PCT: Campo to Warner Springs
ElevationAscent: 13,713' 4,180 m
Descent: -13,580' -4,139 m
High: 6,041' 1,841 m
Low: 2,245' 684 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)
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“This is the first 110 miles of the PCT heading in the northbound direction from Campo. Hot and Dry!”— Climbing Around
From there you can make your way to the next town at mile 77, Jullian, know as the home of anything apple or boysenberry. It is a 11 mile, uphill hitch from succors crossing with narrow road shoulders, so if you're thinking about walking it, I'd hitch. It's a small town with a couple small grocery stores. The best one is located at the end of town. Mom's pie shop offers a free slice of pie with ice cream and a free drink with PCT permit. The town is VERY touristy, so prices reflect that. They have restaurants from cheap to expensive, and a post office on the outskirts of town. Carmen's Mexican Restaurant gives PCT hikers a discount and she might let you stay there the night for FREE!!! Stop in and see if she still does, because everything else is expensive.
Leaving Jullian and getting back on the PCT, you go right back into the desert on long winding trails that skirt ridges. You can see the trail 1000ft away a lot of times, but have to head a mile up the canyon and then back down the canyon just to get there. Get used to it. Going through to 3rd gate area, you'll reach the first on trail log book. There was also a HUGE water cache there, otherwise it's a dry 30+ miles from the scissors crossing (water cache) to barrel springs. If the scissors crossing cache isn't there, it's even further unless you're coming out of Jullian.
From barrel springs, the next water is Warner springs. You pass through some realllllllly dead sections, where nothing but yellow and brown straw and grass exist. Tons of grasshoppers will be bouncing around as you head through the open fields. You'll come to your first cool (and appropriately named) rock formation called Eagle Rock. Take some cool pictures here and climb on top! Warner springs is now pretty close! Be sure not to miss eagle rock on the right. It's hard to miss, but I did meet someone who had his iPod in, was looking down, and went right past it.
Warner Springs is a small town. It has a post office within walking distance, and a small community center with a lawn that they allow you to camp on. Running water, outlets, bathrooms, pay showers, and small food items can be purchased here. This is also the first GOOD hiker box on the PCT since nothing else is really around. You may get a hitch into town where theres an expensive grocery store, but it can be worth it for a cold drink and some real food.
All in all, the first 110 miles of the trail has maybe 1 or 2 cool little spots, occasional nice views from mountain tops, some very winding trail, but it's overall just a desert. Try to make the best of it, you have 600 more miles of desert to go!
Terrain is all over the place. There are some hard sections and there are some easy sections. It's kind of hard to rate 100 miles worth of trail, but it does have some hard parts and long days. Your typical pace will probably be about 15-20 miles a day as an average with some people doing more, some people doing less, but the bulk are doing 15-20 a day till here, with maybe 1 or 2 zeros depending on medical issues or weather.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed