This is the perfect time to hike the Kendall Katwalk (and beyond) IMHO: the crowds of summertime are on the wane, temps are perfect, the days still visited by sun, and Fall colors are igniting. We set out to hike beyond the Katwalk, but ended up doing a 'short' day, and I'm glad we did; we were able to relax at the Katwalk and take in the views. There are numerous reports on this hike, so I won't go into descriptions of the trail per se, but rather focus on conditions at present and what to expect.
Parking: there were a dozen cars at 9:15 when we arrived. Plenty of room. Earlier reports had mentioned broken glass, evidence of car break-ins. I was surprised to see that the Forest Service or local law enforcement hadn't cleared away the glass. I counted six large piles or areas where broken glass remained in parking places. Maybe this represents new break-ins, I don't know. At any rate, we made sure to advertise that our vehicle had nothing desirable in it, leaving our hiking boot boxes open to display our old, gross footwear that we'd arrived in. Nothin' interesting in the jalopy!
People: the first half of the day, we saw about 15 people, mostly PCT hikers and a couple of trail runners--one of whom scared the bejeezus out of me when he announced his presence loudly about two feet away from me. Runners, please don't megaphone your presence right at our backs. On our way back down, after 1:30 p.m., we ran into a veritable stream of PCT thru-hikers (NoBo)--like, 20. These folks were all super friendly. I admit I am envious of their ability to thru-hike for miles (states!) on end.
Bugs: No sign of the famous bees' nest I'd read about a few weeks previously. I'm wasp/yellow jacket/hornet averse, and I only saw a few bald-faced hornets today, none near where others had been stung. No problem anymore. They seem to have packed up for the season.
Fall colors: Absolutely gorgeous right now. I've attached a few pictures. Once you leave the woods and start across the open talus slopes, you will be besieged by autumn colors.
Trail: the trail is in the best condition I have ever seen it. There are no blowdowns and the talus areas seem to have been smoothed out (perhaps just through the sheer numbers of PCT hikers). Kendall Katwalk, no matter what anybody says, is a beautiful, striking spot. We passed by a backpacker from Houston, Texas who exclaimed at the dramatic, sheer drop. It was a reminder that although some of us may have become inured to the gorgeous landscape that forms the backdrop to our lives, it would do us well to stop and really ponder the beauty of the place we call home. RT today was 11 miles, elevation gain about 3000 feet. Happy hiking, Everyone.