PCT: CA Section A - Campo to Warner Springs

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Campo, California

PCT: CA Section A - Campo to Warner Springs is a 104 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Campo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 104.0 miles Elevation Gain: 16,217 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dog friendly




horseback riding

nature trips

bird watching




wild flowers


The start of the Pacific Crest Trail on the Mexican border, at Campo, CA. The journey of a thousand miles (or 2650) begins with a single step.

I just did a day hike for a few miles. But I would recommend pants. Resist the urge to go bare-assed or to wear shorts. Full length pantaloons only. You’ll thank me.

no shade
1 month ago

Wed Apr 24 2019

Started from Campo on 4/12/19 with Navster.& finished in Idyllwild on 4/23/19. A totally amazing trip. There was plenty of water sites along the way to Lake Marino. We really befitted from rain & snow earlier in the year. We were presented with amazing views along the way. There was still a good bit of snow when summited San Jacinto on the way to Saddle Junction

no shade
Sun Apr 07 2019

Started at noon at the Hwy. All I've seen are Border Patrol in SUVs and ATV's and lizards. Did the 2.3 mi. mostly uphill in an hour with 1 potty break. The border wall is very close to the Southern Terminus with a "no-mans land" of about 100'. Rock Hopper.

Sun Apr 07 2019

Mon Mar 04 2019

my sons and i are sectioning section a,we have covered everything from lake morena to cibbits flats. in a few weeks we will go from cibbits to lagunna.

Thu Nov 29 2018

Nice long challenging day hije front e the border to Lake Morena. Will start at Lake Morena and do a 2/3 day backpacking trip to continue the trail. Looking forward to 'chipping off' the PCT.

no shade
Sun Apr 15 2018

PCT 2018er. Got injured around Mt. Laguna but hiked until Wrightwood. Amazing. Highly recommend. It was a very hot and dry year but the hike out of Scissors was one of my favorites! And Idyllwild to Big Bear!!

Tue Mar 20 2018

I had a great time. The trail was in good shape, the people were nice, & the weather was a little cold (17deg & snow). This is what you get at 7000 feet in February. The only problem I had with water, was when it froze. I never ran short. I did get "turned around" for 15 minutes in a snow "whiteout" just before Warner Springs.

Tue Feb 13 2018

hiked nb from lake morena to scissors crossing. mt laguna is very beautiful with views of the dessrt for miles.

Mon Feb 12 2018

hiked SB from the 8 to the border. it's a nice taste of what southern cali land has to offer to the eyes

Sun Jan 28 2018

I did a small portion of this section from Scissors Crossing(MP72?) for about 6 miles and then back on same trail to my vehicule. Very nice trail with views on the mountains and valley. Expecting to do another portion in few days..wow

Thu Jan 18 2018

I love the freedom of the woods

Tue Jul 11 2017

Got it class of 2017. Lots of water this year and some great times and views. Got that first 26 miles in on day one too.

So hot did in 2015 little water.

Sun Apr 30 2017

If you don't have 5-6 months to take off to thru hike the entire PCT then do it on the weekends. There are numerous side hikes and peaks to bag along the way. Anyone can hike this trail. It's very well maintained and marked. There are no really strenuous climbs or descents.. You have no excuses. Find a partner and do this. You'll be so glad you did!

Sun Apr 16 2017

Did this first "Section A" with a friend who is thru-hiking the whole PCT. What an amazing trip this year. There has been a lot of rain in the region this winter / spring which has led to water where we haven't seen it in years and beautiful blooms throughout the desert. We did the 114 miles in total after making a couple side trips to get milkshakes (by Lake Morena) and stopping in Laguna for fuel. Across 6 days, this was a fairly challenging hike. On day one we stopped at Lake Morena for water and then moved on and stayed at Boulder Oak Campground the first night which was nice and quiet. Stayed at Laguna Campground the second night which had nice bathrooms and made a good water stop. From there we went to Scissors Crossing which had a nice water cache, but was quite the wind tunnel. It was also in a flash flood area. I would recommend camping elsewhere if you can and simply stop here for the cache. Next we stayed at the 3rd Gate Water Cache which had some good camping spots. We took one secluded one down in the valley after hiking down to the water cache which is .9 miles from the 3rd gate. Finally, we stayed in Barrel Springs before hiking the last 8 miles out. We took another campsite in the far back after the water spigot. This was another good spot that I would recommend staying. Being familiar with the area, we covered our bodies completely to stay out of the sun. Between that and starting just at sunrise and then camping under a tarp between 11am and 2-3pm and hiking again until 6, meant that we were able to stay cool and fresh enough to get good miles in and make good use of water. Highly recommend this tactic through the desert. We saw a lot of sun-burnt and exhausted people on our way through. If you're hiking through, make the extra stop in Julian and get some free apple pie which they offer to hikers on the PCT!

Mon Apr 10 2017

I'm 65 and together with my 28 y.o. son hiked from PCT Southern Terminus to Kitchen Creek Rd March 26 thru 29, camping night #1 at Hauser Creek and night #2 at Lake Morena. Day #3 we made it to Kitchen Creek Rd but my light- complected son was suffering from severe sunburn, so In the evening, we walked downhill 3 mi. where my other son collected us at I-8. Intend to resume quickly as possible. Much of the trail had been damaged by winter rains. But creeks & streams flowed abundantly.

Wed Feb 01 2017

Nice trail, we hiked 10 miles in total. Definitely would be very hot during summer time but there was a nice river running and a few shady spots. Also runs over the railroad track which is cool! Make sure you have enough water especially during a hot day.

Sun Jan 29 2017

We hiked in the snow approximately 4 miles. It was spectacular! There was so much snow. Breathtaking but grueling! Must do!!!!

Tue Jan 10 2017

Hitched a ride into Julian within 5 minutes from the scissor crossing. Awesome town.

Sun May 22 2016

Beautiful scenery

Mon Sep 08 2014

We of course didn't do the whole trail but we did about 10 miles. It was extremely hot today and depending on where you are on the trail there might not be any shade. The view was nice and we were able to hike into the forest after about 5 miles or so. Bring lots of water in the hotter months!

Sat May 17 2014

The southern terminus of the PCT, this is the starting place for many hiking adventures.

Sat Feb 01 2014

When I first came here to California, The first two weeks were spent camping everywhere up in this area, and around Julian. Did as many of these trails as far as I could every day. Beautiful!

Mon Aug 26 2013

I was reluctant to hike the southern part of the PCT because of the heat and lack of water but I was pleasantly surprised. I started in Campo April 21 and stopped in at the ADZPCTKO (kickoff party), went to some talks about finding water and set out on what turned out to be a beautiful walk. Everything was in bloom and water wasn’t that big of a problem with a little planning. I walked 558 miles to Tehachapi and had a wonderful time.

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