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We are 62 and live in Asheville NC. This hike is very demanding on the return. Make sure you stop frequently and have plenty of fluids and food. The views were worth the post suffering.

Hiked 4 21 2018. Trail clear all the way to Limber Pine with patches of snow after that. Might want spikes early morning, but the snow does soften up late morning. This is one of the nicer hikes if the six peaks. Great views throughout, especially on the way down.

tough hike but a great work out. the down hills are steep on way back..

I was not expecting this peak to be so rocky, no wonder why people get hurt and rescued around here, specially if covered in snow. As of April 21, the trail is mostly clear with tiny patches of snow here and there, and the temperature is comfortable. The top was crowded already what makes it uncomfortable to walk and get pics with so many boulders where you have to keep your balance. The first and last thirds of the hike are steep mostly. The views are good. There is a source of water half way through the hike. The drive is long specially, after getting off the highway 15, you’ll encounter way too many red lights along 79, before entering the park area.

rock climbing
2 days ago

Very magical trail. Mother nature loves showing off in here! Take pants, long sleeve and grip gloves. Went in April and there were loads of poison oak.

Very nice hike. Beautiful views. There are shady spots throughout the trail. The incline is steady so you get a good workout.

The view the whole way is amazing! The hike itself is not long to what I’m used to. Going down hill is super easy, it’s going back up to the top that you have to worry about!!! When you’re going back up I suggest taking it easy and taking your time. The view is amazing so take your breaks and take some good pictures. I say bring water and bring snack to eat. Overall it was fun and definitely an experience you don’t get everyday!

The trail is passable without the need for traction all the way to the summit. This is a great hike that provides a wide variety of amazing views. The track is kind across the (reported 15.7 miles...I think it is closer to 16) as it has a nice middle portion of flat to rolling trail to allow you to make up for steep beginning and summit sections.

Really nice short trail. The views are amazing and it's not very tough, just perfect hike for half a day. It'd have been so much better if there were no mules on the trail.

trail running
3 days ago

Loved running El Cajon mountain this morning. It was a definitely a challenge with constant inclines and declines along with some rocky areas that watching footing was a must. Beautiful views. Can’t wait to go back!

Peaked this back in 2014 with a buddy of mine, Bentz. Had an awesome time, camped out and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Highly recommend.

Hiked 4/21/18... hardly any snow on trail.. lucked out with perfect condition! The view at the top is amazing. The key to this hike is to start early!

did this three times before. While it is challenging, the views you get to see down at the skeleton point worth the effort. On average , it took me about 3.5-4 hours round trip. Lots of water needed

Nice hike and most of it is fairly easy. It is pretty steep up and down during the loop portion. The hike is mostly sunny and the only shade is near the trail head. There are many trails out there and they are not labeled well, so check the app occasionally if you are recording. This area requires a land pass for usage that you can buy online for about $4. I would hike this again and bring the kids.

Just beyond epic

summited Friday 4/13 2018
snowy icy patches in the shaded parts of trail. best with some traction but OK without. last 500m was covered in snow so make your own trail up

Hardest thing I ever did. Worth it.

Great cardio is correct. It’s a strenuous hike, mostly upward. Couple points, I felt like I couldn’t go further, incline was a killer! Was able to do the difficult route and even though it was raining, enjoyed enough, I think I’ll be back! Carb up before going and bring water.

There is no snow left on this trail as of 4/17, only patchy bits off to the sides. I’m 50 and have been hiking for about 3 years. It took us 4 hours 56 minutes to summit. And 3 hours and 3 minutes to descend. The weather was chilly in the 40s with a little wind that changed to moderate wind at the top. Last year I did San Jacinto from the tram and it was my favorite of the Six Pack of Peaks. This year, I still love the San Jacinto wilderness but not sure if it will be my favorite this year!! Lol. It was a relentlessly steep but my hiking pals, meeting through hikers and the spectacular views made it all completely worth it. I highly recommend hiking poles. I, for some dumb reason, chose not to bring mine today. Lesson learned.

Great Hike (13-14 APR 2018). My GPS showed 21 total miles round trip... We stayed on the trail. I think that the switchbacks have been extended. Friday on ascent we only saw 3 other people. Saturday, on our decent we saw about 40 hikers on their way up. Used only trekking poles.

This is one of the toughest hikes in the Catalinas. If you are afraid of heights and cliffs: many people have to turn back at one of a few sections that are bare rock, narrow, and along a drop-off. My hiking partner had to crawl and hands and knees the first time we did it. It's steep and there are quite a few areas where you need to haul yourself up over rocks. BUT it is so worth it! It's great cardio day, amazing views, the pines smell wonderful along the last mile on a warm day. Coming down takes about as long as going up (which is not true of most hikes). Agree with the others - start early because it will take all day. For a half day trip, go to the Linda Vista lookout which is about 3 miles up (watch for the intersection and take two rights).

This trail is beast.

Advice: lots of water; I went through 4L on trail. Shoes with grippy tread and gloves for boulder hopping. Long pants or your legs will look like you've walked through barbed wire. Do not attempt if your cardio is weak or you get lost easily.

The payoff is completely amaze-balls. I highly recommend it.

9 days ago

Not much traffic and wonderful views

Excellent!

Definitely tough trek and well worth it! Be careful not to miss the trailhead on the left of the mill less than 1/2 mile from parking. Last marker reads summit camp straight, Vivian creek right. Go straight towards summit camp and you’re there. Got up and down yesterday 4/13/18 without yak tracks or micro spikes. Couple of patches of snow/ice less than 6-10 feet on trail. Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Really enjoy this hike. It's not that difficult but great for intermediate hikers. Scenery is beautiful. You can do the loop to Red Tahquitz through Saddle Junction to make it a longer hike. Just love the scenery. The ranger station was closed for repair so couldn't walk up the stairs. When I got to parking lot at 7am there was only two cars there. When I got back down, and after passing about 50 people going up, the parking lot was full. Weekends, as with every LA area hike, get there early. You also need the American the Beautiful or Day Pass for parking and a permit to hike this trail which can be obtained in the town of Idyllwild about 2.6 miles before the trailhead. First 2 1/2 miles are the struggle and plenty of shade. Last 1.4 miles is pretty level or low uphill so once you get to junction with all the signs the hard work is over.

Great trail. Amazing views from the top. Well covered most of the hike. Good elevation from the start. It does get a bit busy but it’s a most do hike.

Hiked clockwise, uphill starts right away and then you're at the top. Looping around on the descent you get ups and downs. Bring water; hiking poles if your knees talk to you. Lots of families, so it's not crazy hard. But I bet those kids sleep well tonight!

Great strenuous hike! The trail was clean but there is dog poop everywhere! We hiked the trail with 3 kids and a baby in a hiking backpack. We hiked counter clockwise which is the hardest way to hike this trail. We did all 4.2 miles! It was super hard and I love hiking! The kids were exhausted but excited because they felt accomplished and said they wanted to do it again next weekend! The view of the pacific wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. You only see the horizon. The other views are totally worth it! Totally recommend this trail!

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