Day 3: No More Snow (For Now)

16 March 2023
PCT Mile 42 Mount Laguna to Banner

I’m back on trail!

But this time there’s no postholing! The snow is almost completely gone from the Mt Laguna area.

This morning I got an Uber back to the Laguna Mountain Lodge and then started walking again. I took the Los Huecos forest road to cut over to Laguna Campground.

No soup here

I then rejoined the PCT at the Storm Canyon overlook.

Just a bit here

The main story today was the water. I’ve never seen so much here.

PCT Mile 47.8
Garnet Peak
Distant snowy mountains left to right:
San Bernardino Ridge, San Gorgonio, and San Jacinto
Almost there!
Enjoying a break at Pioneer Mail

Today I met a few hikers who camped in the storm last night. They said the wind was crazy!

Mustafa and her dad Bulldog, both veterans of the AT

I love the views north of Pioneer Mail, and the memorials at Kwaymii Point are always interesting to look at.

Sweet views
Wedgeleaf Goldenbush
More stream crossings
And even more!
Granite Mountain
Cuyamaca Peak still snowy

I’ve hiked this section of trail a few times already so I thought I would try something different today.

At Chariot Canyon, instead of following the PCT I followed the CRHT, the California Riding and Hiking Trail. It takes a straight shot to Banner Ranch which has a PCT Hostel in a cozy tiny house.

I enjoyed walking with the sound of the stream all the way down, and at lower elevations there were even a few wildflowers.

Stream at Turnoff for Banner
Chariot Canyon
Bush poppy
Volcan Mountain
Wooly paintbrush
…starts with a B.

So now I am cozy in Banner.

Tomorrow I will continue following the CRHT across the San Felipe Valley, then follow an off trail ridge to rejoin the PCT before third gate cache. I’ve never done this before so it should be interesting!

Here’s today’s hike-u:

Quenching the Chaparral 

It's so nice to see
Water in all these ravines
Right where it belongs

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