Pacific Crest Trail Water Report
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Pacific Crest Trail Water Report -- Part One : Campo to IdyllwildUpdated 10:47pm 8/23/17
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 []. Please send photos & videos of water sources, fires, passes, Poodle Dog Bush, and stream creek crossings to our Facebook page called "PCT Water,Fire,Passes,Fords Update Group"
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. Generally, there will be strong fire restrictions in place this summer. Campfires might be banned. Alcohol stoves and smoking may also be banned. 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.
A11.2WR001**Juvenile Ranch Facility [faucet behind Juvenile Ranch sign]Water is off5/12/17Bob Riess
A11.4CampoTown - Faucet & Store
A12.68Seasonal Creek [usually dry]Standing, stagnant water5/12/17Sam Parks
A14.4WR004Creeklet [early spring only]
Beware of poison oak here.
good flow6/7/17Jay D
5.2 - 7.8Several small seasonal flowsMile 6.55 trickle but steady 6/7/17Jay D
A2~12.7Seasonal creek [usually dry]Flowing5/12/17Sam Parks
Mile 15.36 : 3/10/17 (Rebo) : There is a water cistern 1.6 miles down Hauser Creek Road off trail starting at Mile 15.36. Go left (for Nobo's) on Hauser Creek dirt road and walk down past white tube gate. In ~1.4 miles the dirt road ends at two large boulders. Go past the two boulders and walk ~50 feet. Go to your right and then go up the ravine (listen for water).
A215.4WRCS015Hauser Creek [early spring only]medium flow6/8/17Jay D
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]
A220LkMorenaCG**Lake Morena CampgroundFaucets are on.6/13/17Mark H.
Signs will lead hikers to the PCT camping area next to site 85 and still $5 per hiker. Showers are $0.50 for 4 min.
A324.1WR024Cottonwood Creek BridgeStill plenty of water.5/23/17Jeff
A325.5WR026Cottonwood CreekbedStill flowing about a foot deep.6/8/17Jay D
A326BoulderOaksCG**Boulder Oaks CampgroundSpigots on6/13/17Mark H.
NOBO: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. A 2nd faucet is on a tall brown post further along the road. SOBO: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-8
A328.5KitchenCrFalls*Kitchen Creek Falls [2/10 mi NW]Flowing strong. As Dalem said, pool big enough to swim in ~100 feet below the trail.6/9/17Jay D
A3~30Kitchen Creek [100 feet below trail]Flowing about 4" deep, but still plenty of good water 5/2/17Pascal
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]
Flowing beautifully.5/14/17Jon
A432WRCS032Fred Canyon [usually dry]Good flow 6/11/17Will & Mila
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 on3/27/17PayDay
Campsites are $14 but may be shared by several hikers.
A536.9WR037Long Canyon [next is easier]Good flow 6/11/17Will & Mila
~37.1Long CreekGood flow, couple inches deep5/22/17Katy
A537.7WR038*Long Canyon Creek fordFlowing well; ~5 in deep, 1 ft wide; cool, shaded5/17/17Aurora
A538.8WRCS039*Lower Morris Mdw [trough 3/10 mi NW]
Directions to trough: 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 Campgroundfaucets are on6/14/17Mark H.
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]
5/9/16 (John & Tom) : Note Saturday hours for the Mount Laguna PO is 9-11AM.5/9/16John & Tom
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]
Sinks were off, fountains were off but there is a hose that sticks out above the urinal if needed. 6/11/17Will & Mila
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 is on.5/24/17Katy
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 on at brass spigot6/15/17Mark H.
A647.5LagunaCG**Laguna Campground
[7/10 mi SW]
everything working showers, sinks, toilets, faucets.6/11/17Will & Mila
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]Good flow3/10/17Pebble
A648.7WR049GATR faucet [1/10 mi W of PCT]Faucet on6/11/17Will & Mila
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.
4/16/17 (Dan & Lisa) : Penny Pines water faucet still flowing strong.
A752.6WR053Pioneer Mail Picnic Area6/15/17 (Mark H.) : faucet on.
6/10/17 (Stone): Faucet is on at Pioneer Mail picnic area.
6/1/17 (Ten-Miler) : water is available.
5/29/17 (Haymaker) : Water is on.
5/24/17 (Katy): dry, nothing from faucet, sign says: "no water, this system has been temporarily shut down"
5/19/17 (Ray) : I just spoke to a ranger at Boulder Oaks. He says the water at Pioneer Mail is off for a week due to bad testing.
6/15/17Mark H.
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.
A757.6Oriflamme Cyn [usually dry]5/24/17 (Hilary): Low but flowing a few minutes above the track.
5/18/17 (Jon): Water flowing well 30 feet above and below trail at 57.63. Water disappears at trail. How mysterious.
5/14/17 (Sam Parks): Flowing, light trickle
5/11/17 (Taylor): Low but flowing, algae present but clear flowing water
A859.5WRCS059*Sunrise Trailhead [1/2 mi W]6/13/17 (RJ): Trough full. Skimmed & bailed to below valve level. Water flowed clear from valve after a couple two liters direct from valve. No foul smell or taste after Sawyer Squeeze filtering. Fun to watch little bugs swimming in trough. Banged on tank. Sounds full.
6/9/17 (Stone): Trough is very green. Incoming pipe has good flow but water is mustard yellow/green. Filtered through cloth before Squeeze filter, still off-color.
5/29/17 (Haymaker) : Also the valve on the sunrise trailhead works. Good pressure from the tank. Trough is half full with murky water.
5/24/17 (Katy): Water in trough, nothing in tank.
5/12/17 (Noble Hiker): Water in horse trough, but no fresh water flowing from faucet or float valve.
5/11/17 (Taylor):Trough at sunrise trailhead is full, state park maintenance worker who was working on the trough said that the tank didn't have much if any water in it and that what was in the trough was likely all that was left.
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.
Note that WRCS068 has gone dry. No water northbound after Sunrise Trailhead until Scissors Crossing in 17.6 miles. We know of at least one hiker rescued in this area due to dehydration and several close calls.
A862.4WR062Mason Valley Truck Trail
[fire tank 75 yds E, usually dry]
Faucet and tank completely dry6/1/17Ten-Miler
A863.7WR064A, B, CUpper Chariot Cyn [8/10 - 1.4 mi N]6/15/17 (Mark H.) : water in natural spring. Per Evan, smells sulfuric. Orange algae and an oil film on top. Bad taste even after filtering with Sawyer. Took "Numbers" suggestion and tried 50ft on the left, but unfortunately was dry at this time.
4/29/17 (Numbers): Despite Evan's report, I and several others used that source on 4/29 and we're all fine. Go 50 ft past where the water crosses the road and filter from the stream on the left.
4/27/17 (Evan): The stream at 0.8 miles down the side road is polluted. It was red tinted, soapy, and smelled like rotten eggs. The fire tank at 1.2 miles was dry and the tank had trash and shotgun shells dumped into it. Would definitely say this water source is a no go.
4/26/17 (Amelia): Seasonal spring down the dirt road at mile 63.7 is still flowing
6/15/17Mark H.
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.
6/16/17 (Mark H.) : Dry in trough, water not flowing.
5/30/17 (Ten-MIler) : Dry.
5/20/17 (Eric): Dry
5/19/17 (Jon): Dry
5/12/17 (Rockhead): RODRIGUEZ WATER TANK IS EMPTY!!! Recent rain not withstanding, the tank will REMAIN EMPTY until well into the next rainy season.
5/9/17 (Malcolm): Dry as of 4 pm
5/8/17 (Erin): Good water from pipe as of 1700
5/8/17 (Jake Rabbit): Water flowing, pretty good too.
5/8/17 (Rachel&Libby): Rodriguez Fire Tank has been replenished after yesterday's rains. Flowing 5L/min at the valve 10am today.
5/7/17 (Keesha): The tank had water and good flow as of 2 pm.
5/5/17 (Judd): A few inches of water about 8 feet down in the tank, but no flow from the valve and no access to the water. Someone left both the red and black valves open. If they aren't left closed the tank won't refill from this incoming storm.
1/29/17 (Professor & Rockhead) : 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 knobs/valves off as hard as you can to minimize the leaking drips.
6/16/17Mark H.
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 PCT5/20/17 (Eric) : Good flow
5/19/17 (Jon): Good flow
5/16/17 (Rainman): Good flow
5/12/17 (Taylor): Flowing well
5/9/17 (Malcolm): Flowing well
1/29/17 (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.
Spring on Rodriguez Spur Truck Trail, 1.1 miles NW of PCT, 70 feet from the large rust colored water tank.
2017 Banner Store hours are 8am-6pm, closed Wednesdays, from May 15 through Labor Day. Off season hours8am-6pm, closed Tues/Wed. Take off-season hours with a grain of salt, it's open when the purveyor feels like opening it. (Professor on 5/31/17)
A1077WRCS077Scissors Crossing
[Cache under a nearby highway bridge]
Cache well stocked.
6/2/17 (Professor) : A Nekteck brand Solar Charger was found at the cache on June 2nd. Please text Professor at +1-619-277-2275 to arrange delivery to Warner Springs, Laguna, or any other drive-able location.
Stagecoach Trails Cg and Cabins 4 miles SE on Hwy S2. Store open till 5pm. NOTE : times can vary dependent on time of year.
6/16/17Mark H.
The Scissors Crossing water cache [under a nearby highway bridge] will be maintained in 2017. The cache is maintained 3 times weekly in peak months, and stocked year around by Shelter Valley Civic group. This cache is in the shade under a highway bridge. Please escape the desert heat... Shelter Valley Citizens Corp. (Rockhead 2005, Professor 2014). Water can also be found 12 miles West 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]
Creek has slow flow 0.1 miles upstream of bridge. Moderate flow, two feet wide 1.5 inches depth 0.25 miles upstream of bridge.3/28/17Professor
Cache well stocked.
A1191.2WRCS091Third Gate Cache [1/4 mi E]The cache is well-stocked, with enough to take care of fall southbounders as well. I haven’t checked the cistern since early May.7/19/17Jan
The 3rd Gate water team is insulted by having to clean up hikers’ poop and toilet paper. Please practice “leave no trace” principles.
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]Underground has plenty of water. Be careful when using the bucket and bring something for shade5/22/17Vallerie
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 SpringWe cleaned out the spring box on 6/17 and water is flowing well. Advise hikers to treat water from the pipe. It is not pure.6/17/17Jan
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]
80 gallon galvanized steel tub with slow but adequate water flow from natural spring. Clumps of algae on 40% of surface and some in tub but the water looks very clear. Fresh water available directly from pipe feeding tub.3/18/17Chunks
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 CreekStream dry. Local said it may run in early morning. I was there in evening.6/8/17Stone
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]
A13107.9WR108Canada Verde
Maybe better access at mile 108.2 or 108.6
stream flowing strong with many access points6/2/17Chris Q.
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]Flowing3/17/17Halfmile
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]3/17/17 (Halfmile) : Resource Center open but has limited hours, water spigots on outside, camping area, restrooms open, hot/cold water working behind building.3/17/17Halfmile
Warner Springs Post Office is open M-F 8-4 & Sat. 8-1:30. Warner Springs Grill (by the golf course) is open and serving food. The gas station/store (next to Post Office) is rumored to reopen around April 1.
The hiker-friendly Warner Springs Resource Center [, 760-782-0670] is open daily starting April 1, 2017 to May 31, 2017* from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Resource Center has small store, wi-fi, AC outlets, computers, inside; restrooms [accessible at night] with running water are open across the small parking lot in the building with double green doors; designated camping area is to the left of the restrooms near the large tree (look for small blue tent sign); hot/cold running water, buckets and outdoor shower stalls behind community center building (use buckets to bring water into the stalls).
A13109.5PO0110Warner Springs POWater spigot across the street of Post office in parking lot of Warner Springs Resort. Flows great.2/15/15Rainman
7/29/17 : Fire is 100% contained. PCT is open.
CA Section B: Warner Springs to Highway 10
B1111.4Hwy79bHighway 79
[2nd crossing, Agua Caliente Creek]
fraction of a liter per minute. Would require a scoop.5/3/17Numbers
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]
Campo - Idyllwild
Idyllwild - Agua Dulce
Agua Dulce - Cottonwood Pass
Northern CA
Snow Report