California Section A: Campo, CA – Warner Springs, CA
- Campo (Mexican Border) to Lake Morena – Leg 1 is 20miles
- Lake Morena to Mt. Laguna – Leg 2 is 22.8 miles
- Viewing: Mt. Laguna to Scissors Crossing (Hwy 78 to Julian) – Leg 3 is 34,2 miles
- Julian to Warner Springs – Leg 4 is 32.5 miles
Back To Section: Table of Contents > Trail Notes Directory / California Section Posts
- Not sure if we will take a zero in Mt. Laguna. I recommend we don’t and just stop to enjoy and keep trekking after a stop in Mt. Laguna.
- 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. I expect us to do this leg in two full days.
- 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.
- Depending on how we are walking it might take us two days or 3 at the most to get to Julian. We are still rookies and hopefully, our foot care is ok. I’m guessing we will go around 15 miles per day for a while.
- 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.
- I think Julian will be our first zero & 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.
- 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.
- 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.
About Julian, California: (Mile marker 77.3)
Julian is a small hiker-friendly town 12 miles W of the PCT on Hwy 78 with a grocery store,
motels, payphone, restaurants, occasional sdmts.com bus service, and a post office [760-765-3648].
Julian Post Office [M-F 9-4, Sa 10-12]:
c/o General Delivery
Julian, CA 92036
- Stagecoach RV park has a little store
- 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 [stagecoachtrails.com, 760-765-3765] with water, small store, pool, showers, and occasional sdmts.com bus service, is 4 miles SE of the PCT on Hwy S2.
Section Videos & Links:
- Map for this section: Google Map Link /
Vlogs covering section:
- More about Julian https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5TsyIhyOb4
- This is just 3 min and just shows the terrain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOVgNCP5dVM
- This one is a basic Campo to Julian https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au9v3Wo-hEI
- vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYnNsfWfX8M
- Mari https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yph7k1E8zM