Pacific Crest Trail, Cibbets Flat, Kwaamii Point


By: Joe McCosker



Thirteen PCT hikers met for the second leg of the PCT at Cibbets Flat Campground at 0730 Saturday. A car shuttle was made to the Stephenson Peak Road, a long shuttle because the Kitchen Creek Road beyond Cibbets Flat campground was closed for the winter. At 0900 we started hiking the .3 mile on the Fred Canyon Road to join the PCT where we had left it at the end of the previous PCT hike. At an elevation of 4400', the trail is surrounded by ceanothus, chamise and other chaparral. The day was cool but windy forcing most of us to hike with our jackets on but Joel Holladay, down from Alaska on a holiday, managed to keep warm in shorts. The trail gently gains 1000', loses most of it, and then climbs again. We had lunch in Horse Meadow where some of the Jeffrey pines were dotted with holes stuffed with scorns by the acorn woodpeckers.

There were patches of snow as we passed Burnt Rancheria, so named because in the last century cattlemen moved into the area and the Indians fought back by burning their ranch house. At that point the PCT is joined with the Desert View Trail, with expansive views to the east of Anza Borrego. We soon saw the golf ball radar domes or Stephenson Peak, and arrived at the cars at about 1503. We drove a short distance to the Sierra Club Lodge where a work party was repainting the building. Betty McCosker served a sumptuous dinner, including Betsy Lutz's famous dump cake. Most of us decided to sleep out that night rather than dream of the paint smell.

Around the pot bellied stove fire the group decided that at the rate we were going we would be at least 100 before we finished the PCT so we planned to schedule segments every other month. Campy suggested and it was officially approved that we do not have to do the segments in order; in this way we would not have to wait until winter to do the desert segments and until summer for the more northerly parts. A northern segment starting at Kennedy Meadows is planned for June.

Saturday we planned to shuttle cars to Pioneer Mail Picnic Area but the road to the area was closed so we went another mile to Kwaamill Point Road. Duane McRuer joined us and we started the hike at the Stephenson Road. The PCT passes the trails to Stephenson Peek and Garnet Peak and most of the group climbed them. Barbara Reber and Don and Nicky Beverage also climbed Garnet Mountain. We arrived at the cars at 1400, having climbed another 26 miles out of the PCT total of 2500 miles. Topo maps required for the trip (7.5 minute photo-revised 1932): Mount Laguna and Monument Peak.

In addition to those named above, PCT veterans on the trip were Jon Lutz and Roger Potts, Ski Camphausen, Mickey Sharpsteen and Delores Holladay joined us for the first time. Many thanks to Assistant Leaders Harry Brumer (Saturday) and Duane McRuer (Sunday).

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