California Section B = 100 miles: between Warner Springs – Interstate 10 (Cabazon, CA) / You are viewing Leg 5 below of Section B:
- Viewing: Warner Springs to Saddle Jct (Devils Slide-Idyllwild) Leg 5 distance is 70.6 miles.
- Saddle Jct. Idyllwild to Interstate 10 Cabazon) Leg 6 distance is 30 miles
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Section B is starting with Leg 5 which is 77.6 miles and should take us 7 days of hiking and 2 Zero Town Days in Idyllwild to resupply and rest.
Daily hiking goals:
Day 1 = 10 miles
Day 2 = 13 miles
Day 3 = 10-13 miles
Day 4 = 9 miles
Day 5 = 8 miles
Day 6 = 14 miles
Day 7 = 8 miles
Day 8 = Zero miles in Idyllwild
Day 9 = Zero miles in Idyllwild
Mileage Markers / Elevation:
Coming out of Warner Springs will be uphill basically the entire 7 days of hiking. After that it’s downhill to Cabazon.
We will take a zero in Warner Springs (109-mile marker) so leaving we have about an 18-mile hike to Mike’s Place (127-mile marker) with some elevation gain. We should push out of Warner Springs about 5:30 am and hike as much as we can before it gets too hot.
- As you leave Warner Springs and Section A behind, the scenery starts to change. The vast and open meadows that dominated the landscape for the last few miles begin to fade away. The trail then follows Agua Caliente Creek for a few miles; this is a good source of water. Once you leave the creek it is a hot and dry walk through huge pinkish boulders until you arrive at the junction to Mike’s Place (mile 127.3).
- (Currently not accepting any hikers for 2021 as per Mike on FB) Mike’s Place (127-mile marker) is an oasis of sorts for hikers. A landowner here supplies a large tank of water for hikers, and it is a much-needed water source. If you are not in a rush, it may be worthwhile to take the walk down to Mike’s actual house because he often cooks food for hikers.
- After leaving Mike’s the trail traverses up, down, and around some beautiful hillsides. Water again is limited during this stretch. There are some caches. One cache is at Muir Woods (at least that was the name for the 2018 season), maintained by a local trail angel. This spot is truly a morale boost. There is an outhouse, picnic tables, even a makeshift shower and laundry station.
- Our next goal is hiking towards Paradise Cafe shown below at 152-mile marker. This would be a 25-mile stretch that we can break down into two days and camp around the 149-mile marker so we have a short hike into the Cafe for lunch the next day for lunch.
- The next stop is Paradise Valley Café (mile 151.8). Raved about by thru-hikers, this place is definitely worth the short walk (or hitch) from the trail. One-pound burgers, milkshakes, and much more are available here. It is also an easy hitch from Paradise Cafe to Idyllwild or Anza if you need to visit one of those towns for resupply/other reasons.
- Paradise Valley Cafe: Town: Mountain Center, CA Address: 61721 CA-74, Mountain Center, CA 92561 Phone number: 951-659-3663 Standout meals: The brownie Sunday & the burgers. Many people hit it for breakfast and stay for lunch.
- Once back on the PCT, the trail will climb as you head north toward Idyllwild. It really feels like you’re in the mountains during this beautiful stretch. Several springs with cold, clean water are just off-trail. We basically have 27 miles from Paradise Cafe to Idyllwild… which might be broken down into 2-3 days.
169.5 Mile Marker – In Loving Memory of Trevor. We need to stop and spend some time thinking about safety and the dangers of the trail. Trevor lost his life hiking along this section in 2020
A must-read by his Dad. We will stop and rest and reflect at this point on the trail for the challenges ahead of us.
Towns/Points Of Interest:
- The town of Idyllwild is one of the most charming and welcoming towns on the trail. It has all the things that hikers need: lodging, restaurants, stores for resupply, and even a brewery. Most everything is an easy walk from the central downtown area.
- We will take a double zero in Idyllwild.
- One of the coolest things is that the mayor of Idyllwild is a dog. I’ll repeat: The legitimate mayor of Idyllwild is Max – a golden retriever. It is common to see Mayor Max downtown in the afternoon, but you can even call to schedule a meeting with the mayor.
- After enjoying Idyllwild, the most common way to get back to the PCT is by hitching a ride to Humber Park, where the short but steep Devils Slide Trail will reconnect with the PCT. Shortly thereafter you’ll have the option to summit San Jacinto Peak or take the PCT (which skirts around San Jacinto). Summiting is strongly recommended; most PCTers take this alternate, and it is well worth it. Fantastic 360-degree views are to be had from the 10,834-foot summit, and just below the summit, you’ll find a charming little shelter.
Idyllwild is nestled in the San Jacinto mountains. Set among tall pines, sweet-smelling cedars and Legendary rocks. The town has kept its “small town” atmosphere. Locally owned shops and restaurants are all you will find here. Map for this section: Google Map Link /
- Eat / Shop / See & Do: Trip Advisor https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Tourism-g32519-Idyllwild_California-Vacations.html
- Breakfast looks good at the Red Kettle, Idyllwild (website)
- 2do: Find other places to eat & research
- Village Market Sun‐Th 7a‐6p, Fri‐Sat 7a‐7p
- Fairway Foods Mon‐Sat 9a‐8p, Sun 9a‐7p
- General Delivery is held for 3 weeks.
- Idyllwild Bus/Shuttle Service www.forestfolk.org 951‐426‐9688
Where to stay?
- Take a Zero or two? Accommodation: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotels-g32519-Idyllwild_California-Hotels.html
- Cabin Rentals: https://www.idyllwildvacationcabins.com/top-50-highest-rated-vacation-cabins-sorted-by-price.html
Vlogs covering section:
- Vlog covering this section: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smWJpA4M7Q4
- Homemade Wanderlust: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E_2N6Jw7PU
- Discovered this dude and his language. I need to follow his whole vlog on the PCT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjsySZMHpUQ
- Julian to Idyllwild with Following Redbeard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFqJO17Db5o
- Hack your pack’s vlog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZO5bhITJhY
- Enlightened Explorer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tKBHyAcVZc