Day 18 – Mile 252.1, Big Bear Lake, CA

Another small section complete, with a variety of conditions ranging from near 1000′ and blazingly hot to near 11000′ and freezing on San Jacinto Peak.  Sand to snow.  Microspikes not needed, but used because we had ’em.

Day 12 – First zero day in Idyllwild, CA.  Stayed at the very hiker friendly Idyllwild Inn, cabin #5.  Had a nice wood fire in the fireplace both nights, quite the luxury.

Five days of protein bars and pasta sides more or less. Still delicious.

Day 13 – Blue blazed on the Devils Slide Trail back up to the PCT and camped at mile 180.8 – great views.  Short day but climbed several thousand feet up to our campsite which is at ~9003′.  Played around on the boulders until sunset.

Montbell (their jackets) should totally use this photo.
Our campsite a couple thousand feet below the San Jacinto summit – all the other pics were from just past the rocks behind our site.

Day 14 – Started the day bagging the San Jacinto summit.  Fuller Ridge not all it’s cracked up to be, at least this “late” in the season!  The hype was unnecessary, especially if you have any basic snow hiking experience.  There was fall potential, but no significant exposure.  Camped at mile 193.6. 

Day 15 – Longest day of hiking yet at 25 miles.  Camped at mile 218.5, Whitewater Preserve, the closest thing to an oaisis I’ve ever seen – it’s an old trout farm that’s now a Preserve.  There’s palm trees, several ponds and the ranger we met was super friendly, offering outlets to charge stuff if needed, access to the dumpster and water spigot. Clean bathrooms with plumbing! Tons of day hikers and car campers here as well.

Hanging out under the I-10 underpass with water cache and cold beer.
View of part of the Mesa Wind Farm. They have a water cache and some shade for hikers at a service station near the trail.
I promise this was steeper, hotter, and longer than it looks here.

Day 16 – Slept in a little and paid for it – brutally hot today – 85-90ish all day with little wind and 3000’+ elevation gain.  Hiked by Mission Creek all day, so water was plentiful at least.  Camped at mile 235.5.
Day 17 – Shorter day today and much more shade, walked through the Lake Fire section and camped near Onyx Summit.

Sara siesta.

Day 18 – Saw a white tiger and grizzly bear today, at a private zoo the PCT passes by… apparently the animals have been used in Gladiator and a bunch of other movies.  Hitched into Big Bear Lake from Onyx Summit to resupply and spend the night.

Looking forward to the next few days being a bit cooler, higher, and more wooded.