[pct-l] Sec E: 230th St to Hwy 58
David Hough reading PCT-L
pctl at oakapple.net
Thu Apr 13 15:27:08 CDT 2017
On 8-10 April I hiked from Hwy 58 at Tehachapi Pass to 230th St on the
aqueduct, a trail distance of about 38 miles. The flowers were stunning
in places, and the wind on 8 April was better than a CPAP machine.
I'll report northbound.
Cottonwood Creek is flowing well at the bridge - something I'd not seen
before. There was also water cached in the area, in the ramada and
behind a wall in a little building atop the aqueduct.
Tylerhorse Canyon creek was flowing well too.
I think Tylerhorse is reliable during northbound through hiking season.
Surprisingly, there was good water flowing in Gamble Spring Canyon
and in an unnamed canyon halfway between. I don't recall seeing those
Up at the top of the hill, the Mile 549 Trail Angels from Tehachapi
were already set up with cold drinks and treats. There's a log book
and a place to leave donations.
The Tiger Tank that I remembered from years ago has been dry for
quite a while, and the big news is that Oak Canyon Creek is completely dry.
Early in April after a heavy rain year! I suppose that the fire destroyed
the watershed and whatever water is shed is completely used by the ranches
There was a water cache just after the Oak Canyon Creek bridge, just as the
trail reaches the Tehachapi-Willow Springs Rd. I didn't check for
a cache near Hwy 58.
The Tehachapi Mountains seem to be glorified
sand dunes, or gruss dunes. Very little rock outcropping. This means
that when it rains, it has a dramatic effect. All the trails wash out
in the washes and side canyons. There were slipouts starting after
Tylerhorse Canyon and continuing for about a mile east of Gamble Spring
Canyon. Some of these might be a problem for stock - they could make
unsteady hikers a little uncomfortable. There was a hard-working youth
trail crew on our way out so maybe they were able to fix some of the
No trees across the trail until reaching the prime Pirate Dirt Bike Zone,
from mile 550 to 555. The trees across the trail were carefully selected to
discourage dirt bikers without hindering stock much.
There were dirt bike tracks almost everywhere else. One in particular
caused a problem hiking southbound in the Manzanita Wind Farm where the
PCT was easily missed when it branched off from a dirt bike trail,
because the PCT tread was buried in poppies. Through hikers next month
will just have to imagine the flowers.
Mostly the wind farm was well signed and shouldn't be a problem for
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