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hard, but worth it

Great hike! Very long and tiring

Enjoyable loop and a nice distance for a fun hike. Can backpack with a permit but some of the trails have limited space. Mostly single track on pine mountain trail. Some spots near noble mountain trail.

Avoid brushing up against any brush. I picked up a few ticks on the pine mountain section of trail that I quickly flicked off.

Some nice views and Indian creek was flowing in April.

Great trail! Take plenty of water !! Beautiful scenery.
Mosquito repellent is a must !
10$ fee to park

This is a challenging hike with quite a few steep inclines.

They weren't kidding. This is a serious trail. I couldn't get there at 0100 because I had to work Friday and I'm in 29 Palms. I hit the trailhead at 0300, temperature was 91 in Palm Springs. This trail is tough to follow in the dark, and there are some very dangerous drop-offs and narrow ledges. I highly recommend downloading the trail through the Pro version and following the GPS. I could have saved myself some wasted time and energy.

The first couple of miles and the last 3 before you reach the tramway are very steep. there are some portions before the tram that were legit 40% inclines. I was down on all fours many times.

I didn't manage to finish. Reaching the tramway was all I had. I took 4 liters of water and a liter of Body Armor and it barely lasted me to the Ranger Station. I wish I could have started at 0100, it might have let me get to SJ Mountain. As it was, I was proud of the effort.

I only saw 2 other people on the trail. You have to be a bit nuts to try this one in July, I guess.

Get your permit for the trailhead and at the ranger office per wilderness area They do want to know your loosely projected itinerary, but you're not held to it. If you are starting on the east side, get one from an Inyo ranger station, even if you plan to cross into Yosemite. If starting in Tuolumne, get a Yosemite permit, etc. I did the Minaret Creek, Ediza, Garnet, Thousand Island loop from Silver Lake with side trips to Davis Lakes, Alger Lakes, Koip Peak, Lake Catherine, Nydiver. Phenomenal.

Amazing and brutal. I recommend starting at 1:00am.

Definitely not a summer afternoon hike. VERY hot with very little shade. I took 4L and it was barely enough. Great hike otherwise. The best part was the rock formations towards the end, so push through to the peak and you’ll be rewarded.

I almost died.
don't do this hike on 3 hours sleep.
I think most people can do this. there is no real steep part, it just zigzags a lot. it's really long though so make sure you can handle walking for 12 hours.

Done on November 5th, 2017. Started sharp at 1am with full moon. We made to the top around 1pm. Last 2-3 miles where way less steep, but tiredness and elevation made us slow down a lot (big lunch break at ranger station). There was frost on top. With full moon and cool weather, I think is any serious hiker can do it. Easier than Iron Mountain!
Once you get at the Tram (bottom one) go to the cafeteria/coffee area (even if is close) to the back on the left side of the room there some multi-charging phone cables to charge phone (in case need to call a ride to go back to the museum)

loved this! epic running adventure through the mountains and forest. water at high creek and then close to angelus oaks. I couldn't find the spring by the dollar lake trail turn off.

Second time I’ve done this hike, I’m ten years older now and felt every bit of it. This hike is relentless. It’s not too difficult or technical, but it does take planning and tenacity. All in all,I went through 5 liters of water, 4 Cliff Bars, 1 protein bar, 2 goos, and a pack of rehydration salts. Started shortly after midnight and summitted around 1 pm with a large group moving at a slow pace. Started with 3 liters of water and still had about half a liter when I refilled at the ranger station. The key to this hike is timing, you have to get out of the valley long before the sun comes up.

We did the hike on May 27, 2018. We started from the trailhead near the museum at 4 am, reached Long Valley just past 10. After long break and lunch at Long Valley, we arrived the peak at 2 pm. We were back to Long Valley about 4 pm. The changing views along the way and the view at the summit is impressive. But the challenge is not as great as we feared before the hike. I think it is slightly difficult than the Rim to Rim Hike in Grand Canyon. But it is well easy than the R3, which we did last year.

Pat Ribotto - I'm a little confused on the ANYO Permit request for overnighting on the Loop. Did you get permits for all the areas your traveled on this Loop or was just one needed that included all areas on the loop.

Amazingly beautiful with a ridiculous view at the top. Hard hike but definitely not as hard as the mythology behind it would have you believe. Mostly requires the right prep. Both me and my buddy were in ok shape and trained for a few months. Did Iron Mt. one week out to test ourselves and parts of that we're actually tougher than C2C. Lucked out with amazing 85f weather on memorial day. Started at 2am, hit long valley by 10a, the peak by 2:30 (I was dragging from elevation nausea), back the tram at 6. 16 hours total but we took LOTS of breaks. Brought 5.5 L of water (didn't need it all on the skyline but best to be safe), 1 gatorade with extra salt in it (my buddy did salt pills), ate 9 GU gels, 3 clif bars and a banana. The biggest thing is just to keep fueling/hydrating yourself and taking the GUs almost hourly was a huge help I think. I got a Charley Horse in my quad pretty early on but was able to work through it. Used a GPX on our phone and had a Sat beacon for emergencies. GPS is huge help for the first 3rd of the skyline which you will prob do in the dark and has a lot of splitting. After that the trail is impressively well maintained and clear, and the notch at the top of the skyline trail is all switchbacks so it's hard but not awful. The push to the summit was the worst part for me. It's not steep but it just takes forever (lots of traversing) and by that point you are exhausted. Def need warm clothes for the summit. Hooded windbreaker and gloves were lifesavers.

BTW, as we were cresting the notch at 10am 2 trail runners ran past us the opposite direction having already summited mid-C2C2C. We had seen lights ahead of us early so they prob started just before 2a and looked fresh as hell 22 miles in at 10. So yeah... goals.

This was a great route for doing the 9 peaks. My girlfriend and I completed this route in 2 long days of backpacking with a night spent at High Meadow Springs Camp. 3 things to be aware of:
1. The descent of Charlton is pretty steep with a heavy pack on, bring poles and take your time on the way down, and you'll get through it fine.
2. We took our packs off and left them beside the trail when we went to the summit of Shields. We did the same thing for Anderson. I highly recommend this strategy if you are carrying heavy packs.. It will add a little distance to your hike, due to having to backtrack to your packs, but you'll save a ton of time and energy by being lighter on the ascents.
3. Today is 5-29-2018. As of Memorial Day Weekend, High Creek and Limber Pine Springs were both flowing well with plenty of water. High Meadow Springs was sort of babbling, but seemed like it should have water a little while longer.

We started C2C on Saturday morning at 3am. We hadn’t done any similar hikes before. It is the hardest hike we’ve done so far. It was consistently steep from the start until you reached Long Valley. The view at the peak was worth it. For us, there were three essentials for completing this hike (aside from food and water): hiking shoes, offline map, and a phone charger if you are using your phone for the offline map. It is easy to get lost so a gps is a must. Per person, we brought 1 gallon of water, 32 oz of Gatorade, 3 GU gels, 5 granola bars, and 2 sandwiches. We didn’t have to refill our water at the ranger station since we had plenty of supply left when we got there. It was so cold and windy at the peak so I’m glad I brought a sweater. Overall, this is an awesome hike for experienced hikers. Plan ahead and check the weather.

Started at 3 am made it to the tram at noon and after grabbing lunch at Peaks restaurant and wandering around made the peak at 4 pm.. Alllllll day hike, the majority of your pack weight should be water. In case you get hung up in lower elevation. You’ll need salts too. Great hike all in all.I had to turn off GPS though because I didn’t want to drain my battery life for pictures and such.

backpacking
3 months ago

Did this with my dog over memorial day weekend and was pleasantly surprised by the solitude. Nice hike for both me and the pup - a few streams along the way she drank from helped me conserve water. I setup my hammock in multiple places for nice stops plus my overnight camp. Would do this again!

This was all worth it! I loved the transition from desert to forest! It feels like two different hikes! We started at around 4:00 am made it to the top in 11 hours and got back to the tram at 5:00 pm.

Whoa. 11,000 ft of climbing! Started solo at 4:30 am with a headlamp, climbed and climbed for a little less than seven hours to hit the summit. (+ an extra two hours / 3000 ft of descent back to the tram and some french fries.) Despite a ton of experience on similar terrain -- especially at the lower elevations, the trails aren't that different than those I run in Scottsdale - I did have a little trouble finding the optimal route at times. Nothing serious, just added a bit to the growing paranoia one sometimes get when hiking unknown trails alone. Gear-wise, I brought a 70oz Nathan pack for water and like 20 Gu-type packets. I tucked a somewhat heavy technical hoodie into my pack and tied a light long sleeve shirt around my waist, but I ended up only using my long sleeve shirt for a few mins while I was chillin' (literally) at the summit.

Difficulty-wise, I'd put it in the same class as a Mt Whitney or a Pike's Peak or a Grand Canyon R2R. BTW - current record according to Strava? 3:35!

A great hike but definitely on the harder side of things. Make sure you bring plenty of water as there is very little shade. Lots of wild flowers in May. The trail takes you to Little Gower and not the actual peak. We tried to get to the actual peak and couldn’t find a viable trail.

Amazing transitions from valley floor to high desert and into a true alpine ecosystem. Stout hike

hiking
4 months ago

Fun trail, OK views. Much of the start of the trail is in direct sunlight, and can get quite hot. It was a relief to get into the wooded area, but it didn’t last long until the gnats became overwhelming. I was slightly worried as many of them gathered around my dogs eyes, and I was constantly wiping them away. We found good rest spots and a good camp spot. Saw only a few other hikers and bikers, but were alone for pretty much the whole hike.

First trail I’ve done on the West coast. Very challenging of course for being an east coast mountain guy. Started at 2345 and reached the tram station around noon. Reached the peak around 1600, and tram station around 1900. The toughest trail I’ve done and felt like it would never end. We didn’t get a chance to see the Mt. at day light before we hiked so taking the tram down made us realize how monstrous of a mountain/ hike this was. All in all I loved the challenge and learned the true meaning of “hike your own hike! Bring 4-6 L of water and a first aid kit, it become very useful. Tracked a total of 22 miles

April 28, 2018 - No snow, a bit windy on top but a wind breaker was enough

Great hike, and very strenuous. I did the C2C2C, so I didn't take the tram down - according to my GPS going to the top is more like 16 miles so alltrails seem a bit off (2x=32 and about 11500 total elevation change). It's the hardest trail I've done so far. It's possible but quite a challenge 4AM to 7PM, without much stop other than refill water. And I'm a decently fast uphill hiker. The view is nice, and it is special to start in the desert with flowering cacti, get to tree level, and having this wonderful view up top. Also by starting at night, you don't get to see much of the desert at first (if you start early enough) but you get to see it if you go down.

So if you are looking for a butt kick, go for it, either up to the ranger station, up to the peak, or even C2C2C. The good thing is that thanks to the tram and ranger station, you have a way out if you tackle more than you should have. And you have refills of water (at least it was possible when I did it).

Regardless of what you do, you should know that starting at night is THE way to do this - I started at 4 AM and I think most people start at 3. The trail is decently marked, and it was full moon so I didn't use my headlamp (except after being flared by other hikers). Having a GPS is nice anyway to not lose any time wondering, but not an absolute must-have. By starting early, you get to be already up 3-4k up already, so it won't get as hot once you are in the trees. The other thing to know is bring a lot of water, but when I did it, you could refill water at the ranger station. I brought about 4 L, and drank all day about 13-14 L to give you an idea.

If you want to try to go the whole way, here are the time to give you some idea if you are late and should bail. As I said before, I'm a decently fast uphiller, so it's good to keep in mind when planning your day.

4:15 AM start
9:15 Ranger station (+water)
12:00 Peak
2:45 Start decent from ranger station (+water)
7:00 Back to palm spring

Awesome! Great variety. Go from desert to pine forest to cold summit. Very physically demanding. I started at 5:30am, reached the ranger station at noon, and the summit by 3pm. It is a super tough hike to get to the state park. It is much easier from there on. I packed about 3 liters of water and a bottle of Pedialite, plus plenty of snacks. Seemed to work out pretty well. I had about a liter of water left and a little Pedialite by the time I got to the ranger station but I am good about not drinking that much so you may need more. I stopped every hour and a half to two hours for a drink and snack. You can refill water at the ranger station and also you need to fill out a permit there to keep going. I took the tram back down the mountain. Seriously though, if you are not in pretty good hiking shape, this may not be for you, but if you are, definitely go for it. It is a fantastic hike, and I personally felt super accomplished when I reached the summit of San Jacinto. Not to mention the view at the top was amazing. I would def do it again, only if I did I would hike it all the way back down.

Preparation and patience is key for this hike. I suggest starting around 3am because it does get quite hot even before sunrise below the 4300 feet landmark. Bring 4-6L of water for the ascent on the Skyline trail section and take ample breaks if you feel fatigued. While I strongly advise sticking to a routine of cardiovascular exercise in the weeks leading up to C2C, reaching the summit is a very attainable goal. Be smart, but don't be too intimidated by what you might read on this site or others. The San Gabriel Mountains provide many great hikes at moderate-to-high elevations to help train for this endeavor.

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