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  1. #1
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    Default Planning changes for the Desert section

    I am sure this will be popping up everywhere there are links to help with planning a PCT thru, but I will put them down here as well so folks have another chance to note them.

    1. Scout and Frodo, probably the most noted helpers of getting folks an assist to Campo are going to be shutting down their service at the end of May 2020. So 1 more year and that is it. They have been at this for over 20 years and hosted something like 1200 hikers in 2019. This will have a big impact after next year unless someone else decides to do this. Bit if as Scout/Frodo footed the entire bill out of pocket and no one else is likely to be that generous.

    2. Warner Springs: The camping/store/showers/etc are probably going away. Legal issues as the School controlled the property and hiker 'issues' like drunk fights, empty beer cans everywhere, unvetted adults on premise has the schools lawyers up in arms. If they can transfer the property it might be open. But as it stands now it will not be. This will have a big impact as the place was yards from the trail and last time I was there there were probably at least 75-100 hikers there.


    Warner Springs alternate is now The Montezuma Valley Market which is 4 miles east of Barrel Spring on 37552 Montezuma Valley Road in Ranchita. They are trying to get a shuttle system going for 2020 and they will take resupply packages.


    3. Hiker Heaven's (Agua Dulce) last year was 2019. Closed for 2020. They are selling and moving to Washington state.


    4. Casa de Luna is closing at the end of 2019 as well. They are also moving to Washington State.


    5. Hiker town is a serious pig sty. Down the road to the east a few miles is a decent setup.


    6. Yogi has her resupply company set up near Grumpy Bear's at Kennedy Meadows so there are more alternatives there now. https://triplecrownoutfitters.com/


    I must admit that I think that closing places like Hiker Heaven and Casa de Luna is a very good thing for the trail. These types of places generate huge crowds and huge crowds are never good for the trail community. This is probably also part of the problem at Warner Springs as the huge crowd is highly visible. Trail Angeling is really screwing up the PCT. The PCTA identified some 70 water caches south of Kennedy this year. Some of them were within yards of natural water sources. They removed many and tried to get this nonsense stopped. The only cache which can be justified is the 3rd gate cache and it is, of course, not actually needed if one prepares and executes. But without it a significant number of hikers would not get past that point without hopping around that section. The rest are just to allow folks to not carry and extra liter or two.





  2. #2
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this. I'll be on the PCT next year, so any and all information is appreciated. The logistics of the PCT seems to be a bit more difficult than the Appalachian Trail.

  3. #3
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoming View Post
    I am sure this will be popping up everywhere there are links to help with planning a PCT thru, but I will put them down here as well so folks have another chance to note them.

    1. Scout and Frodo, probably the most noted helpers of getting folks an assist to Campo are going to be shutting down their service at the end of May 2020. So 1 more year and that is it. They have been at this for over 20 years and hosted something like 1200 hikers in 2019. This will have a big impact after next year unless someone else decides to do this. Bit if as Scout/Frodo footed the entire bill out of pocket and no one else is likely to be that generous.

    2. Warner Springs: The camping/store/showers/etc are probably going away. Legal issues as the School controlled the property and hiker 'issues' like drunk fights, empty beer cans everywhere, unvetted adults on premise has the schools lawyers up in arms. If they can transfer the property it might be open. But as it stands now it will not be. This will have a big impact as the place was yards from the trail and last time I was there there were probably at least 75-100 hikers there.


    Warner Springs alternate is now The Montezuma Valley Market which is 4 miles east of Barrel Spring on 37552 Montezuma Valley Road in Ranchita. They are trying to get a shuttle system going for 2020 and they will take resupply packages.


    3. Hiker Heaven's (Agua Dulce) last year was 2019. Closed for 2020. They are selling and moving to Washington state.


    4. Casa de Luna is closing at the end of 2019 as well. They are also moving to Washington State.


    5. Hiker town is a serious pig sty. Down the road to the east a few miles is a decent setup.


    6. Yogi has her resupply company set up near Grumpy Bear's at Kennedy Meadows so there are more alternatives there now. https://triplecrownoutfitters.com/


    I must admit that I think that closing places like Hiker Heaven and Casa de Luna is a very good thing for the trail. These types of places generate huge crowds and huge crowds are never good for the trail community. This is probably also part of the problem at Warner Springs as the huge crowd is highly visible. Trail Angeling is really screwing up the PCT. The PCTA identified some 70 water caches south of Kennedy this year. Some of them were within yards of natural water sources. They removed many and tried to get this nonsense stopped. The only cache which can be justified is the 3rd gate cache and it is, of course, not actually needed if one prepares and executes. But without it a significant number of hikers would not get past that point without hopping around that section. The rest are just to allow folks to not carry and extra liter or two.




    1. This is probably the only significant change.

    2. Warner Springs has a PO so resupply isn't a problem here. Some might miss the showers but get back on the trail and there are plenty of camping sites.

    3 & 4. I assume the grocery store is still open in Agua Dulce? The trail passes right next to it. So no real impact here logistically.

    5. I mailed a box to Hiker town is all and left after getting some water. As long as they still accept hiker boxes then you can use this and move on. Didn't seem in too bad a shape in 2014 but as mentioned I dropped in only for an hour or so.

    6. Anything that can compete with the over-priced store at Kennedy Meadows is welcomed.

    Good information though for sure.
    Lonehiker

  4. #4
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoming View Post
    I am sure this will be popping up everywhere there are links to help with planning a PCT thru, but I will put them down here as well so folks have another chance to note them.

    1. Scout and Frodo, probably the most noted helpers of getting folks an assist to Campo are going to be shutting down their service at the end of May 2020. So 1 more year and that is it. They have been at this for over 20 years and hosted something like 1200 hikers in 2019. This will have a big impact after next year unless someone else decides to do this. Bit if as Scout/Frodo footed the entire bill out of pocket and no one else is likely to be that generous.

    [FONT=Roboto][FONT=Arial]2. Warner Springs: The camping/store/showers/etc are probably going away. Legal issues as the School controlled the property and hiker 'issues' like drunk fights, empty beer cans everywhere, unvetted adults on premise has the schools lawyers up in arms. If they can transfer the property it might be open. But as it stands now it will not be. This will have a big impact as the place was yards from the trail and last time I was there there were probably at least 75-100 hikers there.


    Warner Springs alternate is now The Montezuma Valley Market which is 4 miles east of Barrel Spring on 37552 Montezuma Valley Road in Ranchita. They are trying to get a shuttle system going for 2020 and they will take resupply packages.


    3. Hiker Heaven's (Agua Dulce) last year was 2019. Closed for 2020. They are selling and moving to Washington state.


    4. Casa de Luna is closing at the end of 2019 as well. They are also moving to Washington State.


    5. Hiker town is a serious pig sty. Down the road to the east a few miles is a decent setup.


    6. Yogi has her resupply company set up near Grumpy Bear's at Kennedy Meadows so there are more alternatives there now. https://triplecrownoutfitters.com/
    Yep, agree with lone hiker, Scout and Frodo's services will be dearly missed, but the rest, though handy, shouldn't affect too much.

    Yeah, not only is there a PO in Warner Springs, there is also a god place for a solid meal at the Golf Course restaurant right next to the PO, plus I think the Warner Springs hiker support will still be there, maybe even including the gear trailer, sounds like the only thing that's going away is the camping in the field, not a good place to camp anyway... spend a couple/few hours in WS and hike on.

    I stopped in to say "hi" at Hiker Heaven, but didn't stay, it was mid-day, plenty of other services right on the PCT in A-D.

    I guess Casa de Luna was a nice stop, but again, there's a restaurant right there too, and again, NOT a good place to crash for the night anyway.

    Ditto Hiker Town... they do supply top of the hour rides to/from the resupply store/restaurant, that's all you need there.

    Next time through Kennedy, I'll use Grumpy Bear's.

    I did hear that Mike's place is closing, that's too bad IMHO, will definitely have to plan water better through that stretch.

    Thanks for the info WY.

  5. #5
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    Had not heard about Mile's place. But that is another place I would have never stayed - bad vibes. But it sure was good for water. But I will be interested in hearing if hikers will still be able to tap the big tank for water. As it is outside the actual place along the dirt road that might still be possible. But it certainly is not critical.

    I agree that the closing of Hiker Heaven and Casa de Luna has no big impact on resupply or water issues their closing will hugely impact the huge hiker bubbles which form. Many, unlike me, actually seem to like the giant scrums. I hate them for a host of reasons I won't go into as it quickly leads to a rant. Having them disappear will be much better for hiker/town/public relations in any case as big groups of hikers are always bad for such things. I also think that places like them actually reduce the odds of hikers finishing hikes as they suck people in and don't let them go. Pretty soon the money and motivation is gone. They promote taking zeros - I am convinced that the odds of making a successful hike decrease exponentially when zeros occur more than about once every two weeks and even faster when hikers take two or more zeros in a row. Not to mention they are excellent places to pick up a bug and get sick - filthy hiker scum are found all over those places Ugly bearded people too for that matter.....

    It is definitely worth it to schedule arrival at Warner Springs for breakfast at the restaurant (though it is a bit of a walk) and then book out of town. Same for Paradise Cafe (I get a breakfast to go for lunch there too).

    It might just be a sporadic thing at Hikertown but the piles of trash basically rotting and being overrun with rats sort of turned me off. Not to mention the roaches running all over the place in the daylight - I could only imagine what it might have been like after dark. A good place to load of the water bottles however. The facilities just down the highway (4 miles or so) are excellent and most everyone goes there anyway.

    Yup Kennedy is very expensive and can be really filthy also (I was there once and I went to every porta john (there were like 10 of them) and the poop was mounded higher than the seat in everyone of them - no kidding. So 100 hikers were all going off in the trees in all directions to dig a hole and poop. It gave me the creeps.

    Sonora Pass Reupply (this is of course not part of the Desert so it sort of does't fit in this topic - but anyway) is also very expensive so make sure what you are ordering/shipping or you will be shocked. Mailing a Bear Canister or Ice Axe is $25/each. Delivery of an resupply box to the pass is $50. If you alternately order from their on-line store the delivery is free if the order is at least $50 but that cannot include a bear canister. So an arriving nobo could easily be looking at a $100 charge to receive their resupply box and to send their ice axe and bear canister home. That being said they are providing a great service.

  6. #6
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoming View Post
    Had not heard about Mile's place. But that is another place I would have never stayed - bad vibes. But it sure was good for water. But I will be interested in hearing if hikers will still be able to tap the big tank for water. As it is outside the actual place along the dirt road that might still be possible. But it certainly is not critical.

    I agree that the closing of Hiker Heaven and Casa de Luna has no big impact on resupply or water issues their closing will hugely impact the huge hiker bubbles which form. Many, unlike me, actually seem to like the giant scrums. I hate them for a host of reasons I won't go into as it quickly leads to a rant. Having them disappear will be much better for hiker/town/public relations in any case as big groups of hikers are always bad for such things. I also think that places like them actually reduce the odds of hikers finishing hikes as they suck people in and don't let them go. Pretty soon the money and motivation is gone. They promote taking zeros - I am convinced that the odds of making a successful hike decrease exponentially when zeros occur more than about once every two weeks and even faster when hikers take two or more zeros in a row. Not to mention they are excellent places to pick up a bug and get sick - filthy hiker scum are found all over those places Ugly bearded people too for that matter.....

    I don't disagree with you for the most part, I think we share similar styles, but this does enter into the realm of HYOH.... a significant percentage of PCT thru-attempt folks are mostly on the trail to be social and hang out at these places. Good for them if that's what they want to do, even though their thru-chances do decline, as you say. So for a significant percentage of PCT wannabees, these closures are a sad thing. Which is overall a sad thing, even though I personally will not be affected.

    And, FWIW, I am quite ugly, and I have a beard. I live with it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoming View Post
    I agree that the closing of Hiker Heaven and Casa de Luna has no big impact on resupply or water issues their closing will hugely impact the huge hiker bubbles which form. Many, unlike me, actually seem to like the giant scrums. Having them disappear will be much better for hiker/town/public relations in any case as big groups of hikers are always bad for such things. I also think that places like them actually reduce the odds of hikers finishing hikes as they suck people in and don't let them go. Pretty soon the money and motivation is gone. They promote taking zeros - I am convinced that the odds of making a successful hike decrease exponentially when zeros occur more than about once every two weeks and even faster when hikers take two or more zeros in a row. Not to mention they are excellent places to pick up a bug and get sick filthy hiker scum...
    Hiker Town..is very expensive and can be really filthy also (I was there once and I went to every porta john (there were like 10 of them) and the poop was mounded higher than the seat in everyone of them - no kidding. So 100 hikers were all going off in the trees in all directions to dig a hole and poop. It gave me the creeps.
    Trail politics.

    It wasn't always this way! The popularity of the PCT became so great growing so exponentially fast that between 2010 and 2019, a span of less than a decade, thru hikers number saw a 6X fold increase. That heavily factors into the size of bubbles, trail town accommodations, resupply, and impacts on the environment. Perceptive PCT Land MNGR's recognized this, while seeing like consequences on other trails like the AT. It was a guiding force in creating the quota system. Thankfully the west coast culture in regards to environmental stewardship is not the east coast culture! It also factored into the Saufley 's sentiments and other trail angel's desire for continued PCT involvement. YES, the character of the PCT thru population has changed significantly over the last decade Heck, I witnessed the impacts between a 2008 PCT NOBO and 2010 LASH NOBO(Cali) when the thru hiker numbers 2x(doubled in 2 yrs). Again when doing a PCT LASH (OR and WA in 2012) the thruhiker numbers also doubled in the span of 2 yrs being an on site observer of the impacts. These thru hiker numbers meant to the Land MNGRS and PCTA management would have to be adjusted to no longer allow for such exponential usage increases so fast something the ATC and other AT Land MNGRS haven't truly adequately addressed basically kicking the can ever further down the road avoiding what some AT Land MNGRS already know will HAVE TO BE DONE ON THE AT TOO - some type of quota system. https://www.pcta.org/our-work/trail-...se-statistics/

    Here's why the surge: Sure, one big reason is the popularity of Strayed's book and based movie and Walk in The Woods book and film. There's another just as big reason which also ties into that first reason..which is more accurately the real reason IMHO. The rise in popularity of social media and how fast information and mis-information disseminates via the intertwad. I find it ironic the same WBers and AT profiteers who bitch about AT crowding are they themselves contributing to that crowding through further popularizing of an already overused/over-loved(really?) AT only mindset on sites such as WhiteBlaze or with their AT "how to" materials where it's rampant. It happens with the PCT and JMT social media sites too. The CDT is slowly gaining the same here's the trail, that 30" wide cookie cutter mentality the AT user mindset is so famous. I've been guilty of it.

    The quality of what one does on and where one takes a Zero or Nero heavily factors into the validity of statements like: " I am convinced that the odds of making a successful hike decrease exponentially when zeros occur more than about once every two weeks and even faster when hikers take two or more zeros in a row." For you that may very well be true since you seem to take responsibility for your own hike which includes knowing yourself on trail. Taking Zeros and Neros for some(me) add tremendously to the LD backpacking experience as rarely one is styled leading to a decrease in motivation, largess, or very heightened risk of contracting a diseases/infection from other hikers. Most Zeros are experienced away from the other thrus I may generally be hiking with. This for me allows me to continually psychologically and emotionally reset making smaller adjustments applied to the next few wks. I like sticking to one goal of completing a thru while realizing other goals simultaneously. We can do that to some multi- tasking extent with focus! Taking one's mind off temporarily from LD hiking actually assist me in completing LD hikes and having an overall higher quality and quantity of experiences. This is what I mean by not turning your mind off following a 30" wide tread with a just a passing thru huff puff where's the next blaze, water source, shelter mindset as if that's the only way a LD hiker can approach completing hikes/journeys. That's why we hear and read so often. Enjoy the journey. That's why John Muir said "Most people are on the world, not in it have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.Just because one heads out to the wilderness doe not mean all connect with it as Native Indians defined being a part of a greater interconnected web of life. What we are connecting to is often being defined by someone else who wants us to connect to things that most benefit their agenda while ignoring that which we're disconnecting from. We get glimpses of, only becoming aware of these connections and disconnects once we sober up from them, limiting them which a hiking environment can do. This is what StarChild and TW also were referring on the other thread.


    "...filthy hiker scum" - that describes the condition many are in coming in after some time on trail.

    Hiker Town is a desert property where the owner was in the movie biz and saved some of the movie props which are on site. Movie biz/entertainment biz people are eccentric, sometimes odd! Plus there used to be more farm animals. Desert dwellers everywhere I've been have been rather eccentric, nomadic, unusual(even by my standards) and whatever. That can be part of what to embrace, as in embracing the suck or "seeing what there is to see" as Mags and Benton MacKaye have said. As Sly here on WB has said Thru hiking is not just about hiking. I rather learned to enjoy all the eccentricity on each hike.

    I share these th
    ings with folks like you Wyoming because you seem to always desire to be informed, open, and are willing to have cordial conversations.
    Last edited by Dogwood; 11-13-2019 at 18:38.

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