Pacific Crest Trail Water Report
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Pacific Crest Trail Water Report -- Part One : Campo to IdyllwildUpdated: 7:46pm 2/17/17
Campo, CA to Idyllwild,
Never rely on water caches!!! With the increase in the number of hikers, it's virtually impossible for anyone to maintain a cache that always has enough water (for more info visit Also, to reduce the impact at popular camping sites that offer natural water sources please consider dry camping (for more info visit
Send email updates to or phone/text 619-734-7289 or 619-734-PCTW [voice mail/text only, no one will answer]. Water reports are compiled from email updates, posts to the PCT-L, on-line trail journals, and other on-the-ground reports. Mileages and waypoint names used in this water report are from Halfmile’s PCT maps [].
Beware of contaminated water. Things that could make you sick are too small to see. You don’t know if a dead carcass was just removed from that tank/spring/creek or what’s hidden upstream. Purify backcountry water. Close lids on springs and tanks to protect water quality.
Take fire safety seriously. It’s an unprecedented drought and our public lands are ready to burn. Generally, there will be strong fire restrictions in place this summer. Campfires will be banned. Alcohol stoves and smoking may also be. Make do without and use extreme caution if allowed. Rules change as you cross agency boundaries. Don’t be the one that destroys the trail. Alcohol stoves start fires – go stoveless or carry a stove with a contained fuel source and a shut-off valve.
Water sources with blue text [marked with * or **] have historically been more reliable. Sources marked with ** are more likely to have water year-round than those marked with a single *. Water described as seasonal, usually dry, early spring, etc. are less reliable..
MapMileWaypointLocationReportDateReported By
California Section A: Campo to Warner Springs
Start your hike with enough water to make it to the Lake Morena Campground. The weather has been dry the past few weeks and there is no water between Campo and Lake Morena!
A11.2WR001**Juvenile Ranch Facility [faucet behind Juvenile Ranch sign]This facility is closed. Consider the water off indefinitely. 9/21/16Mr. Clean
A11.4CampoTown - Faucet & Store
A1~2.5Seasonal Campo Crk [usually dry]Dry9/21/16Mr. Clean
A14.4WR004Creeklet [early spring only]Strong flow1/25/17Tink & Screagle
A2~12.7Seasonal creek [usually dry]slimy gross, knee deep flow1/25/17Tink & Screagle
A215.4WRCS015Hauser Creek [early spring only]Dry9/21/16Mr. Clean
If dry at creek crossing, try taking a right on the road E & walk up stream 200-300 yards. Periodically walk up to creek and check for pools. These last just a little longer than at trail. [Beware; it often has water in April, only to go dry just before ADZPCTKO]. WATCH OUT FOR POISON OAK in this area.
A215.4WACS016Cottonwood Creek below Lake Morena [1.6 miles W of PCT on dirt road]completely dry10/4/16Rover
A220LkMorenaCG**Lake Morena CampgroundFaucets are on12/7/16Non-Amish Bros.
Signs at Lake Morena Campground direct hikers to camp in site 64, $5 fee. $0.25 per each 2 minutes charge for showers.
A324.1WR024Cottonwood Creek Bridgegood flow1/26/17Tink & Screagle
A325.5WR026Cottonwood Creekbedlots of flow with a bit of a rock hop2/7/17Charlie
A326BoulderOaksCG**Boulder Oaks CampgroundSpigots on12/6/16The Optimist
SOBO:First spigot is hard to see - it's hiding on the back of a 2' brown post just as the PCT gets onto the CG road, on right.A 2nd faucet is on a tall brown post further along the road. NOBO:Heading south the spigot is to the left of the trail just before exiting the campground. There are several other spigots in the campground.
A326.5Boulder Oaks Store Closed permanently
A3~26.8Kitchen Creek near I-8Dry9/21/16Mr. Clean
A328.5KitchenCrFalls*Kitchen Creek Falls [2/10 mi NW]Several large, stagnant pools but they're way down off the trail12/6/16The Optimist
A3~30Kitchen Creek [100 feet below trail]A few small, stagnant pools12/6/16The Optimist
Or continue to paved road at 30.6 and take a left and then a dirt road down to the water [~0.4 mile].
A330.2WRCS030*Kitchen Creek, Yellow Rose Spring
[4/10 mile N of PCT on road]
Dry12/6/16The Optimist
A432WRCS032Fred Canyon [usually dry]Dry5/29/16Dave
Walk 500 ft downhill E, turn right at the first obvious place, almost immediately see a seasonal stream
A432.6CibbetsCG**Cibbets Flat Campground
[8/10 mi NW on Fred Cyn Rd]
Faucets are on9/21/16Mr. Clean
Campsites are $14 but may be shared by several hikers.
A536.9WR037Long Canyon [next is easier]Good flow2/13/16Mr. Clean
~37.5Long Creekwater flowing not far from trail10/27/16Dan
A537.7WR038*Long Canyon Creek fordWater flowing in rocks to PCT West. Audible. No water at crossing to north of here.6/16/16Sam
A538.8WRCS039*Lower Morris Mdw [3/10 mi NW]Water in tank with flow from pipe at 1 liter/min. Directions to tank: take side trail from PCT; walk west
on path/road approx 150 yds to fence; go thru opening; continue approx 30 yds to a L on dirt road; head downhill approx 40 yds; look for fence posts on R. Tank to your R - 20 yds.
E. coli reared it's ugly head multiple times in the Mount Laguna area in 2015. Please treat all water sources in this area.
Horse camp with a piped spring and water trough. Turn left & walk 0.15 mile up dirt road to fence, continue 50 yards, then left on dirt road to meadow trough.
A541.4BurntRanchCGBurnt Rancheria CampgroundWater on at car campground near Mt Laguna.9/3/16The Optimist
Turn left at signed junction where PCT joins the Desert View Trail [sign does not mention campground]. Faucet by site 48 at the south end of campground is closest to the PCT.
A641.4PO043**Mount Laguna town, lodge, store
[4/10 mi SW of WR043]
12/13/16 (The Optimist) : All faucets OFF until the campground reopens sometime in the spring.
5/9/16 (John & Tom) : Note Saturday hours for the Mount Laguna PO is 9-11AM.
12/13/2016The Optimist
The easiest access to Mount Laguna is to follow the sign directing hikers down the trail through the Burnt Rancheria CG and then right on the Sunrise Highway. You will pass a restaurant, an outfitter, and another restaurant on the way to the Mount Laguna Lodge. Non-purist hikers can continue past the lodge to the Desert View Picnic area to rejoin the PCT, bypassing 1.2 miles of the trail, or you can backtrack on the highway to the campground.
A641.4**Mount Laguna Visitor Center
[just north of the store]
Water is on in bathrooms and drinking fountain.
9/3/16 (The Optimist) : Restroom faucets ON. One of two water fountains ON. Pipe stand with spigot ON (located on east side of Visitor Center). Can be seen from highway
9/19/16Mr. Clean
Per Charlie on 4/6/16: The Pine House Cafe in Mount Laguna will let hikers fill up with water in the bathroom sink. Anything too large to fill from the sink, they'll fill for you. According to the owners, they're on a well that's separate from the store/lodge/visitor center. The water definitely tastes better than the water at the drinking fountain. Current hours are 9A - 3P Monday-Wednesday, 8A - 2:30P/5-7P Thursday, 8-8 Friday and Saturday, 8-7 Sunday. The owners are just about the most hiker friendly people in the world.
A642.1WR042Burnt Rancheria Drinking Fountain by CG jct
Water fountain OFF for the season. The small concrete tank just past the water fountain has a faucet that still had flowing water.12/13/16The Optimist
Access on left 50 yards after you walk below a picnic table on the left or from the road N of the store. Three water sources here: 1) On SW side of loop at end of road [nearest PCT] is a small, two car parking pad. To left & forward a bit is a heavy metal pipe with faucet in small concrete circle, right next to a big tree. This faucet reported to be insulated and should be on year round. 2) Drinking faucet next to restrooms. 3) Sink in restrooms. Water is off in the restrooms during the winter.
A642.6WR043**Desert View Picnic AreaWater is on by the car turnaround.
9/3/16 (The Optimist) : Restroom faucets OFF. Water fountains OFF. Brass pipe stand with plunge lever ON (located in back of DVPA, and just to the south of four curbed parking spots.)
12/13/16The Optimist
A647.5LagunaCG**Laguna Campground
[7/10 mi SW]
Faucets are on. 9/19/16Mr. Clean
Leave trail near wooden overlook. Total walk to the campground and back to the faucet is one mile round trip.
A647.5Al Bahr Shrine CampThe Shrine camp was burned by the 2013 Chariot Fire and it is now closed.7/13/13News reports
A647.8Oasis Spring [1/2 mi down]Moderate flow on the north side of the old pumphouse12/13/16The Optimist
A648.7WR049GATR faucet [1/10 mi W of PCT]12/6/16 (The Optimist) : Faucet is OFF and appears to be off for the winter season.
10/5/16 (Rover) : faucet across road (listed by Optimist and at 32°54′20″ N 116°27′29″ W) is NOT flowing.
12/6/16The Optimist
GATR road in WP guidebook is now a trail. At Penny Pines there are 2 trails to the W toward Sunrise Hwy. The S trail is the most direct. Both trails are marked with Carsonite posts with a Noble Canyon Trail decal. Go 100 yards straight; then 50 yards across Sunrise Hwy to trough and faucet. Water system is filled by portable generator and subject to outage.
6/16/16 (Sam) : Penny Pines Spigot is OFF.
A752.6WR053Pioneer Mail Picnic AreaNo water in tank at Pioneer Mail, handle extremely hard to
1/29/17Tink & Screagle
At north end of parking area is a trough fed from a water tank [limited supply]. This tank is filled from a fire truck. Filter or treat the water before drinking.
A757Oriflamme Cyn [usually dry]
A859.5WRCS059*Sunrise Trailhead [1/2 mi W]12/6/16 (The Optimist) : I was still able to get fresh water from the faucet at the trough - it's tricky! Follow these directions! Turn green handle up to turn on faucet underneath the small lid. If no water flows, walk to the water tank and turn the handle on your right side (as you look at the tank from the trough). Try green handle again. Once I did this I got clear water to flow from the faucet at the trough. Trough itself was 2/3 full, looked pretty clear but per Dan's report on 10/25 may taste foul.
10/25/16 (Dan) : Tank is empty and trough is half full. Water is clear but tasted what I imagine urine tastes like. Not recommended.
12/6/16The Optimist
Follow the trail marked with the sign "Sunrise Highway .25 Mi" on a post that travels along the 5,000-foot contour 1/4 mile SW to the highway. Across the highway to the South is a parking lot and outhouse. To W a well and tank are visible. Follow the old road marked "El Cigna Trail" W 1/8 mile past the corrals to well. Push down float valve at the trough down to get fresh water, or just filter from trough.
E. coli reared it's ugly head multiple times in the Mount Laguna area in 2015. Please treat all water sources in this area.
A862.4WR062Mason Valley Truck Trail
[fire tank 75 yds E, usually dry]
Faucet and tank completely dry9/8/2016The Optimist
A863.7WR064A, B, CUpper Chariot Cyn [8/10 - 1.4 mi N]Dry2/11/2016Charlie
When you reach unpaved Chariot Canyon Rd go right to stay on the PCT. If you turn left you will go N down Chariot Canyon to possible seasonal water. WR064a is a seasonal creek crossing Chariot Canyon Rd, shade, 8/10 mile N of the PCT [2/10 mile N of the StatePark boundary sign]. WR064b is a Fire Tank, 1.2 miles N of the PCT. WR064c is Seasonal Chariot Canyon Spring, 1.4 miles N of the PCT [spring is on the W side of the road hidden from view by several large oak trees].
A968.4WRCS068**Rodriguez Spur Truck Tr [Concrete fire tank visible 75 ft W] - We are especially interested in water reports about this location. Please send info.2/11/17 (Charlie) : Looks like about a foot of water in the tank and nice flow from the small black pipe in the box. Looks like you’re not supposed to use the large valve there.
2/2/17 (Professor & Rock Head) : Repairs have been completed.
1/29/17 (Professor & Rock Head) : Water tank has 9 inches (~1,400 gallons) of water due to recent rains. Faucet has slow leak, more when turned on. We attached a smaller faucet and hose to outlet however valves are temperamental. Please be sure to turn valve as close to 90 degrees in order to stop flow. We will be making additional repairs next week.
Please turn the knob off as hard as you can to minimize the leaking drips.
Target shooting by multiple parties continues on BLM land below (east of) trail just south of Rodriquez Spur Truck Trail crossing (mile 68.4) per Daytripper on 1/4/14.
Just south of the Rodriguez Spur Truck Trail intersection, people were target shooting from the dirt road towards the PCT, which zigzags above and parallel to the road. While their trajectory was lower elevation than the trail (I think), there did not appear to be much margin for error. 11/4/13 per Aaron
A968.4WR068BSpring 1.1 miles NW of PCT1/29/17 (Profressor & Rock Head) : Spring has strong flow, about 8 gallons per minute. Note: If spring is not flowing and you don't have enough to make Scissors Crossing, continue 2.2 miles down Rodriguez Spur Truck Trail to HWY 78. Banner Store is across the highway to the East about 200 feet. Water is available and hitching is easy to either Julian or Scissors Crossing.
12/6/16 (Non-Amish Bros.) : Spring flowing strong, follow instructions by Grateful Red and The Optimist
11/1/16 (Gaucha) : spring is flowing (follow instructions given by the Grateful Red and the Optimist).
10/21/16 (The Grateful Red) : pring has nice clear water. Look for the rust colored water tank on your right and the spring is in a white pvc pipe in your left. You have to pull apart the pipe at the 90 degree elbow to get the Water as it is in the pipe but the flow is not strong enough to crest out of the elbow.
9/8/16 (The Optimist) : Piped spring is flowing at 2 liters per minute into a small trough with clear water. However, there were cows around so this trough may not be a good/reliable option if the spring happens to run dry (and it's very small). When you've walked down the road 1.1 miles you'll see a large rusted tank on the other side of a fence next to the road. The spring is here on the opposite side of the road and is not fenced off like the tank. Good water. Friendly cows. (Note there is a wire fence in the road just before you get to this spring to keep the cows from wandering. This fence was surprisingly quite difficult to close once I'd passed through)
1/29/17Professor & Rock Head
Spring on Rodriguez Spur Truck Trail, 1.1 miles NW of PCT, 70 feet from the large rust colored water tank.
A1077WRCS077Scissors CrossingCache has 100 gallons.
Stagecoach Trails Cg and Cabins 4 miles SE on Hwy S2. Store open till 5pm. NOTE : times can vary dependent on time of year.
2/10/17Rock Head & Professor
The Scissors Crossing water cache is no longer maintained. Water can be found 12 miles W in the small town of Julian, or at the Stagecoach Trails RV park 4 miles S of the PCT on Highway S2.
A1077.1San Felipe Creek, Hwy 78
[.24 miles W bridge, often dry]
In spring, there MAY be shallow water running in the creek, .24 miles west of the bridge, waypoint N 33 05.976 W 116 28.535 Follow creek bed west.
A1191.2WRCS091Third Gate Cache [1/4 mi E]230 gallons of bottled water at cache2/9/17Jon
A water cache can usually be found 1/4 mile E of the PCT down a side trail labeled with “Water” sign. It’s a lot of work getting the water out there, so take only what you need to hike the 9.9 miles to Barrel Spring. Make NO FIRES and carry out your trash.
A1191.2WR091BUnderground Cistern [6/10 mi E]
Follow the dirt road leading from the water cache about 4/10 mile to where the road turns right(E) but go left (N/NW) on an old unmarked trail for 1/10 mile to the underground cistern containing untreated water (a rope and bucket are supplied).
A12101.1WRCS101*Barrel Spring2/9/17 (Jon) : Trough is full of clear water.
2/3/17 (Tink & Screagle) : Heavy trickle.
1/4/17 (Mike) : pipe going into the two big plastic containers has a good medium flow right now and both plastic tubs were full and overflowing.
12/4/16 (Non-Amish Bros.) : Spring Dripping. Two Rubber bins full of clear water.
10/28/16 (Gaucha) : flow from piped spring (fill a liter in 1 minute)
10/27/16 (Mr. Clean) : Pipe flowing at a half liter per minute. Big tubs of water are full.
10/20/16 (The Grateful Red) : Spring is barely trickling water from the pipe watch out for yellow jackets as there were swarms of them there.
10/7/16 (Rover) : adequate flow with lots of clear water in troughs.
Some hikers are washing unmentionables in the trough. Please don't do this, since at some point the pipe may stop running and people will need to use the trough water on 4/26 per Cuddles. Ranchita store [4 miles E] may pick up hikers if you call their number 760-782-3476 [ATT has service at the spring area, Verizon and T Mobile no].
A12104WR104Cattle Trough
[2/10 mi NE, visible from PCT]
Steady trickle coming from pipe above trough3/16/15Haiku
A12104.4WR105Concrete trough below mouth of San Ysidro Creek [2/10 mi W]Plenty of water flowing out of pipe, and trough is full. This was actually much easier to access from 104.45 because
you can see it from the trail. When I tried at 104.40, I couldn't find it because the view was obstructed by a big tree.
A13105WRCS105B*San Ysidro CreekDry10/7/16Rover
San Ysidro Creek often has cattle nearby.
A13106.2WR106Eagle Rock Spring
Spring-Fed Metal Trough - 3/10 mile N of Eagle Rock over hill near road
A13106.2WR016BWater Tank [visible 2/10 mi S of PCT at Eagle Rock]Good water at water tank 1/3 mile south of trail at 106.2 can see from trail seems pretty full have to go to trough and hold down plunger to get clean water should filter though.4/16/15Canadoug
A13107.9WR108Canada VerdeGood flow2/10/17Charlie
WARNING per 1 Speed (9/26/15) : I was day hiking in this area 2 months ago and saw the Bees/Hornets. As I walked past I notices a small inconspicuous sign "BEE TREE", you have to look for it and moving quickly to get away from insect attackers you wouldn't see it. Bees, Hornets what ever they are there just look in the crotch of the Oak.
5/26/15 (Tuna Helper): Just after gate at mile 109.3, was attacked by hornets while walking by, they were swarming the crotch of a large oak tree 8' off the ground. Stung in the back of the neck while running away.
A13109.5Hwy79Hwy 79 [1st crossing, small seasonal creek nearby]Dry2/10/17Charlie
Warner Springs Community about 100 yards east of PCT on the N side of Hwy 79.
A13109.5**Warner Springs [small town,1.2 mi NE of PCT; WS Resource Center is at the 1st PCT crossing of Hwy 79 across from the Fire Station]10/28/16 (Gaucha) : water fountain on the outside of building of restrooms, accessible at night
8/5/16 (Fiji McEverest & Nick Namaste) : At Warner Springs the small community center was open.
6/11/16 (Snot the Biped) : Open Saturday Sunday Monday - 9-1 - Give a call @ 760 782 4271 or Terry @ 760 470 0321 - Limited food and supplies still for sale.
Warner Springs Resource Center has limited open hours so it would be best to check ahead on that. 760-782-0670
The Warner Springs Resort is for sale & currently CLOSED, including gas station, mini mart, grill, and resort. Post office remains open M-F 8-4 & Sat. 8-1:30. WS Resource Center is open daily 8-4 for hikers.
A13109.5PO0110Warner Springs POWater spigot across the street of Post office in parking lot of Warner Springs Resort. Flows great.2/15/15Rainman
CA Section B: Warner Springs to Highway 10
B1111.4Hwy79bHighway 79
[2nd crossing, Agua Caliente Creek]
There is a spigot just south of Hwy 79 near a tire swing at about mile 111.3 (Spigot turned off as of 4/27/14 per Alia B.)
B1112.6WR113Agua Caliente Creek
[near picnic tables]
Great flow2/12/17Jon
B1114.7WR115Agua Caliente CreekGreat flow2/12/17Jon
B1115.5WR115B*Agua Caliente Creek [last crossing]Great flow2/12/17Jon
B1116.0411/1/16 (Pebble) : Spring flowing low but steady, more water in creek below the trail
10/28/16 (Gaucha) : *sobo directions* there are 3 muddy spots on trail. The first 2 have no flow or pools. The third, maybe 30 ft down trail, has a spring with good flow above the trail. Another option is from the first muddy spot on
trail, look downhill to see deep pools. If you scramble down 20 ft and walk just upstream there is a great flow.
10/8/16 (Rover) : spring right at trail (spring runoff crosses trail). Good flow > 1 liter/minute. Note there are three little springs like this within 20 feet on trail. Southernmost is flowing best.
B2119.6WR120*Lost Valley Spring [0.2 mi off trail]there is water in the spring but pretty foul. Needs serious filtering. 8/5/16Fiji McEverest & Nick Namaste
Campo - Idyllwild
Idyllwild - Agua Dulce
Agua Dulce - Cottonwood Pass
Northern CA