Pacific Crest Trail Section 5 is a 2.4 mile point-to-point trail located near White Water, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Hiked this trail a couple years ago, this is my second review to revise my first review. This time focus on the portion of PCT that starts at the Whitewater Ranger Station, the trail from the parking lot up to where you come to the signage where this trail actually starts is awesome. Then from there on heading north is disappointing. People who usually hike this trail all way to the red mountain are usually the ones planning to hike the Mission structure. This hike from the signage to the red mountain is not all that exciting; it’s a flat contour. You’re actually better off hiking Canyon View Loop Trail instead. But if you hike PCT towards Canyon View Loop Trial! That’s the portion of PCT trail, everybody should explore! It would be over 8 miles, which will take you back to Interstate 10 eventually. That’s the trial I had planned to hike all the way through when it was over cast just weekend; was gravely disappointed to discover the trail was closed due to fire hazard. This PCT portion north of the Ranger Station I would not recommend unless you’re prepared to see a boring trail. The views, environment, landscape are just typical and too mundane.
We intented to run the Canyon View Loop but couldn't find the loop. So, we ran out and back from the Whitewater Ranger Station to Red Dome. It was a nice easy trail run. It was mostly flat with a slight up-hill on the way to the dome. The creek was running. It was Memorial Day weekend so there were some people out and a couple of backpackers hiking the PCT. There's a lot of sun, so hit the sunscreen. Much of the trail is rock and sand.
On the day I decided to hike this part of the pct it was actually raining, but I only was doing a day hike. I can see how it could be insanely hot during the summer. I drove up an old dirt road (seemed like a high clearance vehicle would be needed) and parked in a dirt parking area. From there I wasn't terribly thrilled cuz at first all you see is the energy windmills and the eerie noises they make. Not much to look at and no wildlife. However I did end up hiking with a small group of guys who were thru hiking. We all kind of bottlenecked at the pass through the mountains. You then take switchbacks all the way down the other side. This was a challenge in cool weather I can't imagine it in hot weather! I went about 6 miles in and 6 miles back out. Once you start to get some views on the other side it is very breathtaking. Overall it was a good hike, good people and some good sights, but I don't think I would do this on a hot day unless I was thru hiking.
We chose to start @ Whitewater Preserve & were quite impressed with amazing scenery as well as great facilities. Loved the visitor center, trout ponds, picnic areas, free ample parking, & well marked trails. Many choices of distance & difficulty levels. Easy to reach PCT. We opted for the 6.5 mile route to Mission Creek Stone House & were so pleasantly surprised when we arrived. Did not expect to find such a well preserved building complete with picnic tables & even clean, flush toilets! We had to return the way we came since we did not plan a car shuttle, but could've gone rest of the way to Mission Creek Preserve making it about an 8 mile one way hike. The return trip seemed long because it was....13 miles but it was a beautiful day so very enjoyable!