[pct-l] Deer Springs Trail into Idyllwild

Sean Nordeen sean at lifesadventures.net
Sun Apr 5 13:34:11 CDT 2009

Personally, I think the Deer Springs Trail is the better trail to use as a thru-hiker who will be carrying a full pack out of town.  Right after you climb to Saddle Junction from Devil's Slide Trail, you immediately have another 1000ft climb to the junction with Wellmen's Divide before the trail drops 1000ft back to Strawberry junction with the Deer Springs Trail.  If you look at the total elevation of the climb up Devil's Slide + that 1000ft climb and compare it to Deer Springs, you save several hundred feet of climbing by taking Deer Springs.  And remmber, this is being done when your pack is at its heaviest.  I'd rather do that 1000ft climb to Wellmen's Junction  when my pack is empty and at its lightest and use Deer Springs to go into town.  Deer Springs trailhead is just a short walk into town where everything is.  Devils' Slide is on top of a long hill above town and you have to hitch down.

I don't care what some people in town say, as someone who hikes and backpacks up there every year as its one of my favorite SoCal locations, Deer Springs is a great trail and easy to follow.  In early season, its south direction means it has less ice.  Devils' Slide, while cool in the morning while its in the shadow of the mountain, becomes really hot in warmer months by late morning as its really exposed in comparison to the tree cover of Deer Springs.

I personally will be using Deer Springs later this month on my hike.


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