|Pacific Crest Trail Water Report -- Part One : Campo to Idyllwild||Updated 7:54pm 10/22/18|
|Campo, CA to Idyllwild, CA||www.pctwater.com|
|Never rely on water caches!!! Beware of contaminated water. Purify backcountry water.|
|Send email updates to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone/text 619-734-7289 or 619-734-PCTW [voice mail/text only, no one will answer]. Mileages and waypoint names used in this water report are from Halfmile’s PCT maps [www.pctmap.net]. 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"|
|Take fire safety seriously. 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..|
|California Section A: Campo to Warner Springs|
|Start your hike with enough water to make it to the Lake Morena Campground.|
|A1||1.2||WR001||**Cottonwood Community Day School (formerly Juvenile Ranch Facility) [faucet behind sign]||Faucet working.||10/5/18||Brian Section Hiker|
|A1||2.7||Seasonal creek [usually dry]||Everything was bone dry even after a little rain.||10/5/18||Brian Section Hiker|
|A1||4.4||WR004||Creeklet [early spring only]|
Beware of poison oak here.
|Everything was bone dry even after a little rain.||10/5/18||Brian Section Hiker|
|5/4/18 (Nick) : Bee hive on trail at mile 9.1. Bushwhack to avoid.|
|A2||~12.7||Seasonal creek [usually dry]||Everything was bone dry even after a little rain.||10/5/18||Brian Section Hiker|
|BEE HIVE AT MILE 9.1|
5/9/18 (Haley) : There was a huge swarm (hundreds) of bees at mile 9.1 on the left in the rocks.
4/18/18 (Smokebeard) : Bee hive uphill side of trail at around mile 14.5.
|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). Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eqXmBcfeAw |
4/11/18 (Sean) : Flowing well.
4/5/18 (Dae-Suing) : Flowing according to another hike.
3/29/18 (Nicole) : Flowing cold water.
|A2||15.4||WRCS015||Hauser Creek [early spring only]||Everything was bone dry even after a little rain.||10/5/18||Brian Section Hiker|
|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.|
|A2||15.4||WACS016||Cottonwood Crk below Lake Morena [1.6miles W of PCT on dirt road]||5/1/18 (James) : Flowing great.|
4/10/18 (Ethan) : Excellent flow, clear water.
3/21/18 (Nightcrawler) : Flowing. I didn't go there myself but I spoke to rangers who said it was flowing.
|A2||20||LkMorenaCG||**Lake Morena Campground||5/17/18 (Ryan) : Flowing faucet with warning that water has been tested positive for coliform bacteria.|
5/11/18 (PilotKurt) : Faucet on.
4/28/18 (Bryce) : Faucets on.
|A3||24.1||WR024||Cottonwood Creek Bridge||5/17/18 (Ryan) : Dry.|
4/15/18 (Cloud Rider) : Dry.
4/13/18 : Dry.
|A3||25.5||WR026||Cottonwood Creekbed||5/18/18 : Slow flow.|
5/17/18 (Ryan) : Stagnant.
4/22/18 : Water present but it's not very clean.
|**Boulder Oaks Campground||Faucet on||10/7/18||Buck-30|
|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.|
|E. coli reared it's ugly head multiple times in the Mount Laguna area in the past. Please treat all water sources in this area.|
|A3||~26.8||Kitchen Creek near I-8||3/12/18 (Nightcrawler) : There's water there but a lot of stagnant pools. Also the entire area around I-8 smells like diesel. I don't know where the smell is from but I'd avoid the water just in case.|
3/11/18 (Don) : Flowing.
3/2/18 (Clay) : Flowing.
|A3||28.5||KitchenCrFalls||*Kitchen Creek Falls [2/10 mi NW]|
|A3||~30||Kitchen Creek [100 feet below trail]||Dry anywhere I could see it from the trail.||10/7/18||Buck-30|
|Or continue to paved road at 30.6 and take a left and then a dirt road down to the water [~0.4 mile].|
|A3||30.2||WRCS030||*Kitchen Creek, Yellow Rose Spring|
[4/10 mile N of PCT on road]
|Adequate water.||4/15/18||Gentle Oak|
|4/20/18 (Adam) : Left side of trail at Mile 30.7 is a bee & wasp party.|
4/14/18 (Trixie) : Watch out for a bee hive right off the trail near Mile 30.7
|A4||32||WRCS032||Fred Canyon [usually dry]||4/29/18 (Bryce) : Dry.|
4/15/18 (Cloud Rider) : Dry.
4/14/18 (Nightcrawler, Trixie) : Dry.
|Walk 500 ft downhill E, turn right at the first obvious place, almost immediately see a seasonal stream|
|A4||32.6||CibbetsCG||**Cibbets Flat Campground|
[8/10 mi NW on Fred Cyn Rd]
|4/15/18 (Amanda) : Faucets on.|
4/14/18 (Trixie) : Faucets on.
4/12/18 (Hitch) : Faucets on.
|A5||36.9||WR037||Long Canyon [next is easier]||4/21/18 (Pilgrim) : Good flow.|
4/10/18 (Philly) : Nice flow at the dead tree campsite.
3/31/18 : Good water.
|A5||37.7||WR038||*Long Canyon Creek ford||Running good||10/7/18||Buck-30|
|A5||38.8||WRCS039||*Lower Morris Mdw [trough 3/10 mi NW]||Through is full and flow from pipe about a quart per minute. Water is cold and clear.||10/8/18||NDWoods|
|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.|
|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.|
|A5||41.4||BurntRanchCG||Burnt Rancheria Campground||3/20/18 (Lucky Duck) : Faucets at the campground are on!||3/20/18||Lucky Duck|
|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.|
|A6||41.4||PO043||**Mount Laguna town, lodge, store|
[4/10 mi SW of WR043]
|Spigot at Mount Laguna Visitor Center was on.||1/2/18||John|
|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.|
|A6||41.4||**Mount Laguna Visitor Center|
[just north of the store]
|A6||42.1||WR042||Burnt Rancheria Drinking Fountain by CG jct||Faucet on||10/16/18||Lingo|
|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.|
|A6||42.6||WR043||**Desert View Picnic Area||Faucet In picnic area on||10/16/18||Lingo|
[7/10 mi SW]
|Campground faucets are on.||6/20/18||Alireza|
|Leave trail near wooden overlook. Total walk to the campground and back to the faucet is one mile round trip.|
|A6||47.8||Oasis Spring [1/2 mi down]|
|A6||48.7||WR049||GATR faucet [1/10 mi W of PCT]|
Also known as Penny Pines
|5/28/18 : Faucet is on.|
5/18/18 (Ryan) : Nice flow.
5/16/18 : Flowing well.
|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.|
|A7||52.6||WR053||Pioneer Mail Picnic Area||10/6/18 (Buck-30): Faucet on|
6/25/18 (Trixie) : Water running from faucet.
5/19/18 (Ryan) : Flowing.
5/11/18 (Will & Mila) : No water in tank.
5/6/18 (Brieuc) : No more water.
|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.|
|A7||57.6||Oriflamme Cyn [usually dry]|
|A8||59.5||WRCS059||*Sunrise Trailhead [1/2 mi W]|
Go directly to the trough, operate red handle for water. If no water check that valve on right side of tank is open (handle in line with pipe), in case someone has turned it off.
|10/6/18 (Buck-30): Trough dry, multiple valves did not immediately release any water. |
6/1/18 (Scooby) : Good flow from round trough.
5/29/18 (Ghost) : Storage tank 60 percent full. Go directly to the round trough, operate RED handle for water. If no water check that valve on right side of tank (handle in line with pipe), in case someone has turned it off.
5/28/18 (Will & Mila) : Was just dripping. Looked like the motor was on.
5/24/18 (Gary & Patty) : Storage tank empty 5/24. Someone had closed the inlet valve from the well, valve is now open and tank is filling. If the piping is not clogged there should be water tomorrow. Do not close any valves at the storage tank. Open the small valve with the Red handle at the livestock trough for water.
5/22/18 (Cooka) : There is no water in cistern, but valve is working as spigot. The water is murkey.
5/20/18 : Water at trough but there is a leak in the line.
|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 "La Cima Trail" W 1/8 mile past the corrals to well.|
|A8||62.4||WR062||Mason Valley Truck Trail|
[fire tank 75 yds E, usually dry]
|5/18/18 (Ryan) : Dry.|
4/28/18 : Dry.
4/25/18 : Dry.
|A8||63.7||WR064A, B, C||Upper Chariot Cyn [8/10 - 1.4 mi N]||4/20/18 : Dry, no water.|
4/18/18 (Smokebeard) : Water trickling at 64c in chariot canyon. 68b flowing clear at 2L/min.
1/12/18 (Brad) : Spring is dry.
|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].|
|A9||68.4||WRCS068||**Rodriguez Spur Truck Tr|
[Concrete fire tank visible 75 ft W]
We are especially interested in water reports about this location. Please send info.
|10/6/18 (Buck-30); Tank dry, no cache|
6/6/18 (Patty) : Cache is no more for remainder of season.
6/5/18 (Maria & Derek) Tank dry, cache has only 5 gallons
6/4/18 @ 11AM (Brandon) : Tank is dry and cache is empty.
This water source went dry multiple times in 2017, plan accordingly as the next water source (in both directions) is a long distance from here. Please turn the knobs/valves off as hard as you can to minimize the leaking drips.
|A9||68.4||WR068B||Spring 1.1 miles NW of PCT||6/7/18 : Spring has good flow.|
6/4/18 (Brandon) : Spring is flowing cold and clear.
5/24/18 (Patty) : Flowing ~3 liters a minute.
5/9/18 (Patty) : Flowing.
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.
If water-seekers take apart the piping to get direct access to the stream flow, then the residents have limited or no water available. If you MUST disassemble the piping, please return it to its original operating configuration. The residents have threatened to remove all access to the source.
|Spring on Rodriguez Spur Truck Trail, 1.1 miles NW of PCT, 70 feet from the large rust colored water tank.|
|E. coli reared it's ugly head multiple times in the Mount Laguna area in the past. Please treat all water sources in this area.|
[Cache under a nearby highway bridge]
|10/5/18 (Buck-30): About 8 gallons|
5/28/18 : Well stocked cache.
5/19/18 (Ryan) : Stocked.
5/17/18 (Quinn/Cheryl) : Stocked.
5/9/18 @ 8:45AM : Stocked.
5/5/18: Well stocked.
Stagecoach Trails Cg and Cabins 4 miles SE on Hwy S2. Store open till 5pm. NOTE : times can vary dependent on time of year.
|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.|
|A10||77.1||San Felipe Creek, Hwy 78|
[.24 miles W bridge, often dry]
|4/18/18 (Cloud Rider) : Dry.|
3/21/18 (Mr. Clean) : Good flow.
|Cache well stocked.|
|A11||91.2||WRCS091||Third Gate Cache [1/4 mi E]||10/7/18 (Hammer): Cache stocked|
9/29/18 (Paco) : plenty of water. Seemingly enough for the remainder of the season.
6/8/18 : Cache is well stocked.
5/28/18 : Well stocked cache.
|The 3rd Gate water team is insulted by having to clean up hikers’ poop and toilet paper. Please practice “leave no trace” principles.|
The 3rd Gate water cache is ¼ mile E down a side trail with “Water” sign. Take only what you need to hike 9.9 miles to Barrel Spring. If the cache runs out, the cistern has water. NO FIRES. Carry out your trash and toilet paper, bury poop 6 inches. Be alert. Mountain lions reside in the San Felipe Hills and throughout California. Only approach Grapevine Ranch buildings in an emergency. Vehicles are not allowed on the ranch without prior permission from owner.
|A11||91.2||WR091B||Underground 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).|
|A12||101.1||WRCS101||*Barrel Spring||9/30/18 (Hammer) : water flowing and clear in large buckets in the concrete pool.|
6/1/18 (Brian) : Good flow.
5/27/18 : Good flow.
5/20/18 (Ryan) : Slow flow.
5/9/18 (Patty) : Flowing.
5/3/18 @ 11:50AM (Jon):Good flow,bees around water pipe.
5/3/18 (Bryce) : Good flow.
4/27/18 : Good flow.
4/8/18 : Dead mice in cistern above trough. Recommend chemical treatment.
[2/10 mi NE, visible from PCT]
|A12||104.4||WR105||Concrete trough below mouth of San Ysidro Creek [2/10 mi W]||Dry||12/23/17||Jason|
|A13||105.0||WRCS105B||*San Ysidro Creek||6/3/18: Dry|
5/27/18 : Good flow.
5/21/18 : Good flow.
5/18/18 (Quinn/Cheryl) : No water at San Ysidro Creek. Only a bit of mud. You might be able to get water if you dug down but don't count on it.
5/16/18 : Dry.
Lots of cattle in this area, be sure to treat water.
|A13||106.2||WR106||Eagle Rock Spring||Great flow, flowing ok from trough but even better from spring on the other side of the fence||4/12/18||Kevin|
|Spring-Fed Metal Trough - 3/10 mile N of Eagle Rock over hill near road|
|A13||106.2||WR106B||Water Tank [visible 2/10 mi S of PCT at Eagle Rock]||Water tank at WR106B is full, algae on about 75% of surface, water is clear.||12/2/17||Jason|
Maybe better access at mile 108.2 or 108.6
|5/20/18 (Ryan) : Definitely a nice healthy flow below trail. 108.2, 108.6 def easier access and nice flow.|
4/19/18 (Cloud Rider) : Several liters/sec of clear water.
4/5/18 (Silver) : Still flowing well with easy access.
|A13||109.5||Hwy79||Hwy 79 [1st crossing, small seasonal creek nearby]||Dry||4/19/18||Cloud Rider|
|Warner Springs Community about 100 yards east of PCT on the N side of Hwy 79.|
|A13||109.5||**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]||bathrooms open and water spigots on||1/15/18||Shelly & Michael|
|The hiker-friendly Warner Springs Resource Center [wscrcenter.org, 760-782-0670]. Hikers can camp by the bathrooms which are open 24 hours. No showers available pending septic approval. Fill water bottles behind the resource center or in bathrooms. Water doesn't need to be purified.|
3/26/18 (Scott) : There have already been two pedestrian fatalities on the road through Warner Springs since the beginning of 2018 - not hikers, but a reminder that roadwalk is actually the most dangerous part of the thru hike. So, the Warner Springs Community Resource Center has asked us not to walk the road to the post office/grill/gas station.A trail marked w/pink ribbon goes from the resource center .75 miles to those locations (saving about .25 miles). Cross the parking lot, go through the athletic fields (you'll see the yellow goalpost), follow the trail to the top of the hill where you run into the golf course, and go right on the dirt road, soon hugging the fenceline, until you see the horse enclosure where you turn left, crossing the edge of the golf course (including travel over a sidewalk that disappears and reappears). You'll see the grill first, and the gas station and post office are just next door.
|A13||109.5||PO0110||Warner Springs PO|
|CA Section B: Warner Springs to Highway 10|
[2nd crossing, Agua Caliente Creek]
|3/11/18 (Unnamed) : Dry.||3/11/18||Dry|
|B1||112.6||WR113||Agua Caliente Creek|
[near picnic tables]
|5/20/18 (Quinn/Cheryl) : Dry.|
5/7/18 : Dry.
4/24/18 : Good flow.
|B1||114.7||WR115||Agua Caliente Creek||6/4/18 : No flow but puddles were present.|
5/23/18 @ 7:30AM (Giggles) : Plenty of water flowing in creek, some nice clear and good pools in it also.
5/22/18 (Ryan) : Nice flow.
|B1||115.5||WR115B||*Agua Caliente Creek [last crossing]||6/10/18 : Low flow.|
5/31/18 : Decent flow.
5/20/18 (Quinn/Cheryl) : Few inches of running water and although the first few crossings are dry, the last crossings (if NOBO) probably won't dry out for a bit.
|B2||119.6||WR120||*Lost Valley Spring [0.2 mi off trail]||Spring cleaned today of 3 years worth of rotting detritis. Water is clear but has a very low flow. The metal cover prevents sunlight from nurturing algae growth which attracts mosquitos. Treat water before drinking.||10/16/18||Jan|
|The spring is 300 yds off trail and 80 ft lower in elevation. Trail signed - look for 3 foot high cement post, then follow the abandoned road downhill 0.2 mi. (PCT turns right before post.)|
|B2||127.3||WR127B||**Chihuahua Valley Rd|
[water tank 2/10 mile E]
|6/10/18 : Water is available.|
6/6/18 (Phil) : Water in tank.
6/5/18 (Ahjah): I arrived here at dusk 6/5 and, although hikers rave about this place online, it had a very creepy post apocalyptic vibe. No one was home, all the doors were open, trash everywhere. Update: some other hikers say the spigot is around the back of the third tank.
5/31/18 : Water in tank.
|A trail has been cut about 1/4 mile South of Chihuahua Valley Rd that will bring hikers down to the tank so we don't have to do the RD walk both ways.|
0.2 mi E to driveway 31440 Chihuahua Valley Rd, then 0.1 m N to private NEW water tank above house. "water in tank should be filtered. If no water in tank there should be water on back porch - go through hole in fence next to water tank and down the trail to house there is a netted porch to keep the bugs off, and a shower out side." per Mike Herrera at the house. he is very eager to meet and assist hikers, they are welcome to stop by his place. (This is not an invitation to go in his house!)
|B4||136.5||WR137||Tule Creek [early season]||5/7/18 (Jon) : Dry.|
5/6/18 (Crumbs) : Dry.
4/23/18 (Amanda) : Flowing well, sulfury smell but tasted ok. Captured a lot of sediment but filter did the job.
|B4||137.0||WR137B||**Tule Spring & Fire Tank|
[Tule Canyon Rd, 0.25 mi SE]
|6/6/18 (Ahjah): No water in tank. There is water in the spring, pulled a gallon out in about four minutes. Water is funky, I am double filtering and bleaching this Batch.|
5/31/18 : Low flow but water in there; lots of sediment and cooper taste, no one fell sick though.
5/20/18 (Quinn/Cheryl) : Out of water in trough and only disgusting water in creek (according to both notes and people who walked down there).
5/20/18 (Rocket Daddy) : Good flow.
5/17/18 : Low flow.
Be sure to close the valve tightly to minimize leaks. In 2017 multiple hikers got sick shortly after drinking water from the creek below the fire tank at Tule Spring. Both reported filtering the water, but not treating it chemically. Report of feces found in the fire tank, be sure to filter and treat water from this source.
|B4||139.5||WR140||Guzzler||5/6/18 (Crumbs) : There's water in there but it doesn't look good. And you have to find a way to get it out of there.|
4/22/18 (Mike) : Has water, some gallons, looks bleak, murky, but if desperate.
4/21/18 (Cloud Rider) : Plenty of water that looks very bad. Filled with super tiny swimming things.
Top of Guzzler is fragile & unsafe. Dont' stand on it. Be sure to treat this water as multiple reports state dead animals have been found inside the guzzler.
|B4||140.2||WRCS140B||Nance Canyon [early season]||4/21/18 (Cloud Rider) : Dry.|
4/6/18 (Campfinder) : Dry.
3/26/18 (Tripod) : Dry.
|B4||143.1||RD0143||Table Mtn Truck Trail AKA Sandy Jeep Road||The Sandy Road Water Cache at mile marker 143 is officially closed until next spring.||7/14/18||Chip & Vicky|
|B4||145.4||Muir Wood (South) Cache, on private land about 50 feet off trail.||5/22/18 (Ryan) : Water in tank.|
5/16/18 : Water in tank.
5/8/18 (Jon) : Water in tank.
5/6/18 (Crumbs) : Plenty of water.
4/25/18 : Water in tank.
|B5||151.9||Hwy74||Pines-to-Palms Hwy 74|
[*Paradise Valley Cafe, 1 mi W]
|1 mile detour off mile 150 will fill bottles during business hours but there's no outside faucet||2/13/18||Ridge Route|
PCTA : https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/closures/southern-california/idyllwild/
INCIWEB : https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6032/
10/11/18 (PCTA) : The Cranston Fire burned near Idyllwild in July, 2018. It didn’t burn the PCT. It did, however, impact the detour for the Mountain Fire. The Mountain Fire Closure for the PCT is still in effect. Those wanting to detour around the Mountain Fire (going from North to South) should exit the PCT at Saddle Junction via the Devil’s Slide Trail. This will put you at the Humber Park Trailhead which is on the outskirts of Idyllwild. Many hikers chose to walk into town.
From Idyllwild, there is no longer a dirt road walk option to avoid walking on the dangerous Hwy 243 south out of town and then turning east on Hwy 74. The previous detour had a dirt road option but that area was burned by the fire and is closed. You can get back on the PCT at the Spitler Peak Trailhead on Apple Canyon Rd.
As closure boundaries change, we will update our closure pages.
|B6||155.4||Penrod Cyn [usually dry]||5/8/18 (Jon) : Dry.|
4/27/18 : Dry.
4/22/18 (Cloud Rider) : Two stagnant pools (~30 gallons) with an unhealthy looking sheen on top of the water.
|B6||158.4||WR158||*Live Oak Spring [1.0 mi E]||5/18/18 : Flowing well.|
4/11/18 (Matthew) : Flowing.
4/7/18 (Martin) : 2L/min.
3/30/18 (Unnamed) : Good flow.
|Descend from saddle on trail 1 mile to metal tub fed by metal pipe in middle of trail.|
|B6||158.4||WR158B||*Tunnel Spring [0.3 mi W]||6/2/18 (DoubleTap) : Flowing well.|
5/18/18 (BigBro) : Flowing with about 1l/min.
5/15/18 (Montana Mike) : Pipe flowing at 0.5 L/min. Tank full of cool, clear water!
5/9/18 (Jon) : Other hikers told me it was flowing with at least 2 liters a minute.
|There is no sign for Tunnel Spring trail junction but there is an obvious trail to the west of the PCT. If you pass the Cedar Spring sign (NOBO) you have gone too far. Make sure you take the RIGHT fork of the trail once you reach the bottom. Spring is 40 yards upstream along use trail and dry creek. The trough is slowly fed from spring by pipe. Most report a sulfur taste. Steep trail down to the spring.|
If you head about 150 feet NE from the trough; low on the east embankment of the dry creek bed you will find an opening (about 2' wide X 1.5' high) to the tunnel. Inside is a long, narrow, shallow pool filled with GREAT tasting cool water. The only caveat: the bottom of the pool is very fine, easily disturbed sediment. You will need a long suction tube on your filter system and some means of getting the business end of the tube far into the tunnel. Use a long stick or a trekking pole to get the tube placed in the middle, and raised off the bottom of the pool. Harold on 6/20/13
|B7||162.6||WR162||*Cedar Spring [Trail 4E17, 1 mi N]||5/22/18 (92) : Slow but steady flow, pipe barely above trough with bugs and debris.|
4/27/18 : Good flow.
4/22/18 (Cloud Rider) : Good flow from pipe.
4/15/18 : Good flow.
4/12/18 : Good cold flow.
4/3/18 : Good water.
|500' drop on rocky trail, 200 gallon piped tank, 50' up canyon. After Cedar Spring sign, look for path going up to the left and follow it to the water.|
|3/23/18 (DoubleTap) : Seen multiple ticks this past week on the PCT near Mount Laguna and in Section B. Check often for tick bites.|
|B7||163.3||WR163||Eagle Spring [1/4 mi S, seasonal]||Dry, no water.||6/2/18||DoubleTap|
|Seasonal. 3/4 mile N past Cedar Spr jct, where PCT becomes 10' wide on a ridge "hogback", on left a 2" dia 4'tall white PVC post, ~6-8' off on a side trail, marked "Eagle Spring, 1/4" with an arrow pointing W (easy to miss as sign got burned during a fire). Trail is reasonably clear as of 6/2/18, however a little rocky in spots. At a lone Spruce tree at dry creekbed, trail resumes past tree thru small overgrown section of trail another 300' to deadend at a 200 gallon cattle trough, perched on hillside, with horizontal pipe tap drizzling into it. [In past rarely used]|
HIKER ACCESS: If problem tap is clogged, or tank either stagnant or dry, access Spring Box directly. 15' directly behind tank is pile of large rocks. At the center is a 25 lb 9"x9" nearly square stone, 5" thick. CAREFULLY remove the stone and set it to side. Under it is 4"x12" slot between large rock slabs that access natural rock spring box holding 5-7 gallons of fresh water. The slot is large enough to dip a quart bottle. REINSTALL & ALLIGN the square stone back over access slot to keep frequent cows away from water.
Note: Lion Spring the other side of PCT is dismantled and dry.
|B7||166.5||FobesRanchTr||Fobes Saddle (0.5 m S)|
|Walk down old Fobes Trail [NW] ~0.8 mile to Scovel Crk (usually running during thruhike season, may go dry in summer). 100 ft past that creek crossing a forest service spring w/a 70-gallon rubbermaid tub w/pipe. Nice flat camp spot.|
|MOUNTAIN FIRE CLOSURE|
https://www.pcta.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Mountain-Fire-Closure-map-November-2017.jpg?x44824 (Fire Closure Map)
9/7/18 (PCTA) : Because of the Cranston Fire, the detour for the Mountain Fire Closure has changed. No additional miles of the PCT are closed however the detour that is listed below is no longer valid due to the Cranston Fire Closures. We are working on a detour and creating a map. For now the best option for Southbound hikers is to exit the PCT at Saddle Junction via the Devil’s Slide Trail. The puts you at the Humber Park Trailhead. From there you can go into Idyllwild. There are no dirt road walk options from Idyllwild to the PCT due to the Cranston Fire Closure (May Valley Rd. and FS Road 5S05 are closed). The next access point for the PCT is via the Spitler Peak Trail on Apple Canyon Rd. The only open way to get there is via Hwy 243 south out of Idyllwild and then by going east on Hwy 74. These are high speed, winding roads with little shoulder. Some hikers may choose to find a ride others may choose to walk. We will update this page more completely in the near future.
The Pacific Crest Trail is closed for 8.7 miles from Spitler Trail (mile 168.6) north to Tahquitz Valley Trail (mile 177.3). This closure will remain in place for the foreseeable future. The Mountain Fire started on July 15, 2013 near the junction of Highway 243 and Highway 74.
The Pacific Crest Trail was extensively damaged during the fire. Years of work has gone into reopening the PCT and the effort continues. The trail is reopening in three phases. Phase 1 opened in November 1016 and phase 2 opened in November 2017 (https://www.pcta.org/2017/burned-fire-two-miles-pct-san-jacinto-mountains-reopen-55167/).
Spitler Peak to Idyllwild Detour
You’ll find maps of this detour in the California Section B map pack on the Halfmile Project website.
This 14.1 mile detour bypasses 10.8 miles of the PCT. It’s a beautiful walk.
Mile 0 – SpitlerTR – At the Spitler Peak trail junction with the PCT go left down the west side of the mountain – 7047 ft
Mile .9 – Spring – small spring – 6538 ft
Mile 4.7 – SpitlerPeakTH – Spitler Peak trailhead, parking, go left on paved Apple Canyon Road – 4905 ft
Mile 6.4 – YellowPost3 – Yellow Post with arrow pointing north to primitive campsite number 3. Campsite is 2/10 mile N of Apple
Canyon Road – 4397 ft
Mile 6.9 – ACCenter – Apple Canyon Center, Ronald McDonald camp gate – 4376 ft
For the next 2.9 miles this detour follows unmarked mountain bike trails. Read the descriptions carefully and follow the map
Locate the gravel road that runs N from Apple Canyon Rd next to the Apple Canyon Center, Ronald McDonald camp gate. Follow this gravel road N along the fenced eastern edge of the Herkey Creek Group Camping area. After 2/10 mile turn W and follow the lesser used road that skirts along the fenced northern edge of the group camping area. Shortly after this turn you see a metal water tank through the trees on a hill in the distance that you will walk near. In 1/10th mile you will see another gate that blocks vehicle traffic, but allows hikers to pass on the left. Continue 2/10 of a mile past this gate to the water tank.
Mile 7.4 – Water Tank – Metal water Tank N of the Herkey Creek Campground [no water for hikers from the tank] – 4471 ft
Mile 7.6 – HerkeyCreek – Cross Herkey Creek – 4436 ft
Continue 2/10 mile past the water tank and at the unmarked trail junction go W to cross Herkey Creek. You will encounter
several unmarked trails on the W bank of Herkey Creek. Go N along the W bank of the creek and within a hundred feet you will
find a well established mountain bike trail about 5 feet wide in an abandoned dirt roadbed. If you miss the turn, just cross Herkey
Creek and find the abandoned road on the W bank of the creek.
Alternatively, at the Apple Canyon Center, Ronald McDonald camp gate a hiker could continue W on the paved road 4/10 mile to the Herkey Creek Campground entrance near Hwy 74. Once in the campground, you can hike 1/2 mile N to the hiker gate next to site 130. Rejoin the detour 400 feet N of this gate. Or, you can deviate from the detour below by continuing from the campground up a trail that parallels Highway 74. Once you reach May Valley Road (#5S05), you can take May Valley Road uphill to rejoin the detour below.
Mile 8.5 – Fork1 – Keep left at the unmarked fork in the trail – 4619 ft
The trail climbs about 80 feet up a rutted and washed out section of the abandoned road to the top of a very small ridge. At the
small ridgetop keep left at Fork1 toward San Jacinto Peak, the most dominate feature on skyline. Do not take the fork down the
other side of the ridge to Herkey Creek.
Mile 8.6 – DarrenMemorial – Pass a small memorial for Darren York who died
after becoming ill mountain biking in 2006 – 4689 ft
Mile 8.8 – Fork2 – Keep left at the unsigned fork – 4721 ft
Depart the abandoned road and take the mountain bike trail left toward the
power line on the hill.
Mile 8.9 – Footbridge – Cross a small wooden footbridge – 4727 ft
Mile 9.2 – Powerline – Go under a small power line – 4856 ft
Mile 9.7 – MayValleyRd – Unpaved and unmarked May Valley Rd – 5092 ft
Turn right on May Valley Rd. The road is unmarked, but if you travel a short
distance N you will see a large wooden sign marking the junction of May Valley
and Bonita Vista roads. May Valley road is closed to vehicle traffic.
Mile 9.8 – BonitaVistaRd – Keep left at the junction with unpaved Bonita Vista
Rd. Follow the sign toward Saunders Meadow – 5088 ft
Mile 10.2 – Spring – Pass a spring and trough on the left – 5296 ft
Mile 10.6 – MayValleyGate – Go under the locked Forest Service Gate – 5428 ft
Mile 10.7 – SouthridgeTr – Continue past Southridge, Tahquitz Peak trailhead
on the right – 5469 ft Or, if you would like to skip Idyllwild, you can take the steep South Ridge Trail uphill to rejoin the PCT.
Mile 12.1 – Road Junction – Keep right at unmarked junction of unpaved roads,
the road becomes paved in about 100 yards, you begin to see cabins shortly
after that – 5643 ft
Mile 12.3 – SaundersMdwRd – Right on paved Saunders Meadow Rd – 5618 ft
Mile 13.5 – Hwy243 – Right on Highway 243 – 5248 ft
Mile 14.1 – Arrive in central Idyllwild, Village Market, North Circle Dr. The State Park campground is 1/10th mile farther N on Hwy 243. See the Black Mountain Alternate maps if you want to continue N using an alternate route. – 5350 ft
|B8||169.2||WRCS169||Apache Spring (Trail DOWN 0.5 mi E)|
|3 x 3 foot spring box, steep rocky trail down to it.|
|Unofficial Mountain Fire Alternate (Spitler to Idyllwild Alternate):|
Detour Mile 0.9 -- Spring
6/3/18 (DoubleTap) : Running well, good flow at multiple spots across the trail.
5/12/18 (Hannah & Marley) : Spring at mile 0.9 crosses the trail a total of 5 times. It's flowing well and is easiest to collect at the 3rd (mile 1.05) and 5th (mile 1.24) crossings.
5/5/18 : Flowing well.
5/3/18 (Picnic) : Spring flowing across the trail. It crosses several times in the next mile or so and the flow gets much better.
4/24/18 (Mike) : Flowing across trail at 5L / minute.
4/23/18 : Good flow.
Detour Mile 4.7 -- Spitler Peak Trailhead
6/3/18 (DoubleTap) : Flowing well.
4/22/18 (Cloud Rider) : Stream with > 1 liter/second of clear water.
4/22/18 (Trash Mule) : Great flow.
4/10/18 (Silver) : Flowing well.
4/2/18 : Good flow.
3/31/18 (Scott) : A large stream follows apple canyon road as far as the alternate follows it.
Detour Mile ~6.0
4/22/18 (Cloud Rider) : Creek W of road - Several liters/second of clear water.
4/22/18 (Trash Mule) : Great flow.
4/10/18 (Silver) : Good flow.
Detour Mile ~7.0 -- Herkey Creek Campground
4/23/18 (Cloud Rider) : Faucets on.
3/31/18 (Scott) : All taps on.
Detour Mile 7.6 -- Herkey Creek
4/11/18 (Silver) : Flowing.
Detour Mile 8.5 -- Fork 1
3/31/18 (Scott) : If you incorrectly turn right here, you should reach water at Herkey Creek.
Detour Mile 8.8 -- Fork 2
3/31/18 (Scott) : If you incorrectly turn right here, you will reach water at Herkey Creek in a few tenths of a mile - the alternate leaves the dirt road here on a trail that looks like a game trail - the trail from here to may valley road would be bushwacking if not for a couple of bike tracks. The low ridge in front of you with the power line is May Valley Road, your target.
Detour Mile 10.2 -- Spring
4/23/18 (Cloud Rider) : Water is coming out of the pipe. Trough is full. Algae on bottom and sides.
3/31/18 (Scott) : Trough full of algae and water.
Detour Mile 13.0 -- Water Tank
4/17/18 : No water.
|MOUNTAIN FIRE CLOSURE (see note above)|
|B8||177.3||TqtzValTr||Little Tahquitz Valley (Trail, 0.33 mi N)||Mile 177.2 Tahquitz Creek (right before the fire closure sign). Good flow. Water is clear. Also, there are many snow patches around.|
6/13/17 (Lonewalker) : In Tahquitz Valley (Tahquitz Meadow), the Forest Service water tap is ~200 yds past Tahquitz Creek. Running approximately 4 gpm. As you walk North from the creek, look for a large log to your right (east) about 60' off the trail in the meadow. Walk towards it. When you get to the log, turn L (due north). You will hear water gurgling about 10' from the north tip of the log. Look down and you will see a 1" pvc tap from which water is running. If you miss the log from the trail and hit the 4 way junction (which will take you to Saddle Junction), walk back south approx 100 yards back towards the meadow. You will pass through a small, shaded ravine on your way back. The log will appear in the meadow just past that ravine, now on your L.
|PCT Hiker David O'Sullivan (Class of 2017) went missing in this area last year (somewhere between Idyllwild & Big Bear). Any information you have on this topic, please contact Cathy Tarr at 703-334-1770 or via email at email@example.com|
|B9||179.4||SaddleJct||Idyllwild 4.5 mi W of Saddle Junction|
|The Idyllwild Public Library [951-659-2300] prints free copies of the Water Report for hikers. The library is located near the center of town in Strawberry Creek Plaza with the Post Office, grocery store, pharmacy, natural food store, & Pizza Co.The library also has computers, wi-fi, paperback books. Trail register at the Post Office.|
|These reports are provided as a free service to PCT hikers. I believe the information is accurate but the reports may contain errors. The reports are distributed in the hope that they will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.|