nature trips



wild flowers

trail running

no dogs



horseback riding

The deeply weathered summit of Mount San Jacinto stands 10,834 feet above sea level, and is the second highest mountain range in Southern California. No more than a two hour drive from either Los Angeles or San Diego, the mountain's magnificent granite peaks, subalpine forests, and fern-bordered mountain meadows offer a unique opportunity to explore and enjoy a scenic, high-country wilderness area. The park offers two drive-in campgrounds near the town of Idyllwild. Most of the park is a designated wilderness area enjoyed by hikers and backpackers When you enter Mount San Jacinto State Park, you come into the heart of the wilderness, high in the San Jacinto Mountains. This 14,000-acre park can be reached via Highway 243 from Idyllwild or by tram from Palm Springs. Granite peaks, subalpine forests and mountain meadows offer the best opportunity to enjoy a primitive high-country experience south of the Sierra Nevada range. San Jacinto Peak - a giant, often snowcapped crag marked by great upthrusts of weathered granite - rises almost 11,000 feet above sea level. It is the highest peak in the San Jacinto Range and in the California State Park system, and the second-highest point in southern California. Several other peaks within the park are over 10,000 feet, and much of the rest of the park, standing at more than 6,000 feet in elevation, is cool and comfortable in the summer. From the Tramway Mountain Station, you can see Palm Springs, green with golf courses and agriculture made possible through irrigation of the Coachella Valley. The vistas from the park sweep into the desert beyond Palm Springs for more than a hundred miles, extending southeast to the Salton Sea and beyond into the Imperial Valley. The northeast face of the San Jacinto Range plunges down 9,000 feet in less than four miles, making it one of the steepest and most spectacular escarpments in North America. Starting in Chino Canyon near Palm Springs, the tram takes passengers from Valley Station at 2,643 feet elevation to Mountain Station on the edge of the wilderness, elevation 8,516 feet. The Mountain Station features a restaurant, gift shop, snack bar, and the state park visitor center. In Long Valley, a short walk from the station, you will find the Long Valley Ranger Station, a picnic area with barbecue stoves and restrooms, a ski center, a self-guiding nature trail, and Desert View Trail which offers panoramas of the high country including several peaks over 10,000 feet in elevation. You can also enter the hiking trail system from this point.

This trail is amazing, but do be careful. I did the trek Thursday 8/17/17. I brought 4 proteins bars, 3 bananas, 70 ounces of water in camel back and 60 ounces of Gatorade in bottle (Colleague of my wife did the hike a few years ago and encountered solo hiker at mile 7 whose camel back had leaked out and group had to spare water) so I was spooked. I left, despite everyone's warning, at 6am. Several people said that I needed to get to 3,000ft as quick as possible to avoid the desert heat, so ran/hike the first two miles.

The trail markings after mile 1 at times were nonexistent. I got lost at mile 2.3 about 20 minutes but luckily the ALLTRAILS app saved my butt. MapMyRun couldn't triangulate my gps coordinates and I was going to have to turn around, but low and behold AllTrails app maps was able to load and showed me right where I was; I had made a left instead of a right!!! Once back on course I began to jog/ brisk walk the next mile. At that point I had climbed enough elevation and the weather from there on out was very pleasant.

After mile 7 the nature of the hike begins to change. It's steep and the air is thinner.

I thought the trail was 10 miles, so I saved up a ton of energy and was going to jog the last mile. At mile 9 I began to jog and at 9.22 both legs cramped on the inner thigh from knee to groin.
That stopped me dead in my tracks, but it was weirdest thing because I had saved all this energy and then had to awkwardly limp hike the rest of the way. My dreams of a sub five hour trek were over. The last two miles were magical, but challenging. They ended up taking 2.5 hours, but it was so much fun. 7.5 hour finish.

*** I did this trek solo under perfect weather conditions and it was challenging. I'm a pretty avid trail runner and had been seriously training for this for two months. I spoke with rangers after I finished and they were quite vocal about how dangerous that trail was, especially solo. This trail is majestic and pretty, but it's no joke. If your planning to do this take the warnings to heart! ***

Cramps stink, I still have them a day and half later, but it was so WORTH IT!

Hiked this mountain yesterday 8/13 and it was amazing! It was so clear at the top that the Pacific Ocean was visible. This is the most similar to an alpine Colorado mountain that I've seen in SoCal.

Nice steady climb. Saddle junction is large and a great place for a rest/snack. The fire lookout is awesome. Great views all around.

Was a beautiful hike. Trails were great. Views awesome. And fern canyon was magical

Me and my 6 year old son hiked up to the peak from the tram station on August 10th, 2017. It was absolutely a wonderful hike! Some part of trail wasn't marked well so I was glad I had downloaded All trails map. (There was zero cell phone signal) The last part of hike was included some bouldering and we loved it. Some people mentioned this is 12miles hike so I was prepared for that but it was actually just about 10miles for us.

10 days ago

Me and my 6 year old son did this hike on August 9, 2017. Most of the trail was shaded it was a great hike. There was a small ranger station at the peak. A ranger invited us to come into the station and he gave my son a ranger certified card. My son was so excited!

Beautiful! It's actually 12 miles round trip but it's beautiful and while definitely a workout it's nothing crazy. The trail pamphlet says it's "expert level" but as long as you're in decent shape and don't mind some sunshine and a bit of a scramble towards the end it's a blast!

Did this on Aug 5 2017. Started at 1:30 am. Did it as a C2C2C that is from museum to San Jacinto peak and back to museum. It was hot when I started (90F) and hot when I returned (105F). Note that at the start once you are up 3 miles or about 3000 ft the temperatures are nice. I consumed about 6L water (electrolyte enhanced with Mg/Ca/K/Na + lime juice) the whole R/T. While coming down the last 5 miles are hot but bearable as there was some breeze and the mountain offers some shade. I did buy a perfume bottle for a dollar from the dollar store, filled it with water and used it as a mister - worked great for the last 5 miles on the way back.