With May now upon us and June fast approaching, the first of the Pacific Crest National Trail (PCT) hikers are starting to filter through Jawbone Canyon on their way to Kennedy Meadows. No section of the PCT is easy, but the section that runs from highway 58 to Walker Pass presents some difficult logistical problems: namely that water is hard to find in regular supply in the desert.
In fact, the longest section of the PCT without any reliable water happens just north of 58 and has just a little over 38 miles between water sources. Other parts of the PCT cross and re-cross streams and rivers that run with fresh snowmelt year-round, but the section in our backyard doesn’t have any springs directly on the trail and some of the more reliable water-sources are up to three miles off the main trail. Thus, at key points, hikers must step off the trail and head down the local dirt roads in search of springs or the water caches that were left for them.