Explore the most popular camping trails in Mount San Jacinto State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

A mile from round valley 600 ft gain. Worth it for the view. Usually a breeze. Nice stop on the way to peak. Enjoy

hiking
10 days ago

Very solid loop trail. Because of the Notches/desert view points, it's probably a 4.5 hike. Also the Tram itself is awesome (an amazing ride).
Need to stop at the ranger station for a permit (free), even for day hikers.
A little rocky, but there are worse rocky situations. No bouldering.
See all the views at the Mountain/Tram Station itself (Grubbs view point is probably the best of all "notches/camera spots").
Good selection of beers at the Tram Station.

Beautiful views, though physically challenging. Hiked the trail last Saturday. Went through five liters of water.

This is known as the shortcut to the cactus to clouds but it’s still pretty intense. I loved the scenery on this hike. I did this one about a month ago (early September) and it was about 100 degrees in Palm Springs but it’s about 30 degrees cooler at the top of the tram in the park so pack accordingly. I tried to get a ticket for the tram on the website but they were out so I just showed up 30 mins before the first tram at 8am and was able to get a ticket no problem. The hike is pretty easy to follow and shaded most of the way so it helps. The last 10th of a mile requires some scrambling but nothing too crazy.

Overall a good experience.

hiking
20 days ago

This hike is quite challenging. It is challenging because of its distance of over 18 miles and the over 5000 feet of elevation gain. We did it as a group hike at a moderate pace and it took us 9.5 hours to complete it. We did take a very long break at the summit and another good one at the PCT & Wellman's Divide junction. It is definitely not for a beginner hiker.

Great hike, very worth it. The climb to Little Round Valley is the hardest part. After the valley, the final assent isn’t much farther or as hard.

If you approach the highest point from directly below, there’s an easy boulder problem ;)

First off, here’s what my GPS (Garmin GPSMAP 64st) gave for distance and elevation gain... twice.

Mileage Round Trip: 15.49 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,876 feet

The reason the elevation gain’s so high is because the hike is a geographically anomaly described by grandparents as their walk to school... uphill both ways. Joking aside the ridge dips and gains a lot so be prepared for ups.

Spectacular trail with a bomb view of San Jacinto Peak a few miles in. This was my third time to the summit and definitely not my last. Enjoy!

Hiked it in sections on the weekends. It took 8.5 days, 2 3-day trips, 1 2 day trip and a half day to Cajon Pass from the 138. The highlight was seeing a bear just before we dropped down to White Water Preserve. Water is scarce on the North side of Big Bear Lake. We did a water drop at our half way point. It was sad to see Deep Creek so full of trash and graffiti.

New favorite peak in Southern California. Took seven hours round trip including 45 m. at the peak. Beautiful.

Amazing hike. Super windy and cold at the top, so dress in layers!

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike and great training for other big hikes like Mt. Whitney or the Grand Canyon. The trail was in pretty good condition though a few places could use some trail work as the brush made the trail a bit tight in spots. The majority of the trail is good and was not hard to follow. There were also numerous signs at trail junctions to help keep you on the correct trail.

1 month ago

Midweek hike. Had a late start up the trail and had the summit peak all to myself! Beautiful views, enjoyed the late afternoon sun glowing through the forest trees on the way back down.

Awesome. Definitely not a hike if you’re looking for solitude, but beautiful and not too strenuous. Nice views from the peak.

1 month ago

Really great! Training for Whitney!

I’ve done this hike to the peak of Mt San Jac three times. I always enjoy it. Great views. Bring at least 3 liters of water and food to keep your engine running. At altitude above 6,000 feet, I typically drink about a cup of water every 45 minutes. I got altitude sickness on the Mt. Whitney trail once...This hydration schedule has worked for me!

love it. beautiful view. cool weather.

#5 of our six pack. Perfect weather. Beautiful hike. Distance 12 miles Elevation 3110. Departed from the tram at 9:30. Peaked at 2:00. Back at the tram by 7. Took Hiking guy's advice and left our backpacks by the hut to make it easier to scramble up the rocks at the peak. Incredible views - contrasting desert vs forested mountains. Got off trail on the way back which added an extra mile. Thank goodness for Alltrails!

We saw 5 squirrels on this hike! 10/10 would definitely recommend!

Not sure if this is the right forum for this or not but I'm curious about water supply. I'm going to be hiking the first 70ish miles of section C (getting off in Big Bear) in late October. Any tips on how much to bring at first?

hiked a few weeks ago. great trail, managed to go up and back to the car in about 5 1/2 hours.

first part of the trail was the most brutal for me, although this may have been on account of the pace.

views were unfortunately terrible this time because of all the smoke by San gorgonio. what little I could see of the vast expanse of desert from the top was awe inspiring, and I hope for clear skies on my next visit!

a must for any serious socal hiker

Great hike! Great views! Not too tough as a day hike with a day pack. Might like to overnight on the summit some day, but a full pack would make this one tougher.

Breath taking view but not for the weak

the elevation gain is no joke. excellent and challenging trail

i was skeptical at the beginning that I could make it to the top since it was my first time hiking long distance. but I made it. I was so happy. the view was awesome and the weather up there is always cool in the summer.

Wish I could take my pups

Very challenging hike, but worth the effort. Lots of super fit seniors on the trail, in addition to young folks. I hiked a moderate pace and it took 2 hours to get to the Divide.

excellent backpacking hike!

Great hike for training. Doing Mt. Whitney in a couple of weeks and the consistent above 8K ft. helps.

Beautiful views and a fun day hike. I used this hike to train and test gear for an upcoming trip to Mt Langley. It was a good moderate hike. Nothing crazy. I will go back but next time I’ll approach from Idyllwild and skip the tram. Once was enough for me. Cheers

Great place to start if you are camping in one of the spots nearby. You should start as early as possible and be prepared for some serious elevation gain. The top is pretty crowded so you may have to spend a good amount of time at the top.

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