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The Troop 355 fall backpacking trip is traditionally a short and easy outing – the main goal is to introduce our new backpackers to this great activity. We feel our backpacking program is one of our troop’s great strengths, and we hope that many of you will get to experience the challenges and rewards of backpacking with the trooop, and eventually become part of our experienced Philmont crews. These trips are also lots of fun for our experienced backpackers; we generally offer an additional hiking option for those who want to hike a few more miles.
This fall we will be jumping right into our backpack program – with our introductory backpack trip on the first weekend of our scouting year!
WHEN: Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18.
WHERE: Buckhorn Campground to the Cooper Canyon Trail Camp along the Burkhart and Pacific Crest Trails in the Angeles National Forest. Rated as one of the best Trails in the Angeles.
DIFFICULTY: This hike is 2.7 miles each way on the Burkhart and Pacific Crest Trails. It is as flat a hike as you are going to get in the Angeles National Forest with a net loss of 250 feet in elevation on the hike to camp. This is an easy hike, perfect for first time backpackers. If you can carry a duffle bag, you can do this trip. We will offer an additional hiking option to our advanced hikers – after we reach the trailhead on Sunday a group will continue hiking to the summit of nearby Mt. Waterman (an additional 8 miles and 1500 feet of elevation).
AVAILABILITY: This is an introductory backpack. Everyone is welcome. If you have ever had an interest in backpacking, this is the opportunity to try it! Dr. Snaer will host a backpacking seminar on Monday, August 29 at 7:30 PM at the Scout House. Come learn what to pack (and what not to pack).
COST: $25 per hiker. You can sign up for the trip at the August 29 backpacking seminar. Deadline to confirm your spot is Monday night, September 12 (the first troop meeting). Bring your check made out to BSA Troop 355.
MEET: At Scout House at 6:30 a.m. sharp on Saturday, September 17. We will divide troop gear and food then depart for the trailhead. The trip to the trailhead is about 1 ½ hours. We will return to the trailhead Sunday morning about noon and be home by 2:00 PM.
WATER: IMPORTANT: There is currently no water available at camp. Every hiker should carry enough water on the hike on Saturday for drinking on the hike and for the remainder of Saturday (approximately 3.5-4 liters per hiker). A group of senior scouts and dads will hike to Cloudburst Summit on Saturday afternoon and bring down additional water for Saturday’s dinner cooking, and everyone will get 2 liters of water to use on the hike out Sunday.
MEALS: Eat a big breakfast on Saturday morning before the trip. Otherwise you may bonk! Bonking is not cool, it hurts. Don’t bonk! Bring your own trail lunch Saturday, dinner will be provided Saturday night (Philmont style), bring your own breakfast bars, fruit or nuts breakfast. Saturday’s dinner will be prepared by individual crews. Crews will be announced Thursday night, September 15 by email. Because of the water situation, you should not bring any lunch or breakfast food that requires additional water (hot chocolate, oatmeal, etc.).
It might be cold (40 degrees) at night, be prepared with long johns and a beanie hat to sleep in, a good sleeping bag, a jacket and gloves. Of course always bring your rain gear! Bring bug repellent. And…bring toilet paper. BE PREPARED. Our troop leaders are always available to discuss equipment. Please contact them if you have any questions.
Any cars parking will need a National Forest Adventure Pass available at your sporting goods store (REI) or at the gas station just south of the Angeles Crest exit from the 210.
Directions to the Trailhead: Parking is limited at the trailhead so please car pool. Fill your car up with Scouts and backpacks. Take the 210 west to Highway 2 north (Angeles Crest Hwy.). Drive approximately 34.7 miles to the Buckhorn Campground sign and take a sharp left into the campground. This can be a tricky turn to see, so watch for the following landmarks as you get close – large Cloudburst Summit sign at 33.4 miles, Buckhorn Day Use Area sign at 34.5 miles (do not turn here), then a sign saying Buckhorn CG Entrance 500 feet. After you turn left into the campground, drive 0.4 miles and veer right at the junction. After 0.1 more miles there will be a sign pointing left that says Day Use Trail Area. Follow that to the left and you will see a sign saying Burkhart Trail. Follow the Burkhart Trail signs until the road ends at the trailhead parking lot. Hang your Adventure Pass on your rear view mirror. Depending on the number of cars in the parking lot, we may need to park some cars outside of the Campground along the Angeles Crest Hwy.