San Jacinto Peak from The Tramway is a 9.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Palm Springs, CA that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and camping and is accessible from January until November.
Did this as part of cactus to cloud hike. So started at Palm Springs museum trail head and reached the rangers place to catch the trail start. Nice easy trail. All gradual and smooth till the last mile or so to summit. The final 0.3 miles are steep and involve boulder scrambling.
A physically rough hike made even tougher by altitude. Spend some time researching mountain sickness, understand it's signs and don't think your exempt from it's effects because your in good cardio shape.
Buy tickets online for the earliest time available (9:00 AM for me) then show up at 7:30 to see if you can get an earlier spot (wasn't an issue for us on a Saturday). You want as much time as possible to get used to the alt and take extended breaks.
Check in with the Rangers down the ramp from the tramway. For $2 you get a map that they'll highlight for you and give you advice on how to navigate the more confusing trail branches along with pointing out common mistakes.
Make your way from the Ranger station to the Wellman's Divide split/junction. Spend an hour there to get used to the elevation and rest up before the final 2.5 mile trek to summit, you won't regret it and the scenery is spectacular. Make sure you understand the signs and are heading on the right trail when you leave.
The Peak trail is rough, you'll need breaks as you traverse the switchbacks. Keep going and you'll soon be above all those peaks you've been admiring through the trees. The views are stunning the entire way.
When you reach the rock cabin you're right below the peak, it's closer than it appears!
I had a rough time doing this hike despite hiking every weekend in Idyllwild and Palomar over the last two months. The effects of altitude hit me far harder than the physical exertion. Make sure you're ready for this one and don't take it lightly. We witnessed folks quiting due to mountain sickness, limping back with injuries and one being carted away by Rangers. Others were running the trail and making me feel every bit my age while leaving me in awe. I intend to do this hike several times but will camp overnight at one of the camps to let my body adjust prior to summit.
There's no water sources on San Jacinto, the water spiket was dry at Round Valley on 10/15/2016 with a few bottles of water left by fellow hikers under it.
Perfect and exhausting trail
This was a great day for hiking. The weather was perfect. I purchase my Tram ticket online. I was disappointed that I could only get a 0900 tram time. I showed up early to the station and was in line at 0700 to see if they would bump my tram time to 0800 (first tram of the day). I normally start my hikes right at sunrise, so even 0800 was a late start for me. They gladly changed my time to 0800. Come to find out only 10% of the tram tickets are sold in advance. Ninety percent are sold the day of. The trail was crowded. Lots of people taking advantage of the holiday weekend to visit San Jacinto State Park, the Tram Station and the restaurants. I was really surprised at how many people (non-hikers) were at the Tram Station when we finished the hike. It was crowded!! However, my hats off to the Tram Staff, they ran a very smooth operation getting people down. We only had to wait about 20 or 30 minutes. Considering the amount of people there were, I thought that was pretty awesome. Lastly, I wanted one of the burgers served at the restaurant however, I felt a bit dirty and under dressed to eat there. Opted for a French dip and fries from the café (not bad). I did find out later that if you order a drink from the bar, you can also order food from the restaurant and a have it served to your table. Next time!
Hiked on 7/23/16. Beautiful hike, plenty of shade for the first half, take lots of water, hiking poles were not necessary, saw people of all ages doing this hike, start as early as possible
I did this hike in two days. I went straight to the tram after work and got their by 3:00, hiked up to Round Valley and spent the night. I went up the next day and I highly underestimated the altitude. Breathing gets a little harder and as you try to take in more oxygen you lose more energy which in turn makes you more dehydrated. I'm 6'2 and heavyset, so it was through pure will and determination that got me through this hike and I can't forget the support of random strangers along the way. It was definitely a rewarding experience that I will never forget.
Be prepared for the altitude if living near Palm Springs, CA.
Love the change of scenery on this trail.
You transition through 3 ecco systems from bottom to the top
This hike is the steepest accent from City to Mtn top in USA!
The hike is wonderful however there were a lot of people without permits on the trails. the permits help the rangers keep track of people in case of emergency and also help the parks justify a need for funds by showing how many people truly utilize the park facilities. the hike is 12 miles round trip to the peak from the Long Valley Ranger Station. There are some trail closures in the park that people need to know about and should talk to the rangers or volunteer staff about. altitude sickness is a huge factor up here so if you start to feel light headed or dizzy do yourself and your party a favor and turn around for it will only get worse. The park staff has around 360 rescues a year. a vast majority of those are from dehydration and altitude sickness. Plan to bring at least 3 liters of water and lots of food and snack. Sun protection is a need up here due to the last traverse of peak trail passed Wellmans divide being exposed for over 2 miles. other than stressing to people to be prepared up on the mountain, it is a phenomenal hike and can be hiked year round other than when the tram closes for maintenance in sept of every year. you can still hike up the mountain from the Idyllwild side during that time however. The hike is mainly an out and back except for the first and last 2 miles can be taken with different routes to give you a little something new towards the end of your hike. the ranger station telephone number is (760) 327 0222 please call for weather and trail conditions before you come up the tram to ensure you bring the right gear for the day.
Always takes my breath away
Get ready to hurdle over rocks when you get close to the top
I enjoyed the weather and got to enjoy the tram as well to go hiking the San Jacinto summit trail a must check to do
This is a great hike! The view from the summit is, of course, amazing! As the second highest peak in Southern California , it's expected and doesn't fall short! The trail is very easy to follow, and as long as altitude sickness doesn't get to you, it's a fairly easy hike. Bring lots of water and have your phone fully charged! Extremely nice day hike!!!
Nice hike with great summit views! Did the round trip from the tram in about 5.5 hours with lunch at the top! 3 hours up. Weather was about 65-70 at the peak!
Was worried the Temps would be too hot but it was perfect.