We had a busy last few days at Jojoba Hills, with one more hike, happy hour, shopping, laundry, washing both vehicles and trip planning.
Our last hike was one I would highly recommend if you’re in the area. We did have to drive about 40 miles to get to the trail but we wanted to check out the cute little mountain town of Idyllwild anyway, and the drive from Jojoba Hills to there turned out to be very scenic.
We started at Humber Park just north of Idyllwild, where hiking requires a free permit which can be picked up at the ranger station in town. It’s also $5 to park if you don’t have a national parks pass. Our plan was to hike up the Devil’s Slide trail for 2.5 miles to the saddle which intersects with the Pacific Crest Trail. Suzanne had never been on any portion of the PCT so we were going to hike along it and turn back whenever we got tired.
Starting out at 6500’ and climbing 1700’ to the saddle was quite a slow go for those of us who have been hanging around at sea level for the past few months, but we finally made it and had a chance to talk with several PCT through-hikers. Seeing a sign for the Tahquitz Peak trail, Suzanne and I had an urge to go that direction but she really wanted to walk on the PCT. After a rather boring quarter mile on the PCT we decided to go back and see what the peak trail looked like. A guy we met said it was “only” about a mile and a half, and after eating and resting we were ready to tackle another 700’ of climbing. Jim considered turning back at that point but ended up plodding on with us.
We were rewarded with fantastic views, hiking through a little snow, and a historic fire tower at the nearly 9000’ peak.
Sadly our little group of friends have all moved on for now, although we’re looking forward to another meet-up later this summer in Colorado. Yesterday we drove a stressful 200 miles to Tehachapi, where we spent the night at Mountain Valley RV Park.
Sites are rather unlevel but it’s quiet here, although the airport is adjacent. It appears to be a popular place for glider flights but it was so windy when we arrived we didn’t get to see any. We walked around downtown Tehachapi and stopped at Honey Wagon Brewing Co, the only one in town. The owner/brewer used to be in the septic business, hence the name. It was just okay but we are jaded by the excellent San Diego beers we’ve been enjoying.
Today we’re heading to Three Rivers, near the entrance to Sequoia National Park.