Over the weekend, we decided to take the Pacific Crest Trail to Grass Mountain. I’ve been on a few sections of the PCT, including San Francisquito Canyon and Willow Springs. I was excited to explore the Pacific Crest Trail to Grass Mountain, which also starts at the same spot as the San Francisquito Canyon.
We arrived around 7:30, and there were a few cars. It wasn’t until we were heading down we saw plenty of people out. This was the busiest I’ve seen the PCT. Since the where is now cooler, you can see more people on the PCT. I also appreciate the PCT doesn’t allow bikes so you don’t have to worry about avoiding mountain bikers on the trails. For the most part it was peaceful, and we really only saw people as we were heading back down.
About the Pacific Crest Trail:
The Pacific Crest Trail (also known as the PCT) is 2,650 miles and runs from Mexico to Canada. It goes through the West Coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington. It has beautiful scenery from the desert, glaciers of the Sierra Nevada into deep forests, and even has views of volcanic peaks in the Cascade Range.
If you want to get a little bit of everything on the West Coast, the Pacific Crest Trail is it. However, thru-hiking the entire trail takes a lot of time. Watching the movie “The Wild” with Reese Witherspoon inspires me; I would actually love to thru-hike it sometime.
My experience with Pacific Crest Trail to Grass Mountain:
I needed to get out of the house and after going the opposite direction a few times, I’ve thought about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to Grass Mountain for a while. I figured it would be a fun, yet challenging hike but nothing that would push my limits too much. Despite Alltrails saying it was 4.5 miles, I think including the loop at the top, it’s closer to 5 miles.
There is plenty of parking on San Franquito road. The Pacific Crest Trail to Grass Mountain Trail is easy to find around the Firehouse. I do love the well-marked PCT, and it’s hard to get lost.
The first few steps are along a single-track trail as you begin climbing. There are about 1200 feet over 2.5 miles to get to the top of Grass Mountain. While on the Pacific Crest Trail to Grass Mountain Trail, you hit a fire road. It’s easy to see where the PCT continues. You’re even able to see the cut of the Leona Divide Road.
For the next mile or so you are climbing and climbing. You wonder, will I ever reach the top of the Pacific Crest Trail to Grass Mountain? You can see the grass cut out, but you never seem to get any closer. The Pacific Crest Trail to Grass Mountain trail also crosses the OHV trail going up the ridge.
You then come to the top, where you can see the Antelope Valley. We could see Edwards AFB roughly 40 miles away and the Mojave Desert. It’s funny to look down and just see how much empty desert there is. While the drive never seems unimaginable, you do see the 30 mile drive from Edwards AFB into Lancaster. It’s just one straight line.
While I wasn’t up to it, you can take the Pacific Crest Trail to Grass Mountain to Lake Hughes. It’s just over 7 miles round trip. Spoiler, the lake bed is dry so you won’t find water.
Going back down is easy because you follow where you come. I was thinking it might be nice to make it a loop but it would be a lot longer than my body wanted. Going down is where we saw the majority of people as they were heading up to Grass Mountain.
In all, the Pacific Crest Trail to Grass Mountain is one of my favorite local views of Antelope Valley and beyond. In fact, maybe it is in general. It’s a relatively easy and short hike worth the rewards. I can’t wait to explore more of that direction and head towards the Mojave Desert.
You can see more hikes here.
Questions for you:
Have you done any of the PCT?
What is your favorite hike?