Trail excellent for a good workout. I was lucky enough to do it on a late September day when it rained. Cloudy and cool (for the desert) when I started the hike behind the museum. The usual Palm Springs vegetation, but outstanding views of the Coachella Valley below. Hey, please no more construction. I thought Palm Springs desires a "village" atmosphere. Steep uphill climb to the picnic tables. I had to stop often to catch my breath. On my decent the rain fall much harder and I was able to witness the brown / yellow desert turn green right before my eyes. I started early at 6:00 am and come across a few locals who use the trail for exercise. This was my first desert hike were I didn't use my sunglasses, suntan lotion, and hat (of course I had these items in my bag). This was my second time on this trail and I will return again in the future.
very challenging but wide trail hike great scenery when you reach higher elevation great views of the valley. it was not a marked trail head but its behind Vons gas station easy parking right at the gate. when you get to the end of the trail there are so many options to continue on. you can be there for days. this and bump and grind are my favorites.
If you like a challenge hike and would like a good workout then this day hike is for you. Two friends and I hiked the C2C2C. The tram was down for maintenance until the end of September so we did the complete 30-31 miles up to the peak and back down the same route and had a great time. As others have mentioned:
1. Be physically prepared. If you plan to take the tram down then it is less risky but if no tram, it is going to be a long day. We started at 3:20AM, and made it back to the museum at about 7:15 PM, just as the sun came down. We purposely waited and timed the sun so we end the day at sunset to avoid the heat as much as possible. I have done multiple same day 10,000 ft climb and descents the past month before attempting this hike and did a Mt Rainier summit several days before our hike. All I am saying is to complete something similar before doing this hike.
2. Have plenty of water. Minimum of 4 liters but 5 to be safe. You can always stash them for others if you don't use them.
3. Have GPS. You can go off trail in the dark if you don't have GPS. Though trails are easy to find during the day but at night it's harder, especially when others have created many small paths that goes off to the side of the trails over the years. Many of the side trails you will discover during day lights they are good short cuts to the switchbacks.
4.If you do this along have a PLB. You will lose cellular phone signals along the way up. You will get signal at SJ peak.
5. Have fun!
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!
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.
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.
Georgina G. on San Jacinto Peak from The Tramway
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