Day 37 – May 10, 2022
Mile 583.3 (Golden Oaks Spring) to 608.9 (Landers Campground)
25.6 trail miles | 25.9 tracked miles | 4,853 ft elevation gain | 62.6 F / 17 °C
Today felt like a repeat of yesterday—this segment was long, arduous, and overall unremarkable.
It was cold this morning, and I started hiking with all my layers: my sun hoodie, my alpaca sweater, my rain jacket, and my puffy.
After several hours, I finally turned my back on the last wind farm. I think I’ll be perfectly happy if I never see a wind turbine ever again!
Just as I thought that the views lacked novelty and that I could use new forms of entertainment, I encountered a bull on the trail. He was in my way, and unlike me, didn’t seem to be in a rush. I kept my distances, waited for a moment, then he moved slightly to the side and I was able to pass without incident.
Other hikers have reported seeing mountain lions and bobcats on this stretch, so I consider myself lucky.
The landscape eventually turned greener as I entered a wooded area within Sequoia National Forrest. While pine needles make for the most comfortable hiking experience, the path was littered with blowdowns which significantly slowed my progress.
The weather finally turned warmer around noon, but somehow the wind came back like clockwork every time I removed my sweater.
Shortly after Hamp William Pass, I passed the 600 mile mark! The SoCal section of the PCT is drawing to an end. Kennedy Meadows, the southern gateway to the Sierra Nevada range on the PCT, is located at mile 702, just a few days away. That’s an incredibly exciting feeling.
The rest of the afternoon was uneventful. The trail passed near private land and a cabin, then we reached Landers Meadow, an area that was acquired by the PCTA in 2016 then transferred to the US Forest Service. It’s therefore now public land. That’s impressive work by the PCTA.
We took a brief detour on FS Road 29S05 in order to camp at Landers Campground, a developed campsite for ATV’ers. While I dread the ATV crowd, the site is located near the clear and beautifully-flowing Landers Meadow Spring, which is a real blessing. A backcountry shower is definitely on the agenda!
Landers Campground also has two pit toilets, though they haven’t been serviced since 2019, according to the log. The tank was full all the way up to the toilet seat. One more experience I can check off my list.