PCT Halfmile 314.3 to mile 304.3 and back
(20 miles, +3,200/-3,200 feet).

Just like me, Barnfinder is section hiking the PCT.  But his goal is not just to cover every mile.  He wants to do each mile both north and south!  So I offered to join him as he works on this doubly-challenging goal.

We thought we might head up to the Angeles Crest this weekend but it’s really cold (at least for us folks here in SoCal)!  So we decided to do a section that I’ve already done twice: Deep Creek!  I love this part of the trail, and I frequently recommend it to others who ask about my favorite hikes nearby.

Also like me, Barnfinder loves getting an early start and like clockwork he rolled up to my house at 4am.  We made it to the trailhead before sunrise.

Snowy Mount Baldy (brrr!)

The first bit of the hike past the Mojave Forks Dam is not so scenic but it did involve a fun water crossing.

Icy toes

Soon we were climbing and had even nicer views of the mountains.


Barnfinder was very optimistic about how long it would take us to do 20 miles today.  My normal solo pace on trail these days with a full backpack is about 2.2 miles/hour.  So I was thinking 3:30pm.  But Barnfinder thought it would probably be between 1:30pm and 2pm.  And then, out of nowhere, we passed this ominous sign scrawled on the side of the trail:


We laughed at the coincidence and moved on up the trail.  Autumn colors filled the creek.

The rainbow bridge

And as we climbed the canyon just got gorgeous.

Sandy trail
Canyon view

We hit the turnaround point where Barnfinder and I parted ways on a previous trip and stopped for lunch.  Then we headed back down.  With different lighting it was just as beautiful as it was on the way up.

More canyons
More Baldy
Rainbow bridge redux
A pretty alluvial fan
Last look back up the canyon

By the time we got back to the water crossing we were on a mission.  It turns out that the person who scrawled in the dirt (and also Barnfinder) was right — we were on pace to get back at 1:45.  But only if we kept going!

No time to remove the shoes!

Alas, we didn’t quite make it by 1:45, but no matter.  I got to spend yet another day in one of my favorite canyons in California!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mark batz says:

    I have to take a wild guess and say your retired. I hope to be soon. Then get out as much as you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JimmyJam says:

    Actually I’m a professor! I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule so I can pile up work in between trips…. And I also hope to get out (even) more when I retire…..


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