Trail update 30 April 2018

Yesterday we checked the Tahquitz Peak area via South Ridge Trail, and this morning hiked to San Jacinto Peak via the Marion Mountain Trail. Given the forecast of inclement weather, I plan to check San Jacinto Peak daily this week, via various routes.

Weather prognosis Rain and snow are forecast over the next couple of days, mainly from tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday 1st May) until the afternoon of Wednesday 2nd May. Current projections are for only about 1-2′ of snow at San Jacinto Peak, and for a dusting above about 5000′ elevation. This should not significantly impact routefinding or trail conditions, especially as very rapid warming is forecast within 1-2 days of the snowfall. Note that temperatures were well below freezing yesterday morning at Tahquitz Peak and this morning at San Jacinto Peak, and on both May 1st and 2nd wind chill temperatures at San Jacinto Peak may be lower than 10° F (-12° C).

Water resources along the PCT (and elsewhere) are already flowing relatively poorly. The flow rates of many of the “perennial” springs are now more reminiscent of late summer. Compared to last week, two significant water sources have almost dried up. The spring in the creek in Little Round Valley is barely a trickle for a few yards just above the crossing for Campsite 2 (Owls Hootch). The Deer Springs stream crossing at the PCT (approx. PCT mile 185.6) is now dry, although there are tiny pools just upstream (and downstream) of the trail. [PCT thru hikers note: almost all PCT guides and apps confuse the Deer Springs crossing with the North Fork of the San Jacinto River. The latter is another 0.5 miles further north on the Fuller Ridge Trail, and is flowing well.]

Pacific Crest Trail is currently completely clear.

San Jacinto Peak trails (both west and east sides) All clear.

At San Jacinto Peak itself there is no snow cover. The eastern slope between San Jacinto and Miller peaks has only patches of icy snow, and the East Ridge Trail is now clear.

South Ridge Trail between Tahquitz Peak and the PCT at Chinquapin Flat was completely clear of ice and icy snow by Monday 16th April.

Deer Springs crossing at PCT mile 185.6 this morning, 30 April 2018. Tiny pools and a light flow remain above the trail.
Black Mountain from the Marion Mountain trail this morning. Cloud cover was solid to the west at about 6000′ elevation.

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