Casa de Luna Closing on PCT after 21 Years of Welcoming Hikers

Casa de Luna, a refuge for weary Pacific Crest Trail hikers for 21 years, will close in 2019 after the final southbound hikers pass through.

“It is with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, Joe and I have decided to close Casa de Luna,” hostel owner Terrie Anderson wrote on Facebook. “For 21 years we have opened our hearts and our home to stinky people from all over the world. You were never strangers, you were friends we hadn’t met yet. We are so grateful for the love and support and most of all the amazing friends we have made.”

Hikers paint rocks at Casa de Luna. Photo by Lindsey Gordon.

Casa de Luna is the second—and possibly third—major PCT institution facing changes this year.

Trail angels Scout and Frodo are reportedly in their last year of housing NOBO hikers in their San Diego home and shuttling them to the Southern Terminus of the PCT.

Photo by Lindsey Gordon.

Hiker Heaven in Agua Dulce, CA, is for sale as owners Jeff and Donna Saufley want to move to Washington after running the hostel for 22 years.

Terrie said her husband, Joe, is retiring soon and will have back surgery.

Afterward, they will move to Washington, she said.

“We are trying to figure out what to do with all of the painted rocks,” she wrote. “We can’t haul all of those with us. I would love to but, we would have to rent extra U-Haul trucks.”

Trek blogger Lisa Howatt described what it was like to stay at Casa de Luna, near Green Valley, CA, during her 2017 NOBO thru-hike:

“After being greeted with a hug from Terrie, you are led to a rolling rack full of Hawaiian shirts, mandatory dress for your stay at Casa de Luna. You’re then set loose on the property to enjoy your day off. The experience is reminiscent of a summer camp for adults; complete with an arts and crafts station. A pile of rocks are left in the front of the house, along with paint and brushes, for hikers to paint. Once complete, the rocks are placed in the back forest creating an eclectic and colorful place to wander. A giant banner hangs in the front of the house for hikers to sign and date acting as a registry of sorts.

“At 7 p.m. giant bins of tomatoes, peppers, and refried beans are placed on a table out front; it’s taco salad time! After cueing for a mandatory hand washing (which was a relief given the recent outbreak of norovirus on trail) hungry hikers lineup to fill their plates. After the sun goes down, Terrie turns on the music and hikers come on up to dance in order to receive their class of 2017 bandanas.

“In the morning, Joe is in up early and has the pancake griddle humming away by 6:30. After everyone has eaten their share of pancakes, everyone lines up in front of the banner to have their photo taken, and receives one final surprise. What that surprise is, I can’t say; every hiker who passes through Casa de Luna is required to preserve that particular secret… Vehicles are then loaded with hikers and driven back to the trailhead, rested and ready to start hiking again.

“A week after my stay at Casa de Luna, I remain grateful for the Anderson’s generosity and that I took the time to enjoy a day there; it’s been one of my more memorable days on trail thus far. If you stop by for a visit yourself, remember to drop a donation in the jar on the front steps, that taco salad doesn’t make itself!”

Terrie reflected in her Facebook post on the years welcoming weary PCT hikers to their home, saying, “It has been one heck of a ride that’s for sure.”

“It started with 2 the first year then 40, then 80, then 160, and over 2,000 the last 2 years. Oh how this trail has changed.

“We love you all, biggest hugs.

“Joe and Terrie Anderson”

Feature image by Lindsey Gordon

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