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Sonora Pass - Joint Project with the Pacific Crest Trail Association

The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,650 mile trail running from Canada to Mexico, and is considered one of the most scenic and important world-class trails on the planet. The Pacific Crest Trail Association is a group that coordinates the continuing development, use, maintenance and support for this trail. As Californians we should feel privileged to be so close to this trail which is enjoyed each year by many thousands of visitors from around the globe.

The Trail Center and the PCTA will be sponsoring a project on the section of the PCT near Sonora Pass. We will be arriving in camp near the Pass on Thursday evening, and we'll be working all day Friday, Saturday, and one-half day on Sunday. We'll break camp in the early afternoon on Sunday and return home.

Location: Sonora Pass, California - Pacific Crest Trail

Directions: Take Interstate 580 East to Interstate 205 East and then onto Interstate 5. Exit onto CA 120 East towards Manteca, Escalon and Oakdale. Fill your car's tank with gas at Oakdale, as prices and availability deteriorate farther on. Continue to the junction with CA 108 and drive past Sonora, Twaine Harte and Strawberry. Continue on CA 108 until you reach Sonora Pass.

Our car-camping site is approximately 1.0 miles east of Sonora Pass on the north side of CA 108. Look for a paved area on the right edge of the road and then make a left turn into the camping spot. There should also be a PCTA volunteer sign at the entrance.

Driving time from the Bay Area is about 4 to 4 1/2 hours. Leave early enough to arrive during daylight, as the last section of this route is very windy and hard to navigate if it's pitch black.

Agency: Humboldt-Toiyabe and Stanislaus National Forests, USFS

Supervisor: Hank Magnuski

Project Lead: Hank Magnuski, 650-714-2409

Additional Information: Volunteers should plan on being in camp by Thursday evening. If possible, come earlier and allow 24 hours to acclimatize to the altitude of this location. There is no fee for camping. The campground is on U. S. Forest Service property.

A PCTA volunteer form needs to be on file prior to commencing work. Please make sure you have one filled out for your arrival.

All food and tools will be supplied by the PCTA, and volunteers need only bring their workday and camping equipment. Meals will be provided starting with breakfast on Friday and ending with lunch on Sunday. Volunteers are responsible for dinner meals on Thursday and Sunday.

We will be working at high altitudes, so sun-screen, lip balm and sun-glasses are advised. This is a poison-oak free environment.

The USFS requires that all volunteers have long-sleeve shirts and long pants, sturdy leather boots (no sandals or sneakers), work gloves and hard hats (supplied by the PCTA or the Trail Center if needed). Volunteers without proper safety clothing will be limited in the tasks they can do and the tools they can use. Some of the work will involve breaking rock with picks, so if you own safety goggles, bring those along, too.

Bring a small day pack for your water bottles, lunch, windbreaker and other essentials (it sometimes rains in the afternoon, so a water-resistant outer coat or poncho is advised).

For meals, bring your own dish, cup, coffee mug and eating utensils.

Camping equipment for your stay will also be required - a tent, sleeping bag, ground mat and pillow. Don't forget a flashlight and maybe some camp shoes for comfort.

Bring along a camp chair or folding beach chair if you have one.

PCTA Leader: Dave Harrison, Tel.: 775-220-0689, Email:

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - Sonora Pass -- July 25th-28th

Activities: There was a late season thunder storm in the Carson Iceberg area that did considerable damage to the trail including the north side of Sonora Pass. A lot of tread destruction, uphill and downhill erosion, slides, etc.

Volunteers should be fit as the PCT here is at 10,600 ft+ and work may be strenuous. We will convoy daily to the trailhead and hike 2.5 miles to the work site. Note that protection from the sun at 10,000 ft is important, and early arrival is encouraged to acclimate.

Plan to arrive in camp Thursday night, July 25th. You will need to arrange for your own meals on Thursday. Sonora Pass driving is hazardous at night, so please leave early enough to arrive while there is still daylight.

We will work all day on the Friday (26th), Saturday (27th) and one-half day on Sunday (28th). Breakfast and lunch will be provided to volunteers on Sunday.

Sonora Pass weather can be variable, so be prepared for all conditions. Bring layers of clothes to protect against the elements. On one trip it was 38 degrees and sleeting when we left on Sunday.

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Please contact the Web Manager for corrections or comments. Updated 21 Jul 2013

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