Mt. Laguna to Scissors Crossing (Hwy 78 to Julian) (77mi/124km) Leg 3-Sec A


California Section A = 109 miles: Campo – Warner Springs / You are viewing Leg 3 below of Section A:

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Leg 3 Distance is 34.2 miles. We are estimating it taking us 3 days from Mt. Laguna to Julian. In Julian, we will take 1 Zero to resupply and run errands.

Daily hiking goals:

Day 1 = 13 miles

Day 2 = 7 miles (maybe a little more)

Day 3 = up to 14 miles depending on the distance hiked the day before

Day 4 = Zero in Julian

  • So leaving Mt. Laguna towards Julian, which is around 34 miles away… you will see us move downwards in elevation on this next leg as we drop down 3,000 ft in elevation towards Julian.
  • Note: Dispersed camping not allowed in the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area (about miles 41 – 52.6 That leaves Burnt Rancheria which doesn’t open until May and Laguna Campground as the only two legal places to camp. Immediately after the no camping zone the rim starting at mile 52.6 to around mile 62 is notoriously windy, it might be a good idea to shoot for the mason valley truck trail or farther down the valley to get out of the wind.
  • We are still rookies and hopefully, our foot care is ok. For the first 30 days, we are planning on hiking an average of 12.6 miles per day on hiking days. We are planning 6 Zeros and 3 Nero’s for our first 30 days on trail so that will drop down the average mileage per day down to 8.8 miles if you factor in off-trail rest.

  • Kwaaymii Point looks pretty cool with the views being up 6,000 feet. (windy)
  • After Scissors Crossing at mile 77, with it’s roads to Julian and Stagecoach RV Park, the trail enters the San Felipe Hills. The most impressive selection of cacti on the trail. 22 miles of beautiful, diverse succulents later comes Barrel Spring at mile 99 which is roughly where the trail drops back down into the Valle de San Jose.
  • Ten miles in just after mile marker 52 is Pioneer Mail Picnic Area to stop for a bit to eat / website / we should camp at mile marker 56. if we can’t go far. I have no idea where we will camp or if it will be hard to find a level campsite if we will stealth camp somewhere.
  • When we sleep in our tent, we should try and hike the next day at 6:30 am to 1 pm to beat the heat. Not that much shade on this leg and harder to hike when mid-day heat.

About Julian, California: (Mile marker 77.3)

Julian, California (77 miles in on the PCT) Above: Downtown strip.

Julian is a small hiker-friendly town 12 miles W of the PCT on Hwy 78 with a grocery store,
motels, payphone, restaurants, occasional bus service, and a post office [760-765-3648].

  • I think Julian will be our first motel night and we will wash clothes and charge things and upload our podcast and drop a YouTube Vlog episode. I guess we will be thinking about Town-Day as we get close to Julian and the free Pie PCT Hiker’s get at Mom’s Pie store.

Julian Services:

Apple Alley Bakery
  • Mom’s Pie House / website / Free Pie & Coffee with your PCT Hiker’s permit.
  • Julian Pie Company comes up at Trip Advisor’s #1 Cheap Eats / website / It’s just pies, donuts & apple fritters.
  • Miner’s Diner looks pretty good for a big burger / website /
  • Julian Beer Co. for a pub with BBQ that looks yummy / website /
  • Julian Town’s Official Website /
  • Trip Advisor Lodging
  • Stay: Julian Gold Rush Hotel approx 120CAD w/breakfast for 2pp / Julian Lodge / Econo Lodge approx 100CAD for 2pp /
  • Stay: The Stagecoach Trails RV Park [, 760-765-3765] with water, small store, pool, showers, and occasional bus service, is 4 miles SE of the PCT on Hwy S2.

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