[pct-l] Sonora Pass to Leavitt Lake and updates to Semb books

David Hough on pct-l pcnst2001 at sbcglobal.net
Tue Sep 2 19:41:47 CDT 2014

Yesterday I walked from Sonora Pass to Leavitt Lake.

Late season hikers will be glad to learn that the stream a mile south of Sonora Pass is still
flowing well.

Trail maintainers will not be surprised to learn that there are no trees across the
trail.    There are hardly any trees visible from the trail.

However the main critical information for section and day hikers is that the Leavitt Lake
road from Hwy 108 is almost impassable for all but very skilled 4WD drivers in very
capable 4WD equipment.     I was fortunate to get a ride out with one such.    I would
not take a car like a CX9 or Highlander on that road now.   4WD/AWD is not enough; serious
clearance is required.      Only ten years ago I was able to drive up to Leavitt Lake
in a 4WD Ford Explorer and in a 4WD VW Syncro Camper but I don't think either would be
up to the job now.

So if you want to dayhike this part of the trail, you've got a couple more miles and
1500' of elevation gain that you might not have had before.

Through-hikers may not be fully aware of the importance of the Semb books for PCT
day hikers and section hikers.     They are now out of print.     On this particular point
they advise against the Leavitt Lake road; they were overly cautious when the book was
published but right on the money now.

So the larger question is where does one go to find updates on the critical car shuttle
information.    Dirt roads change faster than trails sometimes.     One can ask on pct-l
if one thinks to ask far enough in advance.    Is anybody keeping track of such
information?     It not I'll start a page for that purpose on my web site.

David Hough

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