Morena Butte Trail is a 5.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Campo, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and rock climbing and is best used from November until April. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Easy hike until you reach the turn off of the PCT then it starts to climb. Be sure to follow the cairns or you can get turned around towards the top. The summit has beautiful 360 views. The track stops at the bottom of the trail where it starts to climb. My phone battery died. Be adventurous!
The route on the map does not follow the route in the description for this hike. Park on the dirt road where the PCT Trail hits Lake Morena Drive. Follow the PCT trail south until you hit the ridge line on the south side of Morena Butte. Follow the cairns to the summit. The view is worth the effort. It's further than the 5.4 miles listed here. it's 3 miles just to the ridge, that alone puts it at 6 miles there and back. Probably a mile and a half from there to the peak, that's just a guesstimate though. I'd plan for 10 miles there and back just to be safe.
A great hike! Steep all the way up to the top.... those views though! Amazing!
Yesterday, we kike this challenging and thrilling trail; the famous Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and Morena Butte Trail. The PCT leading up to the Morena Butte was steady, but once we started trekking up the Morena Butte Trail, the category changed to hard. It was steep all the way up. But before we started the Morena Butte Trail, we were honored to bump into an 18-year kid, Tanner M., fresh out of high school and completing the last section of the PCT to Mexico Border from Canada. Back to the trail, bushwhacking and a boulder maneuvering, and trail markers really helped to get our bearings towards the top and peak log. We were excited to locate and sign the peak log. Total hiking mileage was 10-plus mileage, bot 5.4 miles as stated in the summary.
This was a very challenging trail for me. I followed David's ribbons and some stacked rocks along the trail when you start going up. The picture that shows a small tree truck with bushes and dried grass that is what I put as a marker to start heading up from the service road. You will have to jump over some tree trunks, whack some bushes and step on some long dry wheats. Make sure you are fully covered with long pants and a long sleeve shirt because you will get a lot of the dry leafs all over you. You will get to a nice view that will over see the lake, BUT that is NOT the peak. Keep going left for another mile. The peak is where you will see this flat huge rock with an amazing view overlooking mountain peaks. Bring lots of water and snacks. Good luck and enjoy.
The cut off for the summit is quite overgrown and difficult to navigate. The route to the top requires some boulder hopping and a little scrambling. 3 summits for the price of one. The track I uploaded has the whole hike. Follow the ducks and the orange ribbon in the trees.
Great hike. Fun climbing. Stellar views. Check out the helpful link below for ihikesandiego.com. I used this information as a guide for this hike. It's very descriptive. Enjoy!
The Trail created stops at the bottom of the climb about halfway thru. My phone battery died. Enjoy