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Mount San Jacinto State Park is all about the San Jacinto Mountains. The park's namesake, Mount San Jacinto, rises to 11,000 feet at San Jacinto Peak and offers hikers stunning granite rock faces, subalpine forests, and a lush, fern laden forest floor. San Jacinto Peak is the highest peak in the California State Park system, and the second-highest point in southern California. The northeast face of the San Jacinto Range sharply descends down 9,000 feet in just four short miles, and is thus one of the steepest escarpments in America. Only a few hours from Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and San Diego, this 14,000 acre Southern California state park is crowd pleaser. With miles of hiking trails, a tram ride available from Palm Springs, and multiple campgrounds for overnight stays, this park is a great way to take in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. Most of the park is a designated wilderness area enjoyed by hikers and backpackers. At the park's Mountain Station you can enjoy a restaurant, gift shop, and the state park visitor center near the Long Valley Ranger Station. The park also offers picnic areas, a ski center, and nature trails.

I decided on this route for my San Jacinto summit rather than the usual Marion Mountain route. I was interested in the longer length and photographing the views to the east and south. I was not disappointed.

If you've already hiked some of the "advanced" trails in the San Gabes and San Bernardinos, then this trail won't offer much additional challenge EXCEPT for the short scramble at the top. Its quite comparable to San Bernardino and San Gorgonio in terms of difficulty. Nothing is ridiculously steep, slippery or otherwise "unpleasant". The trail is well marked and easy to follow, even with all the various junctions.

Doing the trail clockwise, the panoramic views from the trail head to the summit aren't anything to write home about. Its all about being in the forest and the forest is BEAUTIFUL. There are small windows here and there that hint at the what is to come, but you will not get your real reward until the summit.

The view at the summit is incredible. If you move around the various boulders, you can see just about anything you want from up there. Do not limit yourself and your view to just the sign/survey marker areas. Move around.

The return leg continues with the panoramic views. You will have something amazing to look at from the summit back to the Deer Creek Trail junction. The descent is somewhat gentle and it didn't beat up my knees at all.

5/5. 10/10. 100/100, whatever. This is a great hike...

Great hike, amazing view definitely not for the faint of heart. Steady incline all the way up but with the altitude your body is working very hard and that makes this hike strenuous. 4 hours up to you top, then 2 hours back to tram. Great view at the top!

hiking
3 days ago

Absolutely brutal trail; rocky, technical and very unforgiving with a massive amount of switchbacks. Must be vigilant about every step taken. Views were pretty awesome and vertical gain was a great workout, but Jen and I agreed we never need to do that trail again.

Hiked this today and I was the first and only one up before 10am. I passed four other hikers on my way down. Cold, windy day but made for a beautiful view at the lookout.

We did maybe half of this trail after the Andreas Trail loop. The combination of the two trails made for a great morning of hiking.

Did this hike for the first time in about 10 yrs. Trial is mush better then it was back then. The hike itself is super nice and pretty easy. We started at 1pm and were back at our car by 430 even after spending almost an hr eating lunch on the rocks. It was a Sunday, So lots of other hikers. All very very nice except the one group of morons smoking weed and throwing rock over the side. Obviously Banning residents. All in All a great hike.

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

backpacking
12 days ago