Pacific Crest Trail
Shore up crumbling desert tracks
Monsoon rains erode portions of the PCT every year, especially in the section traversing the flash-flood-prone high desert of Kern County. The Pacific Crest Trail Association caps its trail-building season here with an October weekend of intensive rockwork, rebuilding washed out or sloping trails. The effort is organized by the Student Conservation Association’s WildCorps. From Walker Pass Campground on CA 178, climb the PCT for five miles–from desert scrub through singleleaf piñon pines and eroded granite–to the group’s basecamp. You’ll carry backpacking gear and leather gloves; llamas pack in food and tools. Want to help sooner? The PCTA hosts volunteer trips along the length of the entire PCT all summer. pcta.org
Refuel with a bacon cheese-burger
and a Class V Stout at the Kern River Brewing Company in Kernville. kernriverbrewing-company.com
From Bakersfield, head 76 miles northeast on CA 178 to Walker Pass Campground.