Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

Amazing hike ! Lots of snow , bring micro spikes and poles .

My favorite route to the summit of Mt. San Jacinto. Short, but steep. Great views.

Such an amazing hike! If youre unsure of where to go there is a friendly staff at the nature center that offers you maps of all the trails available with their level of difficulty. The trails are clean and it is such a great way to spend a day out.

Took this trail starting down on the highway where you park. Approx. a 5000 ft elevation gain up to little round valley camp site. camped 1 night. About 9 miles to camp. another little over a mile to summit. Trail is steady incline almost all the way up. I would classify as strenuous. The views are great. Bring lots of water.

Amazing hike and epic views. My GPS recorded the hike to be just under 8 miles, but I think the trail head doesn’t technically start right at the road and you can do lots of wandering around once you’ve reached suicide rock. I am a bit out of practice with hiking in higher altitudes, so I felt the fatigue after 8 miles more so than normal, but this is definitely a trail that even an inexperienced hiker could accomplish with breaks and proper hiking boots. Trail is pretty easy to follow and the views at the top are so worth the climb! I told the ranger when I got my permit what trail I was hiking and that I had my dog with me and there was no issue, even though other reviews stated no dogs allowed.

hiking
18 days ago

Great easy hike, beautiful views!

Good hike and great scenic views. I could feel the oxygen start to thinner out on my way up. I shouldnt have hiked alone but no one would dare go with me especially at a high level. Be careful when climbing up the rocks as they start to be slippery with ice building up. Overall it was worth it.

Great solo hike! The water was even flowing just past the junction.

Did it on 11/17 and had perfect weather!! Chilly up top, slight breeze but I still had a T-shirt on.

Great run down hill!

Lovely moderate hike.

hiking
22 days ago

Friday after Thanksgiving hike, weather was great, 32oz of water was just enough, hiked fast with a 2:32 RT time. Moderate difficulty, but watch footing on downhill portions. Back Canyon views are spectacular.

Did this trip in August. Absolutely loved it! Beautiful scenery! First backpacking experience. Camped midway which was fun and hiked to peak next day. The altitude was a new challenge, but not too hard. A wonderful getaway!

Trained like mad at 20% incline on treadmill - did a couple of 11,000 vertical feet weeks and one 22,000 foot week. And then ran this with my 22 year old son. Took off at 7:11 AM, got to ranger station at 10:30 refilled water and filled out registration left the station at 10:50 and got to top at 12:20. Ouch. It was so funny, my son's hip flexers stopped working and he ran like Charlie Chaplin the last five miles. It was my I T bands that were killing. Weather was perfect. Cool and dry. Salt encrusted completely by the end. What I would do differently - take moister snacks. The cliff bars were gag dry and hard to eat while running, and test your hydration pack. Mine was leaking air by the mouth piece and so I was drinking mostly air. Had not used this in a few years and it had lost its seal. November - but far the best time to do this if it has not snowed yet.

Did it on 11/17/18 very nice weather just a bit chilly at times .

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful longer hike, through pine forests with scattered boulders. There was plenty of shaded areas and not too hot in November. We brought layers for the top and were glad we had them. As we hiked with a child, we all made sure to bring plenty of water and snacks as well, and of course our own garbage bag.

It is easy to end up off trail if you’re not paying close attention, especially with the sometimes rocky terrain. Make sure you plan your in and out time so you have daylight for your exit. It took us just over 5 hours with a child who needed many rests on the way up, actual hiking time was closer to 4 hours and just over 1.5hrs downhill.

No dogs allowed, and MUST GET A DAY PERMIT from the ranger station before you go. They’re located right in town in Idyllwild but closed Wednesday and Thursday so plan accordingly. Easy parking along highway. Not too crowded but there were definitely a lot of enthusiasts out so you’ll cross paths now and then.

Distance is a bit inaccurate, I measured on my Apple Watch, Strava, and here, and got 7.8mi, 8.4mi and 8.0mi here respectively. We wore our hiking boots which was very much appreciated in the rocky areas but tiring compared to lighter Merrell light hiking shoes. We’re accustomed to steep hiking at Runyon (West Loop the thigh and butt burner) but found this hike tiring towards the end as we normally do a little more than 3mi in and outs, and had to stop a lot for the kid, legs were definitely getting sore by the end although the hike itself is really quite easy-moderate for the most part.

Views at the top are definitely worth it and breathtaking! Watch your step if you’re going out on the ledges and not a climber, and for the love of god and your safety don’t take selfies standing on the edges in case of loss of balance.

...pretty much what everyone else said. Yes, the first mile can be a little much but really only because you’re just getting started. Yes, the last two miles (the traverse) to Long Valley are the most difficult. Yes, the blazes (white dots) that mark the trail can be missed real easily, so definitely get the Pro version if only for this hike. Once you pass 4300’, keep going. If you turn around you’ll walk into a furnace and chances are you’ll hurt yourself more than if you just keep going up.
Take the chance to enjoy the sunrise on the way up. The views are really what make this hike so epic — enjoy them while you’re up there. When you hit the summit, take a look at the cabin but don’t be a douche and trash it. If you have extra food consider leaving it here for other hikers in emergency situations. When you’re done, have a beer. Chances are you’ve never deserved it more.

The rest is all just my technical notes, so don’t read on if you’re not interested.
Do not read the following and think that you can do what I did. It was somewhat stupid, and I’m extremely lucky NOTHING happened on my hike. I am an experienced hiker, but definitely not at such high altitudes. Maybe train a little before this one, it’s a doozy.

Unfortunately, I have a problem stopping once I start. Fortunately, I don’t know how to quit once I start. I started this hike at midnight, but had no intention of going as quickly as I did. I went through 2L of water on the way up. I hit Long Valley Ranger Station at 7:45am. Once I got there I had 3 kid-sized oatmeal bars, and a handful of jerky. I refilled my reservoir to 3L, and stretched a little.
Started towards the peak around 8, but went much slower on the second half. I hit the summit exactly at noon. I took a break in the Peak Shelter where I changed out of some of my layers, and ate some more jerky. I left a few oatmeal bars in the emergency locker...
...started down to the tram around 12:30, and went slowly, again. I ran out of water one mile from the tram, but it was shaded and just knowing I was about to finish kept me going. Hit the tram at 3:30, and then I hit the bar for a beer.

I started the hike in two wool shirts, longjohns, heavy wool socks, zip-off pants, a hoodie, gloves, and a beanie. A headlamp (the brighter the better) is an absolute if you’re hiking at night. I had my rain gear as well as a tarp in case a storm blew in suddenly. Hiking poles are a lifesaver, and maybe invest in some athletic knee braces. A wide hat and sunscreen will be used the second half of the hike and you’ll be glad for them.
I took 12 kid-sizes oatmeal bars, two big bags of jerky, a small bag of jerky, two pro-bars, and a bag of pistachios. I had 3L of half water/half Gatorade and carried two extra bottles of each with me. I seriously only had four of the oatmeal bars and didn’t even finish the small bag of jerky, but I’m glad I had more than enough in case it was needed. I killed the drinks, and wish I had taken just one extra water bottle.

If you read this far, nice. Again, don’t do what I did. Take it slow-ish. Stop every once in a while to rest your legs, and eat a little. Take goo with you if you’re like me and have a hard time eating solids while hiking. Refill at the ranger station, and use your common sense. If you get to Long Valley and you’re tired, or hurting, take the tram. It’s an awesome hike, but it’s not awesome enough to hurt yourself or risk others safety saving you.

Not an avid hiker but in good shape. This hike is no joke. Started at 2am and it was such a blessing finally seeing the ranger station after the continuous vertical slope. Did this without poles and that’s the one thing I regret not using. Bring lots or water and gel packs. Started cramping on the last vertical stretch before the ranger station. I wouldn’t recommend doing this hike unless you have trained for it. I won’t be doing this hike again for a long time!

Goes without saying, this hike is beyond intense and belongs on any serious hiker's bucket list. We did C2C in November which is a little late but there was no snow yet so we actually had a 40 - 60 degree range the whole time. Just to state the obvious - headlamps, layers, gloves and at least 6L of water/Gatorade, calories (plus emergency supplies). Super awesome hike though, beautiful scenery throughout and a huge sense of accomplishment once you finally hit that tram. Be safe!

P.S. this fortunately did not end up being the case for us, but if you end up missing the last tram at night, the ranger recommended sleeping in the bathroom of the ranger station which is heated and protected from the elements. Just throwing that out there!

hiking
1 month ago

The vegetation, trail, and dramatic view point are all impressive. I enjoyed this better than Devil's Slide across the canyon.

Awsome hike. After the second time I did it.

Spectacular views. Can be hard for folks who take time in adjusting to altitude low pressure at 10k ft

great short hike while visiting PS. the Tram ride was a delight

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike experienced with my five experienced hikers. Started 2:30am at the bottom in palm spring and reach to the summit by 1pm then heading down to the tram exactly 6pm to catch up our ride down. We finished 23.3 miles total. Most challenging hike so far. Stick pole is a must and good headlights. When you reach to the rangers station dont forget to refuel yourself and rest. heading to the summit is strenuous due to some thin air because of the high elevation. hydrate enough and eat energy bars will help. Recommended for advance and serious hikers.

Fantastic hike!!!! One of the best that I have accomplished this year. It is 11.4 miles, not 13, but if you don't like going down hill, the last 2.5 miles will feel like 5 miles. As others have said it is that first (and last) 2.5 miles that are the steepest. The middle is relatively easy (if you are used to big hikes) while the switchbacks make the last mile quite doable. Very pretty, no steep drop offs, lots to look at, the rock and tree formations are fantastic. The Forest Service office in Idyllwild opens at 8 but you can also get a permit in the outdoor kiosk.

Bring treking poles, it is all up hill.

The view from the top is well worth the effort! I didn’t think the trail was too difficult, but you can feel the incline and the altitude may be bothersome if you aren’t accustomed to it. Parking wasn’t an issue for me around 3:30 on a Saturday although earlier in the day, it seemed to be pretty full. I did get off trail once, but it wasn’t that far before I realized my mistake and backtracked to the correct direction.

I did this hike solo on a Tuesday and it was exactly what I needed to get away from my busy and tiresome mom life! There were maybe 15 other hikers so not crowded at all. The climb was steady but not steep. As another reviewer pointed out, there are a few places where it might be easy to miss the trail but only if you don’t have a trained eye. Just keep following the footprints!

There’s a beautiful open, flatter area with big, tall pines near the top of the ridge before you turn off for Suicide Rock. This was probably my favorite part but the entire trail is just gorgeous.

Definitely bring water, snacks, and good shoes!

Also, the ranger station in Idyllwild is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays per the sign in their window so plan ahead to get a permit. Although I was not stopped, they do make it very clear you need one.

Blows your mind. Tough cookie. Train Hard. Carry lots of Water. Start as early as 1 am.

Very nice!

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