Agua Dulce to Highway 58 near Mojave Professional Review and Guide
"The Mojave Desert is the arid setting for this short, least characteristic segment of the Pacific Crest Trail. Some of the route is not even really trail, but rather it follows dusty dirt roads along the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Congress’s original intent was to align the PCT atop the ridge of Liebre Mountain, going all the way west to the vicinity of Quail Lake. (In fact, some of this trail was built by the Forest Service, and later abandoned.) There, it was to ascend into the western Tehachapi Mountains, the start of the Sierran chain, and follow their crest northeast. This route would have had all the necessary characteristics of the Pacific Crest Trail, including mountain vistas, cool black oak and pine forests, and numerous springs. The major snag in the government’s plan to construct a true mountain-crest route was the refusal of the owners of the mammoth Tejon Ranch, which lies astride the Tehachapi Mountains, to allow right-of-way for the PCT. After years of wrangling and threatened litigation, the Forest Service surrendered in the contest of wills with so wellheeled an adversary. Hence, no mountain path now connects the Southern California PCT with its Sierran continuation. A hot, waterless, dangerous, ugly and entirely unCrest-like segment of trail now winds along a gerrymandered route that traces Tejon Ranch’s boundaries, and entirely subverts Congress’s vision of its greatest National Scenic Trail. Hopefully, future administrations will have the courage to relocate the PCT to its rightful course."