Saturday, January 07, 2017

Hot Springs Trail ~ Part 5 ~ Hikertown to Lake Isabella

Expressing our Thank You's and Farewell's in Hikertown... we started our trek across the Mojave following an aqueduct system which was bringing in water to the greater L.A. region.

It was odd to see other hikers walking on the same route that we were on.

There were a lot of new Windmills since we had been here last in 2009.

Most people on the PCT usually dread this crossing because they are told that it is hot and strenuous. However, hikers crossing the desert in this time frame were in luck, because the temps were only in the high 70's or low 80's. Water was plentiful on route, and there was even a water cache with apples and oranges around mile marker 194.

However, it was very windy with gusts up to 70 miles per hour as we made our approach to our connection with Tehachapi.  We were literally being blown off the trail.

Our next synchronicity was with Rockin' ... The Lady on a Rock ... who lives not too far away from the trail.  Stacey had recently made friends with her on Facebook and so we decided to look her up. Well, it turns out that she had already bought Zoner's book on the Coast Connect Trail that we were currentlly hiking on, and that she too had planned on hiking it in sections. Rockin', and her husband Dan, were ever so gracious to host us in their home for two nights where we finally were able to take a shower and resupply for our 88 mile journey to Lake Isabella where we would be buying food at Von's once again.

When we left Tehachapi.. we didn't even have to thumb it for a ride ten miles back to the trail. When we came out of the supermarket, a gentleman and his wife asked us if we needed a ride.  The guys trailname was Clydesdale, and he wanted to pick our brains on long distance hiking because he was tackling the PCT in sections.

Mariposa Lilies, desert poppies, onions, and even cacti were blooming on route. The desert was so alive that it was even showering on us to water the next wave of plants to flower.

For those of you who are planning on hiking the Hot Springs Trail, one realizes that the route can be challenging at times even for those with lots of experience.  How many people out there can say that they are going to hike across Nevada in the summer time without using water caches on trails that may or may not exist. With such thoughts in mind, one desires to be a little bit more prepared than on other trails.  So when i first received the guidebook, i noticed that the maps were in black and white and hard to read at times.  I have to say that overall, this was not a problem on the trail mostly, but there were times that more map detail could have been useful.  It was rare to even know what elevation you were at.. not that it really mattered. Therefore, before we began the hike.. I created my own gpx file to load into our smartphone as backup in case we got lost or in case we wanted additional verification of where we were at in relationship to the prescribed route. I used the free backcountry navigator app and found that if i viewed the maps in town of the trail ahead while on wifi, the app would remember and retain the map files to be used in the field.  I also plugged the gps track into Caltopo online and saved maps as jpg's to also be used as backup and for when we decided to take alternate routes for which there was no description of in the guidebook.  

This year in 2017, Buck 30 will be hiking the Hot Springs Trail as well. He too created a track and made more detailed maps for his journey.  In a way, by reviewing the whole trail ahead of time, it's as if one were preparing themselves energetically for all the details that lay ahead allowing for one to more easily stay in one's intent to hike the entirety of the trail.


  1. I'm planning for this year and greatly enjoying these posts. You can pre-cache any maps you want in Backcountry Navigator from the Map Layers->Select Areas for Download menu, ensuring you have all the zoom levels and areas you might want in the field. It's not 100% clear from your writing if you realize that or not, but maybe it'll help someone out there regardless. I also find it handy to cache Google Maps for the area I'm going to be in. They're great to have if you find yourself of a road or seeking an escape route. Kind of like the modern version of carrying Delorme pages.

    1. Thanks Heather... i never did any research into the free app.. i just downloaded it and wasn't expecting to use it much. As a matter of fact, what i initially did on purpose was to only load my gpx trackline and purposely didn't bother with having any maps. I would just establish my location on a blank screen and if I wasn't on my trackline, i knew exactly where to go. Didn't feel the need for any maps at that time... but one day I noticed I turned the app on out in the field and there were still maps loaded on the phone from town. Again, it was nice having the maps there, but were not necessary for me since I had jpg's of maps on my phone to use in case I needed more overview and depth... but that is awesome information for those who are like me and haven't used gps or apps in general very much. I appreciate the feedback. When will you be beginning your journey? I really have loved all of my long distance hikes... but there was something about crossing Nevada and enjoying Idaho a second time around that especially made me feel on top of the world with this hike. I look forward to hearing about your journey as well.

    2. Heather, have you seen that there is a 2017 Hot Springs Trail thu-hikers page on facebook?


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