Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles
Fleeing Spring allergies in British Colombia, I flew to Palm Springs.
Where to hike?
My first choice was something on the Pacific Crest Trail.
North to South so I’d meet thru hikers headed the other direction.
I rented a car at the Palm Springs airport and drove a couple of hours to the famous PCT campground at Warner Springs.
The Warner Springs Resource Center runs this campsite (by donation) as a fundraiser.
With over 40 tents full of thru hikers it’s an ideal place to get information and tips. 😀
A fellow at the information desk recommended I return the car … then take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to start the walk to Idyllwild, one of the most popular towns on the PCT.
I’d hiked out of Idyllwild in 2011 and loved the area. Sounded GREAT.
Perfect. I left a bag at the Resource Center. I’d pick it up when I got there.
It was 5pm by the time I got on the Tramway. Late.
I took time to watch the video on Mount San Jacinto State Park.
There are more than 50 miles of trails, ideal for hikers trying to escape the Coachella Valley heat 2640 feet below.
By the time I got to the Ranger Station, however, it was closed.
The closest campsite was Round Valley … so I filled out the confusing paperwork as best I could … and hustled off to get there before dark.
I love hiking in California. It’s heaven.
Whoa. Though it’s 100F down in Palm Springs, there’s still a lot of snow up here on April 11, 2019.
Signage is rustic. And minimal. (Keep your map and apps handy.)
Some of that rustic signage is near buried.
I knew I’d reached Round Valley when I got to the long drops. 🤔
I set up the tent at the first clearing I found. Close to the Ranger Station.
Though I’d not seen any animal tracks aside from squirrel, I put my smellies in an Ursack. Bears are hungry in the Spring.
I cooked at 7:30pm. It was quite dark by 8pm.