Tunnel Springs to Idyllwild – 21 miles (33km) 179 miles total
It was going to be another long day. While I’ve done more than 21 miles in a day, the day also had 1800m (6000ft) of elevation gain, which combined with the miles is a huge day.
Most of the day was a steady climb up with a few steeper parts, which I plodded up. In the distance I could see Tahquitz Peak which is near the junction down to Idyllwild. The peak was covered in snow. It was fun to see it get closer and closer all day.
In Warner Springs, I had picked up a pair of micro spikes for the snow at San Jacinto outside Idyllwild. For about 3 miles there were patches of snow but none were on dangerous slopes, so I easily walked across them without my micro spikes, it was just slower going to make sure I didn’t slip onto my butt.
I finally made it to saddle junction which was the side trail down to Idyllwild which was a 1000m drop in elevation and 2.5miles. By that time of the day I was tired and that 2.5 miles off trail into town was hard.
At the bottom, we were still 3 miles out of town at a trail head car park. I asked some Day hikers who arrived off trail for a lift into town, but you could tell they really didn’t want to give hikers a lift. By that time 5 more hikers had arrived and with no cell reception we were all stuck at the trail head. Until finally a car arrived dropping some hikers off back at their car and we all managed to pile in and make it into town.
Today I am thankful for lifts into town.