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[pct-l] Donner Pass to Walker Pass

david booth wrote:

 > I admit it, I am addicted to the PCT.
 > ......
 > Is it practical to leave the PCT somewhere south of Kennedy Meadows and hike to
 > Onyx direct rather than via Walker Pass?
 > best regards
 > David Booth
 > Carmans Man
 > Canberra Australia

I'm not the best person to answer this question, but maybe if I take a crack at 
it, someone else with more knowledge will follow up.

There appear to be at least two possibilities. Depending on how far south of KM 
you're willing to go, you could continue on the PCT past McIvers Spring to mile 
633.2, the road to Yellow Jacket Spring. Take that road NW through Cholla Canyon 
to Kelso Creek Road (8-10 mi?), which you follow north for about 4? miles to 
what look to be some backroads that you could follow 3 or 4 miles to Onyx. My 
mileages are very approximate because the map I'm looking at is 1:150,000. This 
route would be generally downhill through what I take to be pretty open (not 
forested) terrain. Don't know how the water would be.

The other possibility would be to leave the PCT at mile 684 where it crosses 
Long Valley Loop Road, which you would take west; it appears from the guidebook 
maps G5 and G6 that you could follow this road for a mile or so and where it 
turns south take a lesser road west for another mile or so where turns into 
trail. The trail heads west, crosses the South Fork Kern River and continues 
into the Domeland Wilderness to Manter Meadow. At this point, you take a 
different trail south, past Church Dome, Taylor Meadow, and Cane Meadow, where 
farther on you meet Fay Ranch Rd which ultimately goes all the way to Hwy 178. 
However, it appears as if you could turn east, about a mile before the highway 
(and before you cross the South Fork Kern River, which at that point is 
paralleling the highway) and follow a trail/backroad for something like 3-5 
miles and end up within about a quarter mile of Onyx. Again, no idea about water 
(although it appears you would cross creeks fairly often), mileages, trail 
conditions, how much is trail and how much is road. It appears that most of this 
route would be through land with some decent vegetation.

Those are the _possibilities_ I can see. Can't say how _practical_ (let alone 
enjoyable) they are.

Hope this helps...