The Cameron Ridge Segment of the Pacific Crest Trail is a 6.5 mile stretch of trail that starts on Cameron Rd and ends on Tehachapi Willow Springs Rd between the cities of Mojave and Tehachapi. This trail takes hikers right up to the wind turbines of the Alta Wind Energy Center. Hiking this trail in late spring will allow you to rub shoulders with PCT thru-hikers making their way from Mexico to Canada.
In this guide, I’m going to show you how to start out at the Cameron Rd trailhead, walk underneath the wind turbines and return to your car for a quick out-and-back hike. It’s also possible to do a point-to-point 6.5 mile hike from Cameron Rd to Tehachapi Willow Springs Rd with two cars or a pick up. If you’re up for a 13 mile hike, you can do that entire stretch out and back.
Directions And GPS Tracks:
- The trailhead for the Cameron Ridge Segment of the Pacific Crest Trail is located on the Cameron Rd exit of HWY 58 between the cities of Mojave and Tehachapi. After taking the Cameron Rd exit, head south and cross over the train tracks. You’ll see sign for the trailhead on the east side of the road. 10000-10012 Cameron Canyon Rd, Mojave, CA 93501
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- Distance: 6.2 miles
- Elevation Gain: 1327 ft
- Minimum Elevation: 3900 ft
- Maximum Elevation: 4771 ft
- Time: 2 hours
- Difficulty: (2/5)
- Dog Friendly: Yes
- Permit Required: No
- Parking: Free parking located along Cameron Rd near the trailhead
- Weather: This hike can be brutally hot in the summer, and can also have snow and ice in the winter. Expect wind year round.
- Trail Condition: Buffed out single track
- Cell Phone Reception: Very good
Hike Map And Elevation Profile:
0.0 Miles- Starting at the Cameron Rd trailhead, make your way up past the first PCT sign and pass through the cattle gate.
The first stretch of trail on this hike is a series of switchbacks that head up towards Cameron Ridge. The elevation gains pretty quickly, and it won’t be long until you’re treated with views of the Alta Wind Energy Center.
1.3 Miles- You’ll cross over a footbridge that covers a rain rut on the side on the canyon wall.
Shortly after crossing the bridge, you’ll see a bench that offers some pretty amazing views of the canyon below. This is a great place to stop if you’re looking for a short hike. For those wanting to see the wind turbines up close, keep hiking.
1.65 Miles- You’ll see a PCT specific sign with signs pointing to Canada and Mexico. You’ll pass through a gate shortly after seeing this sign. The massive turbines will be amazingly close from here on out.
2.0 Miles- The PCT criss-crosses with a large dirt access road up on Cameron Ridge, but the PCT is really easy to follow and well marked.
It’s one thing to see the wind turbines from the highway in Mojave or Tehachapi, seeing them up close is a completely different experience. The size is impossible to bring across in a photograph, and the whiring sound of a turbine in action is difficult to put into words.
3.0 Miles- At around the 3-mile mark you’ll have sweeping views east towards the city of Mojave and the high desert. This is where you’ll get some of the best wind turbine views in the area. This is also a great place to turn around if you’re not planning on doing the entire Cameron Ridge Segment.