Day 2: Hauser Creek to Fred Canyon (16.6 miles)
Updated: Aug 20, 2019
May 9, 2016 - Had a great night's sleep which surprised me as normally my 1st night on trail I have a hard time adjusting but I really hadn’t gotten much sleep the last few nights as I was trying to get as much things accomplished before I left.
Woke up a little after 5am to get an early start because I had a big climb out of the canyon on exposed trail so I was expecting it to be hot. I had read a lot of people had suffered bad dehydration on that section with one guy being airlifted out from a rattlesnake bite. I found the hike up very nice and a very gradual climb, the nice cool morning air helped.
It was an enjoyable 4.5 mile hike to Lake Morena and much easier than I thought, got some great views of the lake which was covered in fog. I got into the town of Lake Morena where I filled up on water for the first time as I had heard there wasn’t much water along the way those first 20 miles which is why I started with so much water. Since I started off with so much water, 6.5 liters weighs a lot, I decided only carry a day's worth of food and pick up supplies at Lake Morena General Store to get me the 27 miles to Mt Laguna Campground.
After Morena it was nice and flat before heading up and down to Boulder Oak Campground where I took a long lunch break and chatted with a few other thru-hikers. Lucky for me the campground had water faucets as water sources had been scarce, plus didn’t need to filter the water which is always a bonus. Then it was 6 miles of uphill and exposed trail all the way to Fred Canyon where I would camp for the night. I decided to try out hooking up my hands free umbrella so I could have shade and still be able to use my hiking poles. My system worked great but I got nervous when the wind started blowing, didn’t want to have it break on day 2.
Got to Fred Canyon before 4pm which is much sooner than I normally stop. This was my planned stop for the night but I was torn to head a few more miles to a campsite with water. However there is still quite a bit more climbing, 700+ feet the next 2 miles, so I decided to stick to my plan. Trying my best not to do too much too soon, always important to stick to the plan this early on as no rush. I will try for an early start in the morning to take advantage of the cool weather.
So far I’m loving the trail. It’s a lot greener than I thought it would be here in Southern California. All you hear is that the first 700 miles of the trail wind through the desert so you think it's going to be this barren sandy area which just hasn’t been the case, lots of colors to see all around.