The Fun Starts Here
This is the beginning and it will be tough. The sun is going to be high, the air dry and our legs turned to rubber but five and a half months from now when we cross the Canadian boarder our legs will be strong our spirits high and this point will be a wonderful distant memory.
With my line of work I won’t have much time to train so the plan is to start off slow and do what many call “on the trail training.” We will hike roughly 10 miles per day for the first 3.5 days at which point we will stop at Mt. Laguna to resupply and reassess our equipment and endurance level. If all is good we will push on for another 4.5 days hiking 15 miles per day untill Warner Springs for another resupply and reassessment. You can view my full plan here.
After this section all other hiking days will be at a pace of 20+ miles per day. So if you don’t think you are up to 20 miles per day this section or parts of it would be a good choice, plus you would get to say you were there when it all started and maybe even at the end….. I think it would be fun to have someone hike the first leg and then meet up again for the finish.
From The Guide Book
This southern section of the Pacific Crest Trail is among the most varied of all. It traces a fine line between scorching desert and dense, rolling brush lands, occasionally in fine mid-mountain forest. Although, cacti and sand are encountered often, and late spring and summer temperatures frequently rise to above 100, the PCT in this section does not traverse true desert, but rather keeps just west of the searing Colorado desert – which you often glimpse – passing through a transitional area influenced by moist Pacific Ocean air. At the time when most long-distance hikers will be traversing the southernmost part of the PCT, in April and May, they are quite likely to encounter late-season snowstorms as they climb into the Laguna Mountains.
The Lagunas are a fault-block range of granite rock closely related to the Sierra Nevada geologically. Here, walkers might forget sun and thirst while walking beneath shady oaks and pines also similar to those found in the Sierra. But the next day, as they swoop down to San Felipe Valley, the stifling heat returns as the route enters Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the Colorado Desert. The furnace breath of this arid land above the Salton Sea follows you from the San Felipe Hills to Warner Springs.