Whitewater Preserve closed for 2019 nobo thru hiker season

I just received word that the popular hiker stopover, Whitewater Preserve (Mile 219) will be closed for the entire 2019 nobo thru hiker season, so I placed this sign at my hiker oasis.

“It is with heavy hearts that we have decided that due to the severe damage to Whitewater Canyons roads and trails that Whitewater Preserve will not be able to accommodate day use or overnight PCT hikers this year. There would be no phones available (landline or otherwise), no restrooms, no wifi, and no road access to be picked up or dropped off. Also as of right now the trail from the PCT to Whitewater is non-existent and requires a wide water crossing with quickly flowing water. If there is any way you can help us pass along this information to the hikers we would be very appreciative.

Tori Stanton

Assistant Preserve Manager”

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Brooklyn Ferry oasis ready for the onslaught

We’ve been having 15+ hikers per day for close to a week, so I decided to make the oasis ready for “the herd.” The outhouse (named ‘Muir John’) and shower, along with trash can and sunshade over the picnic tables are now in place. The shower got its first user just minutes from completion.

Winter storm hits Anza

After the “Pineapple Express” dropped six inches of rain on the PCT near Anza, the temperature dropped and the precipitation turned to snow. I dug my ancient snow shoes out of storage

and headed off up the trail.

Depending on location, there was 5-8 inches of snow. Mt San Jacinto showed a coat of white in the distance.

Some manzanita appeared to have bloomed a bit early.

(Manzanita is very hardy, so I bet this plant will rebloom once the cold recedes.)

My hiker oasis also sported a coat of white.

I was the only one on the trail, but, on the return leg, the snow was already starting to turn to mush on southern exposures, so we should be back to mostly bare soil within a few days.