Realizing that dispersed camping really wasn't an option on this trail, and knowing that it was Friday night, we decided to stay put and day hike the next couple of segments.
We left for our hike around 8:40am, but by then, it was already pretty hot on the trail. The Calf segment was part of the 2002 Apple Fire, leaving the trail exposed and rocky. Grateful to get to the Panther segment, it was very green and probably one of my favorite parts of the trail in terms of forest scenery.
Total mileage for the day: 9.6 miles (Calf: 4.3; Panther: 5.3)
Campground: Stayed another night at Horseshoe Bend Campground with has flush toilets and potable water. Site #17, adjacent to the Otter Island trail, providing easy river access.
Wildlife: Nothing on the trail.
Trail conditions: Hot and dry.
Terrain: Calf: burned and exposed; very rocky. The Panther segment was not impacted by the fire.
Scenery: The Calf segment had the best river views of the entire trail. The Panther segment had some of the best forest scenery of the entire trail.
Surprises: Shocked to find potable water at the Mott trailhead.