Monday, April 24, 2017

Eagle Rock PCT Backpack

For a troop 774 beginner backpack, we headed to do the PCT section up to Eagle Rock near Warner Springs.
On Saturday morning, we parked the cars at Barrel Springs.  While we waited for everyone to arrive, we checked out the spring and trough which had plenty of water.  There were a few hikers there; they certainly wouldn't be last we would come across.  After lunch and some training on gear and maps, we headed out northbound on the PCT.  It was about 4 rolling miles to our camp at San Ysidro creek.  We were the first ones there but by nightfall another troop camped upstream and several thru hikers had found spots as well.  There were probably 40 plus folks along the creek! The scouts setup tents and started exploring the local creek and rocks.  In the afternoon, we took the 2 mile walk out to Eagle Rock and back.
The next morning was slow getting up and going but the hike went quick.  We got to the cars, unloaded gear and drove home. Overall, it was a bit hot but a great trip to get the new scouts into backpacking.

Barrel Springs trailhead

Along the PCT

Great views

To Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock

Cowboy camping

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pamo Valley Recon

I was going to spending the weekend at Wilderness and Remote First Aid class so I took the chance on my off Friday to recon a place I have never been, the Pamo Valley area.  I have seen it on the CNF maps but didn't really know what was there.  I drove up along the 79 to Ramona to the Palomar District ranger station.  I chatted for a bit with the very helpful rangers and the head out to find the Black Canyon pools.  After some pavement and a few miles of dirt road, I made it to the pools.  With all the water, they were flowing nicely.  With the great weather and lack of people, it was an awesome spot.  The only downer was all the graffiti (which the ranger warned me about).
After enjoying the pools I drove back to the station and down into the valley.  It was like an oasis with all the green and flowing streams.  I drove up to the north end and back.  Most of the bottom of the valley is owned by the City of San Diego for ranching.  But you can take side roads up to Black Mountain and Orosco Ridge.  I headed up to ridge for a few miles on a very bumpy road.  There wasn't much there.
This is a great area for day hikes and exploring.  But I need to search some more to find some good camping spots.

Black Canyon bridge

Black Canyon pools

Black Canyon pools

Pamo Valley - End of the Road

Pamo Valley - View from Orosco Ridge