Start: Mile 623.3
End: Mile 651.3
Miles Hiked = 28
I slept well last night in my little camp under the Joshua Trees. I was on the trail once again by 6:30am and enjoyed the sunrise over the desert to the east.
I had 1.5 liters of water left from yesterday. The next water cache, at Bird Spring Pass, was in eight miles. As long as the water cache was stocked, as reported, I would be OK. I wasn’t worried – the most recent comments on the Guthook app reported that the water cache was well stocked.
The eight mile hike to the water cache was enjoyable and not too challenging. I was there in about 3.5 hours and it was well stocked as expected.
The next 4 miles were uphill and not as difficult as I was anticipating. The views made the climb worth the effort.
The climb brought me back into the forest and in a few hours I came upon a really tall tree right along the trail – Ponderosa Pine???
By late afternoon, the trail merged with a dirt road for several miles. Dirt roads are often more difficult to walk on than the trail – they are commonly rutted, uneven and sometimes rocky.
My original plan for the day was to hike about twenty miles and camp near the McIver Cabin, which is at 6700 feet elevation. There is a spring there as well as plenty of camping spots. The weather report, however, was predicting rain tonight. Many of the hikers at the previous water cache were talking about spending the night inside the McIver Cabin due to the bad weather. There was a rumor that there could be snow above 6000 feet. Spending the night inside a small cabin with 10-15 other hikers doesn’t sound like fun to me so, as I hiked this afternoon, I started to think about hiking all the way to Walker Pass. That’s an additional eight miles. There’s a campground there and the elevation is closer to 5000 feet.
When I got to the fork in the trail to veer off to the McIver Cabin or continue on the PCT, I continued on the trail. Soon, I stopped for a rest as we’ll as to cook my dinner. Then I continued towards Walker Pass. The last five miles were downhill – it helps to not fight gravity! As the sun set, I enjoyed the views in the dimming light.
And, once again, I had a distant view to the south of the snow-covered Mt. Baldy shining in the last remaining sunlight of the evening.
It got dark enough that I had to turn on my headlamp for the last mile before reaching Walker Pass Campground. Once there, I set up my tent and was soon asleep. I stayed warm and dry and when it starting raining at 3am I was thankful that I didn’t have to get up in a few hours and hike in the rain.
Thanks for reading.