End: San Jacinto Peak
Miles covered: 15 (Including the rest of the fire closure reroute, the available miles north of the closure, the Tahquitz trail, and Tahquitz Peak.)
PCT mile marker: 183*/2652
*PCT equivalent, because San Jacinto Peak is on a slightly longer alternate route.
Biggest challenge: Leaving the comforts of Idyllwild.
Highlights: Endless. I’m going to write more than usual, because it was such an incredible day. First, I had a great night of sleep in Idyllwild, where everyone is kind and supportive of PCT hikers. Second, I enjoyed hot coffee, eggs, toast, and fruit at the Red Kettle. Third, I loved the trails climbing out of town—the Ernie Maxwell Trail and the Devils Slide Trail. Fourth, Tahquitz Peak offered excellent views. Last, but of course not least, we reached the summit of San Jacinto a mere five minutes before sunset and cowboy camped at the top. I believe it was my first time camping above 10,000 feet, and I don’t recall ever gaining as much elevation in a single day. It completely wore me out, but it was oh so worth it.