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.

What a great hike and on a day when it was 115 degrees on the desert floor. How fortunate to have the tram to get us to the 8500 ft starting point. A beautiful hike every step of the way and just challenging enough. Incredible views at the top. This was my first time to the top but it won't be the last.

Awesome views. Worth the trip to the peak to see the fire lookout.

Great fun. Bring plenty of water

Great hike, beautiful views. Lots of water on the little round valley side.

2 days ago

trail running
3 days ago

Did this on a day where the valley temp was > 100F but it was 60's at the peak! As advertised, tough going up and felt endless going down but variation in the surroundings, mostly canopied trail, and great views made it worthwhile. Used all 2 liters of water so make sure to bring enough or a filter for the streams.

Beautiful trail. Took us about 5 hours round trip. The climb is gradual and not too steep. We lucked out with cloud cover and stayed cool the whole time. Lots of hikers on the trail on a Saturday. Great 360 views at the top. Worst part was the walk up the ramp to the tram after. 12 miles total

A great trail experience. Visitors have no difficulty in finding the direction to San Jacinto Peak. I find people who visit give top priority for the clink Ines.

Great trail! Coniferous forested mountains never disappoint! Great views from the top. Sit and contemplate life for awhile!

Did this as a bday bucketlist hike. First time up there. tough but worthwhile. it is quite rocky and there were lots of bugs at the summit. the last 2.3 miles from wellmans to the summit had me out of breath quite a bit. overall a must-try for the summer.

4 days ago