“Dawson Saddle is a breathtaking run that will take you to the PCT.
— Tyrel Duckett
Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
Icy conditions can last well into spring.
The trail is steep, but extremely beautiful and easy to follow.
Dawson Saddle is a beautiful run that will take you up to the PCT. Once there, you can go in either direction towards Baden-Powell or towards Windy Gap and Throop Peak.
Park in the large turnout just east of Dawson Saddle. The trail starts on the south side. Be very careful when crossing. The trail climbs above the highway then heads south gently gaining elevation in a forest of Jeffrey pine, sugar pine and white fir. After a little more than a mile it turns east in a well shaded forest of lodgepole pines where it ends at the intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail just east of Throop Peak.
If you have done a lot of the local routes and not on this one, you are missing out. Dawson Saddle is truly a gem. You are surrounded by endless trees and nature. The clean, cool air from the elevation really makes you appreciate where you are if you are not already in awe. It is a great starting point if you want to tackle any of the local peaks and the less-traveled trails.
The trail is about 1.8 miles to the PCT. You start around 7,900 feet and end around 9,000 when you reach the junction. It is also dog-friendly.
Flora & Fauna
White fir, Jeffrey pine, sugar pine, lodgepole pine. Ground cover of manzanita and chinquapin. Deer, coyote, squirrels often seen.