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central/southern California backpacking?

How are conditions this year?

A friend of mine read Wild last year and has been pretty gung-ho about getting into PCT-hiking condition, which I very much want to encourage since I have approximately 0.001 friends who are willing to spend their weekend walking all day and then sleeping on the ground. Our original Utah plans fell through due to job-change stuff, but now we're definitely set for 2-3 nights in early November.

Does anybody have any reports/recommendations? In an ordinary year I'd start with looking at Sequoia and Los Padres NF, but with the multi-year drought and terrible fires I'm not sure what areas are currently good or even just not an impassible wasteland. I know poor Kings Canyon and a lot of the San Bernardino Mts are out of commission, and I read that a lot of the trails around Santa Barbara are now completely waterless, so I was considering cobbling together a trail & off-trail one-way in Joshua Tree with cached water, but I'd love to hear any other ideas!

Posted by sea-kangaroo sea-kangaroo, October 29, 2015 22:54

Comments

As far as habitat goes, for critters (humans included), the southern LPNF, specifically the Sespe, is in great condition, it has recovered nicely from the Day Fire in 05. I'm actually heading out next weekend and probably again in early December and will let you know what the good word is. One thing that I can tell you without much doubt is that until we get rain, the watering spots will be scarce and I'd want to be sure before heading out on an extended trip what the water situ was like before I got in to deep. Sepse Creek is likely a series of stagnant pools and the easily accessible springs are probably limited to a trickle if at all. Though I'd wager that upper Alder, Piedra Blanca, Piru, and maybe Agua Blanca creek still have some flowing water....

Posted by zabbey almost 6 years ago (Flag)

Thanks for the suggestion! I had somehow managed to not hear of Sespe trails before, which from images online looks pretty rad, so I'll definitely be checking that out at some point!

Posted by sea-kangaroo almost 6 years ago (Flag)

Central Cali has been quite nice, but there's snow coming to Tahoe. I think the window has closed for the season.

Posted by faerthen almost 6 years ago (Flag)

Zabbey, did you end up going to Sespe, or was it rained out? I ended up doing Joshua Tree with a water cache. Great weather! Still going through photos.

Posted by sea-kangaroo almost 6 years ago (Flag)

Yes I did, the weather was beautiful, in the mid 70's during the day but pretty cold at night (mid 20's). Water situation where I was was what I expected, non-existent. Though I'd still bet that the places I mentioned above would have some water, but I'd confirm first before going out. Piedra Blanca and Piru Creeks can be checked on with a quick day hike, the others not so easily checked on as they are pretty deep (at least 7-8 miles one way).

Posted by zabbey almost 6 years ago (Flag)

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