Pacific Crest Trail Water Report
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Pacific Crest Trail Water Report -- Part One : Campo to IdyllwildUpdated: 7:37pm 3/26/17
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Campo, CA to Idyllwild, CAwww.pctwater.com
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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 http://www.pcta.org/2015/problem-water-caches-pct-27677/). Also, to reduce the impact at popular camping sites that offer natural water sources please consider dry camping (for more info visit http://www.pcta.org/2015/dry-camping-away-from-water-30263/).
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Send email updates to water@pctwater.com 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 [www.pctmap.net].
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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.
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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.
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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..
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MapMileWaypointLocationReportDateReported By
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California Section A: Campo to Warner Springs
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Start your hike with enough water to make it to the Lake Morena Campground.
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A11.2WR001**Juvenile Ranch Facility [faucet behind Juvenile Ranch sign]Water is on3/2/17Mr. Clean
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A11.4CampoTown - Faucet & Store
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A1~2.5Seasonal Campo Crk [usually dry]Good flow3/21/17Slingblade
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A14.4WR004Creeklet [early spring only]Excellent flow3/21/17Slingblade
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A2~12.7Seasonal creek [usually dry]great flow, may be difficult to access3/16/17Cruise Control
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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).
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A215.4WRCS015Hauser Creek [early spring only]Stream running3/17/17Hammer
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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.
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A215.4WACS016Cottonwood Creek below Lake Morena [1.6 miles W of PCT on dirt road]completely dry10/4/16Rover
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A220LkMorenaCG**Lake Morena CampgroundFaucets are on3/1/17Karl
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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.
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A324.1WR024Cottonwood Creek Bridgeflowing very well3/16/17Anthony
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A325.5WR026Cottonwood Creekbedlots of flow with a bit of a rock hop2/7/17Charlie
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A326BoulderOaksCG**Boulder Oaks CampgroundSpigots on3/1/17Karl
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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.
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A326.5Boulder Oaks Store Closed permanently
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A3~26.8Kitchen Creek near I-8Dry9/21/16Mr. Clean
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A328.5KitchenCrFalls*Kitchen Creek Falls [2/10 mi NW]strong flow3/13/17Jill
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A3~30Kitchen Creek [100 feet below trail]Weak flow of creek across trail, before reaching Kitchen Creek Rd. I could hear Kitchen Creek flowing well off the trail but did not need to go there. 3/13/17Jill
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Or continue to paved road at 30.6 and take a left and then a dirt road down to the water [~0.4 mile].
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A330.2WRCS030*Kitchen Creek, Yellow Rose Spring
[4/10 mile N of PCT on road]
Excellent flow3/23/17Slingblade
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A432WRCS032Fred Canyon [usually dry]Good flow3/24/17Slingblade
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Walk 500 ft downhill E, turn right at the first obvious place, almost immediately see a seasonal stream
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A432.6CibbetsCG**Cibbets Flat Campground
[8/10 mi NW on Fred Cyn Rd]
Faucets are on9/21/16Mr. Clean
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Campsites are $14 but may be shared by several hikers.
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A536.9WR037Long Canyon [next is easier]Good flow2/13/16Mr. Clean
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~37.5Long Creekthere was a creek there that clearly just dried up. You can go a few feet off the trail still to find water, but some were just tiny puddles.3/14/17Jill
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A537.7WR038*Long Canyon Creek fordExcellent flow3/24/17Slingblade
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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.
5/28/16Dave
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E. coli reared it's ugly head multiple times in the Mount Laguna area in 2015. Please treat all water sources in this area.
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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.
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A541.4BurntRanchCGBurnt Rancheria Campgroundwater is off but there is a trough with water near the drinking fountain. 3/14/17Jill
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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.
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A641.4PO043**Mount Laguna town, lodge, store
[4/10 mi SW of WR043]
Water fountain is OFF, no water.
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5/9/16 (John & Tom) : Note Saturday hours for the Mount Laguna PO is 9-11AM.
3/9/17Genesis
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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.
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A641.4**Mount Laguna Visitor Center
[just north of the store]
Water on at restrooms3/2/17Karl
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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.
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A642.1WR042Burnt Rancheria Drinking Fountain by CG jct
Faucets are off.3/3/17Larry
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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.
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A642.6WR043**Desert View Picnic AreaWater is on by the car turnaround.
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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
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A647.5LagunaCG**Laguna Campground
[7/10 mi SW]
We were told some faucets are on, but neither of us tried it. Showers are out of order. The camp hosts told us they got a lot of snow this winter and had water problems.3/14/17Jill
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Leave trail near wooden overlook. Total walk to the campground and back to the faucet is one mile round trip.
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A647.5Al Bahr Shrine CampThe Shrine camp was burned by the 2013 Chariot Fire and it is now closed.7/13/13News reports
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A647.8Oasis Spring [1/2 mi down]Good flow3/10/17Pebble
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A648.7WR049GATR faucet [1/10 mi W of PCT]Pump is off, tank has very foul water3/2/17Karl
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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.
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A752.6WR053Pioneer Mail Picnic AreaCistern faucet is on. (No more flow in the gully).3/25/17Slingblade
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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.
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A757Oriflamme Cyn [usually dry]Great flow3/25/17Slingblade
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A859.5WRCS059*Sunrise Trailhead [1/2 mi W]Trough full, needs filtering3/10/17Pebble
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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.
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E. coli reared it's ugly head multiple times in the Mount Laguna area in 2015. Please treat all water sources in this area.
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A862.4WR062Mason Valley Truck Trail
[fire tank 75 yds E, usually dry]
Faucet and tank completely dry9/8/16The Optimist
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A863.7WR064A, B, CUpper Chariot Cyn [8/10 - 1.4 mi N]no water3/18/17Edward
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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].
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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.3/23/17 (Mary & Natalie) : Water flowing from black spigot at 2L/1.21min. Be sure to turn off valve before finish filling as water continues to flow after shut off. ----- 3/18/17 (Edward) : Medium flow rate. ----- 3/17/17 (Anthony) : reat water, spigot is working well. ----- 3/14/17 (Genesis) : steady light flow from small black pipe. Use small black valve. ----- 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. 3/23/17Mary & Natalie
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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
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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.1/29/17Professor & Rock Head
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Spring on Rodriguez Spur Truck Trail, 1.1 miles NW of PCT, 70 feet from the large rust colored water tank.
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A1077WRCS077Scissors Crossing
[Cache under a nearby highway bridge]
Approximately 100 gallons (two tubs each with 50 one-gallon containers).
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Stagecoach Trails Cg and Cabins 4 miles SE on Hwy S2. Store open till 5pm. NOTE : times can vary dependent on time of year.
3/13/17Chunks
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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.
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A1077.1San Felipe Creek, Hwy 78
[.24 miles W bridge, often dry]
Creek has slow flow and sinks just before Scissors Crossing bridge.3/13/17Professor
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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.
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A1191.2WRCS091Third Gate Cache [1/4 mi E]Stocked with ~190 gallons.3/19/17Roxie & Ben
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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.
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A1191.2WR091BUnderground Cistern [6/10 mi E]
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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).
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A12101.1WRCS101*Barrel SpringWaterflow steady into large 4' x 8' concrete trough with rectangular PVC plastic insert tubs. Sign, "Water not tested; boil for 5 minutes before use." Drank filtered water and it was good quality.3/18/17Chunks
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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].
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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
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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.
3/16/15Haiku
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A13105WRCS105B*San Ysidro Creekflowing3/20/17Nightcrawler
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San Ysidro Creek often has cattle nearby.
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A13106.2WR106Eagle Rock Spring
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Spring-Fed Metal Trough - 3/10 mile N of Eagle Rock over hill near road
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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
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A13107.9WR108Canada Verdegood flow3/20/17Nightcrawler
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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.
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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.
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A13109.5Hwy79Hwy 79 [1st crossing, small seasonal creek nearby]Flowing3/17/17Halfmile
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Warner Springs Community about 100 yards east of PCT on the N side of Hwy 79.
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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
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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 Warner Springs Resort remains closed for remodeling.
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The hiker-friendly Warner Springs Resource Center [wscrcenter.org, 760-782-0670] is open Mon 1-4, Tue 11-2, Wed-Fri 8-12, Sat 9-1 (hours will be extended during hiker season) and available to hikers. 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).
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A13109.5PO0110Warner Springs POWater spigot across the street of Post office in parking lot of Warner Springs Resort. Flows great.2/15/15Rainman
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CA Section B: Warner Springs to Highway 10
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B1111.4Hwy79bHighway 79
[2nd crossing, Agua Caliente Creek]
Good flow3/17/17Snickers
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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.)
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B1112.6WR113Agua Caliente Creek
[near picnic tables]
flowing good3/24/17Darren
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B1114.7WR115Agua Caliente Creekflowing good3/24/17Darren
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B1115.5WR115B*Agua Caliente Creek [last crossing]flowing good3/24/17Darren
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B1116.0411/1/16 (Pebble) : Spring flowing low but steady, more water in creek below the trail
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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.
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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.
11/1/16Pebble
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