CA Section: PCT Southern Terminus & Campo (Mexican Border) How To Get There / Where To Stay Beforehand

The PCT begins on a low hill near Campo (elev. 2,915′), a small town near the Mexican border. It then passes through Lake Morena County Park.  Campo to Lake Morena is a 20 mile/29.9 kilometer moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Campo, California

LAX Airport to San Diego

Pretty easy. When pricing flights, you may want to look at LAX since being a huge international airport will offer more flights and a competitive price. Getting to San Diego is a 3hour train ride and nothing wrong with that. You can sit and look out the window and probably google stuff and make your to-do list for San Diego. You can also buy some gear in LA if needed. Just a take bus to catch the train from the airport. I think that’s what we will do since it’s cheaper to get a one-way flight to LAX than SAN (Airport Code for San Diego)

Where To Stay Before Starting On-Trail

Camp Lockett Camping: Cleef: Website | 799 Forrest Gate Road, Campo, CA 91906

Jim AKA “Legend” is one. He posted this for the Class of 22. For those who are lucky to have a nice little send-off with fellow hikers is sweet. It would be nice to meet him at Camp Lockett when we go if he is still helping.

The Campo Cafe (Hiker Friendly): Website | 1247 SHERIDAN ROAD
CAMPO, CA 91906 | (619) 478-5415

You can see where the Terminus is at the bottom of the satellite image. It’s about a 40 min walk from CLEEF to the Cafe in Campo if you wanted to grab some last-minute snacks or get some wings.

How To Get to Campo from San Diego

Below in Green is taken from Scout & Frodo’s Website:

There is public transit available from San Diego to Campo on weekdays.  THE BUS TO CAMPO DOES NOT RUN ON WEEKENDS.  It takes 3 to 4 hours and you will be dropped off about 1.5 miles from the southern terminus.

When you arrive in San Diego, you need to make your way to the El Cajon Transit Center, where you catch the bus to Campo.

From the airport: Catch bus 992 in front of the baggage claim area of terminal 1 or terminal 2.  This bus runs every 15 minutes on weekdays, every 30 minutes on weekends.  The fare is $2.50; you need the correct change.  The ride takes about ten minutes.  Get off at Santa Fe Depot/American Plaza.  Purchase a ticket for the trolley at a vending machine.  The price is $2.50 and the machines give change up to $5. Take the Orange or Green trolley to the El Cajon Transit Center.  Each trolley runs every 15 minutes.  The ride takes 50 – 60 minutes.

From the train station: Walk across Kettner Blvd to the trolley station at America Plaza.  Purchase a ticket for the trolley at a vending machine.  The price is $2.50 and the machines give change up to $5. Take the Orange or Green trolley to the El Cajon Transit Center.  Each trolley runs every 15 minutes.  The ride takes 50 – 60 minutes.

From the Greyhound bus station: Walk to the 12th and Imperial Transit Center.  Buy a trolley ticket for $2.50 at a machine (max change $5) or the transit store.  Take the Orange trolley to the El Cajon Transit Center.  They run every 15 minutes. The ride takes 50 – 60 minutes.

If you need a place to spend the night before heading to Campo, there is a Motel 6 and a Relax Inn near the El Cajon Transit Center.  If you are coming from outside the country and you need to buy food and perhaps ship a few resupply packages north, you’ll want to stay somewhere near a supermarket, post office, and trolley or bus line.  Consider staying at a downtown hostel near Horton Square shopping mall.  There is a Ralphs supermarket there and a post office, and it is near the 5th Avenue Trolley station where you can catch the orange line to the El Cajon Transit Center.

From the El Cajon Transit Center to Campo:  The bus to Campo does not run on weekends!!  Take bus 894, which departs at 8:30 am, 11:45 am, 3:00 pm, and 5:45 pm.  The fare is $8 (exact change).  The ride to Campo takes a little under 2 hours.  Tell the bus driver you want to be let off at the PCT stop at Forest Gate Road.

It’s a 1.6-mile walk to the southern terminus. Across the road from Forest Gate Rd is the Campo Green Store which is much better than a convenience store.  They do sell canister fuel and water.  To get to the southern terminus, walk up Forest Gate Road.  Across from the now-closed Youth Detention Center (a bit past the Border Patrol Station) you can get onto the trail itself and continue walking south to the border monument.  See the map below– the orange line that crosses the road a few times is the actual trail.  It actually is on the road for a short while.

There is no lodging available in Campo, but you can camp near the Gaskill Stone Store Museum, which is just north of the Campo Green Store.  There is a rustic unofficial campsite there that is often used by PCT hikers.  There is also a campsite closer to the terminus, on the Camp Lockett Event and Equestrian Center.  It is to the east and easy to see about halfway between the Green Store and the Terminus, marked below with a purple X.  They have an area for PCT hikers that includes a couple of picnic tables and a water spigot.  Flush toilets are about 100 yards away.  There is no charge, but donations are appreciated through their website.

YouTube Video of how to get to Campo from the San Diego Airport

New Shuttle:

Here is the information regarding the Shuttle that now goes to the Southern Terminus. You can get the Shuttle info here on their website.

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