If you plan to hike the Pacific Crest Trail this year and stay at Hiker Heaven in Agua Dulce, please read this message from your hosts:
From the PCT class of 2014 Facebook page:
“Putting word out here in advance about over-flow hiker traffic during peak season in Agua Dulce. Estimates are that there may be as many as 1,000 hikers on the trail this season. And, as in years past, there’s a good chance that roughly two-thirds of the hikers will start on or around the ADZPCTKO, becoming part of “The Herd.” Even those who start a week (or even two) ahead of the event will become part of The Herd.
We want to host everyone for a full zero (three days and two nights), but obviously can’t do that when everyone shows up at once. Knowing this, I’ve been investigating ways to handle the overflow when Hiker Heaven hits our limit of 50 hikers per night. Unfortunately, our neighbor who took in our over-flow in 2013 has become, well, unsuitable is the best word. So here is the 2014 plan, and the recommendation for hikers who arrive peak season:
(1) Try to arrive at Hiker Heaven during the week, not on a weekend, if possible.
(2) Morning arrivals are more likely to get a spot than those who show up later in the day or evening. We ask people who are departing that day to clear their bunk by 10:00 am so we know how many more we can fit in. It’s okay for departing hikers to hang out until the cool of the evening. So, stop in town and have breakfast, and come on up around 10:00 am is your best bet.
(3) If you are arriving during peak season (mid-May to early June) stop by the Vasquez Rocks County Park headquarters and look for our sign outside headquarters that will indicate if we are full or have room. That way you will not have to walk all the way up to our house only to find out we’re full. You are welcome to come up and pick up your box any time, even if we’re full and can’t host you.
(4) Vazquez Rocks has a group camp area where hikers may camp WEEKDAYS ONLY. The place is booked by scouting groups every weekend, and the park superintendent didn’t want to mix hikers with scouts.
(5) The park superintendent made a statement to the effect that they know hikers stealth camp in the park. They didn’t seem to have a problem with that. So if you happen to arrive on a weekend, and find our we’re full, that may be an option.
If you know you are going to arrive during the peak and are on a tight schedule without the luxury of stalling an extra night just to stay at Hiker Heaven, the KOA on Soledad Canyon offers camping, showers, laundry, and a small store for a reasonable fee. You can get pizza (and beer) delivered there. Acton, which has a post office and two grocery stores, is a short hitch away. However, the KOA WAS NOT ABLE TO HOST HIKERS OVER MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND because they are too busy with their RV and car camper business.
Please share this info with hikers you encounter, and remember that none of this applies to sick or injured hikers. We will always find a spot for those in serious need.
So, do your best and SPREAD YOURSELVES OUT PEOPLE! Thank you!”
L-Rod, Hiker Heaven, Agua Dulce