Day 14 route overview
Making your way back up Devil’s Slide to Saddle Junction, the trail as all very familiar, except hopefully with less snow than I had on my way down. It’s a long ascent to Saddle Junction and worth getting a ride back to Humber Park to join the Devil’s Slide trail if you can. Once back at Saddle Junction, head north to rejoin the PCT and continue on your thru-hike. The hills ahead hold exquisite beauty and the forests are charming.
Once at Saddle Junction, most of the gain is behind you as you traverse the slopes and switchbacks once again before camping high in the sky with one of the most beautiful views the trail had offered so far.
I spent an emotional two days in Idylwild at the Silver Pines lodge, the staff there were incredible and I had a good time catching up with friends. But it was time to leave town and get back on the trail. I was more than ready. The rest was much needed, but 2 days may have been a day too long and before heading back to the trailhead, I was mentally itching to get out of town and back into the wilderness, away from the news, away from the wifi and have nothing but the cool mountain air and sounds of the alpine forest to soothe my weary head.
Heading up Devil’s slide I was impressed by the familiar views before turning north at Saddle Junction, I was optimistic and prepared for the next 7 days of hiking.
The dreaded post-hole
It wasn’t long before I came to more snow on the trail. It had melted significantly and frozen over slightly, making a thick yet easily broken crust which made for tough walking and a serious amount of post-holing. My feed were driving deep into the snow and hiking was very slow-going. Luckily I had my Sealskinz waterproof socks to keep my feet warm and dry.
The best camp on the PCT
That evening I found a spot with the most impressive view of Beaumont and Moreno Valley below to the northwest on the desert floor and a hiker popped out from behind the trees. He’s already set up camp. He thought me to bury my stakes in the snow with the guylines wrapped around them to properly pitch my tent, the next morning he’d wished he did the same.