Posted on May 28, 2014
San Jacinto Peak – Solo
I went up to San Jacinto Peak by myself for a night’s getaway. I had never been on a solo overnight backpacking trip before, so I was very excited and a bit scared. When I picked up my permit from the ranger station, the ranger said that I would be the only person in the park that night!
I started up the Devil’s Slide Trail which was so difficult last time we hiked it. This time, a breeze! I was up in less than an hour and had joined the PCT at Saddle Junction. I then made a beeline to the peak (10,834 ft elevation) to soak up the atmosphere. Lots of PCT thru-hikers stopped to chat and introduce themselves on their way which was alternately very nice and very bad – sometimes I was deep in meditation and just didn’t want to talk, other times I was grateful for the break and camaraderie. What an amazing view it was from the top of the peak!
My campsite was at Little Round Valley (elev. 9,800 ft), and the site I chose was Owl’s Hooch, a campsite nestled in the trees of the forest near a meadow. Hiking solo gave my inner voices a chance to speak, and boy, they spoke! Shut up, me!
Even though temperatures were low overnight, I was toasty warm in our new two-person quilt, and slept quite well. It was a blast knowing that I had hand-made the shelter, my clothes, backpack and sleeping stuff. The only things that let me down were the sleeping pad which sprung a slow leak, and a water bottle which also started leaking.
In the morning I started down the mountain at 6:30am, heading southbound on the PCT. This is a beautiful section of the trail and I would like to camp at Strawberry Junction with J&G sometime very soon, so they can see the spectacular scenery.