles in a few places, one washout at tiger tank and shower, but easily negotiated. Great views of the Mojave Desert, Antelope Valley, snow on the peaks still in the Tehachapi mountains, some but not a lot of wildflowers right now, some painted lady butterflies too.

Water:

Mile 558.22 Oak Creek:
-Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road water cache in parking area is empty
-At the Oak creek crossing there is a picnic table with about 25 one gallon jugs full of water
-Oak Creek is dry

Mile 556 Tiger Tank and Shower:
-Faucet is shut off, there is about an inch of water in the tank from rain if you are in a desperate emergency for water

Mile 549 Bar and Grill:
-There were only 2 one gallon jugs of water that were each only half full
-there are also a couple small flat spots for camping

Mile 545.1 Gambling Canyon Spring (off trail)
-I did not visit this

Mile 541.6 Tyler Horse Canyon
-At the trail crossing, at least 4 gallons per minute with a really good flow, water does not taste that great

Mile 535 Cottonwood Canyon Bridge
-I did not visit this cache

Trail erosion

Sections:
By: Lynn
April 6th, 2017

From approximately mile 544.5-546.5 the trail is eroded in many places on the steep switchbacks, often to the point of the trail being almost nonexistent. The steep incline and unstable sand makes the tread very dangerous for hikers and probably impassable for equestrians.

Severe erosion between Tylerhorse Canyon and Willow Springs Road

By: Mark M.
December 15th, 2015

These pictures where taken in Section E from mile 542 to 545. I have not seen the other areas. But, the pictures don’t do it justice. The area was hit hard. My concern is someone trying to hike through will get hurt/stuck. I positively could not hike through as-is.

I saw about 5 impassable spots in just about 2 miles.

The PCT is washed out in many places from Tylerhorse Canyon to over by Willow springs Road. The first picture below is about a 40 to 50 foot drop off, the angle of the picture does not properly represent the danger.

Other areas of southern California have been hit by similar erosion. The picture of recent damage is not clear at this time. Take a look at the Southern California tag on the trail conditions page for more information.

erosion-problem-1

erosion-problem-22

erosion-problem-3

erosion-problem-4

Post-Flash Flood trail conditions: Agua Dulce to NW of Lake Hughes

Sections:
By: Chris Quinn
November 2nd, 2015

I hiked the 40 miles from Agua Dulce to where the PCT tread resumes NW of Lake Hughes right after the Flash Flood (which occurred 15 Oct 15). Here’s the summary:

Section Agua Dulce to the Bouquet Reservoir Canyon Rd: Not bad at all. What little damage exists is easily jumped over or walked around. Though there is some mild drainage ruts across the trail, this section should NOT be your maintenance emphasis before the 2016 Thru-hikers start.

Section San Francisquito Rd to PCT Mile 505. The majority of this is a “road hike” due to the Powerhouse Fire detour. While the Elizabeth/Lake Hughes road was initially closed while they cleared mud that was over 5 feet deep in places, they let me walk through. The hike up Road 7N23 to join the trail was in good (and driveable) shape, and the trail NW-bound from there was really nice. Minimal impact on trail tread.

HOWEVER, the section in the middle of these two (from Bouquet Canyon to San Francisquito Rd) has got some SERIOUS issues. It’s OK until you get a mile south of that pair of high-tension power lines (about 2 miles north of Bouquet Canyon Rd). Here, the 4-foot wide tread is high on both sides, thus forcing the floodwaters down the middle of the tread. In places, the trenching is 12-18 inches deep. This continues on/off until reaching /Road 6N09. Northbound from there, the problem switches to an almost complete covering of the trail tread by uphill dirt/silt. The tread is completely filled. Since this section is 99% left (dowhhill) sloped, You are now forced to walk on a 10-degree left-sloped trail “tread”. If your shoes haven’t been giving you blisters yet, they most likely will — because the left sides are always slanted below the right. The majority (60%) of the retaining walls on the left (downhill) side of the trail are still in place, but most are damaged. Another 20% are buckled, and barely holding the trail in place. The other 20% are visible but given way, or entirely washed away. Some good news? The nice wide wood footbridge a mile NW of 6N09 is completely intact — AND the large rocks accompanied by the BSA Troop 415 Post a mile before San Francisquito Rd are still intact (even though the huge hornet nests in the rocks above there are disturbed — and the hornet swarms can be heard (and seen) from 10 yds away)! If there’s ANY way to work on this section of trail before the 2016 season starts, I would strongly encourage it.