Southern California

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

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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

Whitewater Preserve facilities closed to PCT hikers in 2019

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By: Tori Stanton and Al H.
March 13th, 2019

Due to severe damage from heavy rains, the Whitewater Preserve visitor center area will not be able to accommodate day use or overnight PCT hikers in 2019. There are no phones available (landline or otherwise), no restrooms, no wifi, and no road access to be picked up or dropped off.

The bridge across the Whitewater River from the PCT to the Preserve has been washed out. Great caution should be used in crossing in this area as two people (non-PCT hikers) lost there lives in this river last September.

Winter storms and road closures in the San Jacinto area

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By: Don and Jack
March 4th, 2019

Due to heavy snow, the trail over Fuller Ridge will be tough for some early hikers. An alternate route in years past was to bypass the ridge and hike up Black Mountain Road. Beware that HWY 243 was washed out and may not be open till July. Check with Caltrans to see if it is open for hikers. Another option to get to I-10 is to go back to the Paradise Cafe and go all the way around on hwy 74 thru Palm Springs, a car ride of close to 2 hours

Temporary trail traffic hold near I-10 when transmission line work occurs – West of Devers Upgrade Project

November 6th, 2018

Construction connected to Southern California Edison’s West of Devers Upgrade Project (a renewable energy project) will result in temporary holds on PCT hikers and riders around mile 210.

For the most part, construction will not impact trail users. During wire stringing between electrical towers, construction crews may ask hikers to wait for a safe time to cross under the wires.

Endangered Species Detour passable by hikers but not equestrians

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By: David Harris
August 23rd, 2018

Despite April 2014 and May 2017 reports to the contrary, the endangered species detour at Mile 386 from Islip Saddle to South Fork Campground is readily passable by hikers. The trail is rocky, passes above some steep drop-offs, and has sections where scree has slid across the path, so those who are nervous about heights might not enjoy the trail, but it is still readily passable by average hikers and is a minor challenge compared to many other problems faced by through-hikers. The trail is presently impassible to equestrians because of a huge log on a very steep hillside that hikers must crawl under.

The Endangered Species Detour tours some splendid country, including Big Rock Creek and the Devil’s Punchbowl, but it so long and has so much elevation loss and gain that most hikers I’ve met are doing the road walk from Eagles Nest to Burkhart Campground.

Tehachapi Wind Farm safety notice

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By: Brookfield Renewable
August 6th, 2018

Brookfield Renewable, the owner and operator of the Tehachapi Wind Farm, wants to remind hikers and horseback riders to take reasonable precautions while near the project. Pay close attention to your surroundings and respect all signage and barriers. Stay on the trail in the area.

The wind farms contain high voltage cabling and equipment. Do not touch the turbines or any other equipment as this may cause severe injury or death.

For your personal safety please be aware of the following:

  • Maintenance activities and vehicles
  • High winds and lightning
  • Falling objects from blades and towers
  • Moving vehicles

North Gate Location: Lat 35 3’49.17” N, Long 118 20”45.56” W
South Gate Location: Lat 35 3’36.37” N, Long 118 20’46.27” W

If there are any questions regarding this matter, please contact Brookfield Renewable at 518-615-9357

Cranston Fire near Idyllwild

July 26th, 2018

If you are hiking near Idyllwild, beware that the town and surrounding communities are under evacuation because of a wildfire. Not sure whether officials have closed the PCT, but this forested area has the potential to burn. Please use caution and respect all trail closures, and please help emergency responders by staying away. We’ll update when we know more.

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6032/