The long, steep climb, the heat, and the severely eroded trail sections made the trail more difficult than I had counted on. Still, I was glad we took this route.
We had originally decided to go this way because of snow and ice on Mount Baden-Powell, but there were other benefits. We got to see some fascinating geology, plus some wide and high views of the desert.
In all, we walked 1.2 miles more than if we had stayed on the PCT, if we could have stayed on it. The closure for the endangered frogs has been in effect for 14 years.
There is an effort underway by biologists from the San Diego and Los Angeles zoos, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to breed the mountain yellow-legged frog and then release them into suitable habitats.
The frogs are so vulnerable they are now mostly limited to national forest and national park lands. Without protection and efforts to increase their numbers, they will likely become extinct.
Yesterday and today had been difficult, but I’m glad the route we took helped to preserve their habitat.