Marion Mountain to San Jacinto is a 11.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idyllwild, CA that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until October.
Full Day hike! Definitely separates the avid from the casual hikers, this is one hike you want to be acclimated for, or allow extra time to reach the peak. Calories and water count. If there's a hint of bad weather, make sure you are prepared for it with at least a windbreaker and 10 essentials. Even though I have never seen a ranger on any trail in Southern California, you need to get a permit to enter the San Jacinto Wilderness. Get it from the station in Idyllwild. If you can't get a permit for the hike, Marion Mountain Campground might be a way to sideline the 9 to 5 type restriction on permitting. If you get a campsite pass, you are supposed to be able to hike the Forest as well. You will still need a State pass for the area after about a mile and a half on the trail going up the mountain... Get both, or just stay at a campground and then get the State pass. There are several routes up San Jacinto. Most people take the Palm Springs Aerial Tram up from the desert floor and begin their journey in Long Valley. The lesser-travelled Marion Mountain trail skips the tram, beginning a few miles north of Idyllwild. It's the shortest route up Mt. San Jacinto. It's also steep, relentlessly climbing over 4,000 feet in under 6 miles.
A very steep, challenging, but none the less rewarding hike. This was one of the most difficult trails I have attempted so far, if not the most. You never stop climbing except for a few areas around the Little Round alley Campground. However the views from the top of San Jacinto are some of the most rewarding you will ever get. The trail is well marked for the most part but maintained moderately since it is a moderately traveled trail. You will encounter downed trees on the trail occasionally to where you need to find a way around them. Now while the hike up is really tough, honestly the hardest part is the hike down. My knee started giving out on the way down from the mountain to the point where we ended our hike almost 2 hour later than we expected. Overall an incredible hike and one I strongly recommend to those who are up for the challenge.
Great hike! But finding the trailhead was a challenge. If I were you, I'd park at the true trailhead right before marion mountain campground, and then walk up the road into the campground. There, you'll see signs pointing you to the trailhead. That may save you some wandering around (I added 3/4 of a mile to my hike because of that).
Lots of shade on the hike. Relentlessly steep all the way to Little Round Valley - a bit of a break there, and then some more climbing to the peak.
The track on the map generally follows the trail, but it's often off a bit. At one point, I thought I was off the trail because all of a sudden, water was running down the trail like a very small creek. But, that was the true trail - as I continued on, the water stopped.
Views were spectacular at the peak! Tough going down - much harder for me than going up (patellar tendonitis) - very steep and lots of big steps and rocks. Scenery was great ! Giant boulders and huge fallen trees.
They're doing some work on rerouting the trail - the machinery was making a lot of racket on this particular day. 7 1/2 hours total. 13.6 miles per my GPS. Some of that was wandering around trying to find the trailhead, and wandering a bit thinking I was off-trail.
About 4 liters of water. All in all, a great day!
Big, bad Mt. Jacinto rewards with magnificent views!
Great Hike. I would recommend an early start to beat the crowd from the tram.
Training for Whitney...our gps tracked 15.56 miles round trip took us 6 hours 40 min...def tough on quads, knees and calves. We each had approx 80oz of water which was perfect. I would this is good for Whitney and really marathon training too!
It was actually 13 total miles out and back for us.
It was killer but well worth it!
Absolutely beautiful and the more challenging on the other 4 peaks I've done this year. San Gorgonio is next but so far this was the most challenging of the hikes I've done. Trail and views are amazing.
Going up sucked. Coming down sucked. The views did not suck. Trekking sticks highly recommended.
The trailhead was easy enough to find, but follow the "trail" signs to the left. if you go to the right, it will take you to some cabins for the Marion Campground. The trail starts off steep and stays that way pretty much the entire time. I started at 6:45 and reached the summit at 10:15. It was much faster than the Fuller Ridge trail, but the scenery isn't as nice. There was still some water flowing once you pass the Fuller Ridge trail on your way to Little Round Valley. The trail gets a little hard to follow sometimes, so make sure to bring a map and a GPS/compass, they will come in handy.
Don't kid yourself--this isn't one you can wing. Prepare well ahead of time. Check the forecast, not just at the bottom of the trail, but on top of the peak. Even in summer, you could see 80 degrees down low and 35 with driving wind and rain on top.
The trail may be advertised as 11 miles, but there's no-way, no-how that it's a lick under 14. Start early (7:00 am is a good idea) and set a hard turnaround point.
Pace yourself and bring insect repellent!
Great trail and always a work out. It feels like your going straight up and you pretty much are. Plenty of great views along the way gives you good chances to rest.
Beautiful day, great weather! Finding the trail head was a little challenging, but once we got going was easy to follow and not too busy at the top!
The criteria for four stars is "Great. I'd definitely do it again." I half agree with this statement, it was great, but I'll never do it again. The view was breathtaking at the summit as was the scenery along the way.
The first mile-two miles of this hike are just relentless. I thought if the trail continued in the same fashion there was not a chance in hell I could finish, but I stuck it out, the incline leveled out a bit and I found the past few miles to be fine. The altitude hit my boyfriend in the last mile or so to the summit though.
We made it back down without stopping, but that mile segment that gave me trouble at the beginning came back to haunt me at the end. It was so steep and at this point I felt like I needed a hip replacement or my legs were going to give out from under me.
Getting to the car was an anti-climax, but summoning was GREAT. Amazing 360 views. Signing the book in the hut made me feel pretty special.
All in all, great experience- but will be taking the tram route or seven lines if I do it again. Did this as part of the six pack, training for Whitney day hike.
This is probably my favorite summit in all of SoCal. The view on a clear day here is just amazing. This is the second time we've done this trail but the first time I tried tracking it with this app. I'm not sure if the gps is off or if the signs are off but I recorded somewhere around 6.5-7 miles to the top. We were hiking with some newer hikers so it took us about 4 1/2 hours to summit from the crappy parking lot with all the ruts. About 3 hours down.
All in all, a great hike. Bring lots of water. We had four water bottles each and I probably could have used a little more to avoid the altitude headache!
Holy crap!!! Hardest trail ever. So beautiful and fulfilling if u make it to the top! Bring more water than u will ever think and extra food! Walking sticks are great to have for this and start early in the morning so you can enjoy the hike without rushing. Remember its steep so the way down is always harder on the feet! Good luck and do this only if you are in good hiking shape!