Explore the most popular walking 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.

Started at the Tram up to camping spot then continued up to the Peak with great views 360. You see everything and the weather was perfect. Hope to do this again later in the year

hiking
3 days ago

nice trail. rocky at points but moderate
72 degrees at 10am took me 1hr 42 mins up and about 15 minutes faster coming down

on Suicide Rock Trail

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful scenic views! The hike was comfortable and appropriate for hikers across the spectrum-from beginners to avid goers. Lots of shady rest stops thanks to the luscious greenery. There is a charming little town at the base that’s very quaint with lots of fun places to eat/drink/explore. Even had several Vegan friendly spots which was a pleasant surprise! Can picture this place equally if not more beautiful during the wintertime! Only disappointment was not having a booked room to spend the night in-next time for sure!

This hike was so pretty! We spread this trip to the peak up over three days. After coming up the tram, we lugged our water-heavy backpacks up to Round Valley Campground where we set up a home base.. After a peaceful night we woke up and headed to the peak with lighter day packs that we had included with our gear. The hike to the peak was a visual stunner. After reaching the emergency hut near the end, we quickly found where some scrambling skills were required. We scaled some decent sized boulders to get up to the top...a little tricky, but do-able. We got back to camp and rested up. We left the campground and headed for the tram on day three. If your new to backpacking or to mountain peaking...or like me, just a slower hiker, I recommend tackling this great mountain in easier pieces. There were plenty of people going straight up from the tram, so if your a faster hiker, you will definitely find yourself in good company that way too. A must do hike, the views west of MSJ as well as those over Palm Springs are big rewards for your efforts.

A beautiful torture! Next time i will most likely backpack it. The first 4 miles or so kicked my butt and I got my second wind on the last push. I loved the last mile switchbacks until the climb on the pile of rocks. Perfect weather this past Saturday. Bring 3 liters of water and refill at the spring.

hiking
11 days ago

Did this hike twice in a weekend, once solo and once with the wife. It’s a wonderful trail and the views at the end are spectacular. Along the way, the scenery changes and there was lots of shade after the first mile or so. Fitbit suggested the hike is between 6.4-7miles but I guess it depends on how much you wander around the top. We got to the trail right at 6am. Would encourage an early start to beat the crowds and heat.

Fantastic hike. Some of my favorite scenic views EVER. The trail is never too steep, but the gradual incline still requires short breaks. There is a scramble at the very top and I felt the elevation most while here. Met some great people at the top. Will definitely do this hike again!

Second time I’ve done this hike, I’m ten years older now and felt every bit of it. This hike is relentless. It’s not too difficult or technical, but it does take planning and tenacity. All in all,I went through 5 liters of water, 4 Cliff Bars, 1 protein bar, 2 goos, and a pack of rehydration salts. Started shortly after midnight and summitted around 1 pm with a large group moving at a slow pace. Started with 3 liters of water and still had about half a liter when I refilled at the ranger station. The key to this hike is timing, you have to get out of the valley long before the sun comes up.

Skyline to Ariel Tramway . Did this hike about 1 week ago... It’s definitely not easy especially considering the warmer temperatures. If you plan on hiking this one please take more than 6 liters of water and start no later than 3am because the heat will get to you. Once you get to around mile 7-8 you will start to feel a nice temperature drop and will enjoy more of the scenery. If you’re new to hiking or have done just a few other hikes. Please Keep in mind the elevation gain and heat will make it by far more challenging. Very strenuous trail. If your a fast hiker and start @3am then you will be ok. Once you reach the (TramStation) it’s a whole different world. My first time there. I was amazed by all the beauty, campsites, restaurant, museum, gift shop etc. To make it an easy way down don’t forget to bring $$$$cash and jump on the Tram then call an Uber to get a ride to your car. Happy hiking be safe.

We did the hike on May 27, 2018. We started from the trailhead near the museum at 4 am, reached Long Valley just past 10. After long break and lunch at Long Valley, we arrived the peak at 2 pm. We were back to Long Valley about 4 pm. The changing views along the way and the view at the summit is impressive. But the challenge is not as great as we feared before the hike. I think it is slightly difficult than the Rim to Rim Hike in Grand Canyon. But it is well easy than the R3, which we did last year.

Took my 9 year old son up this weekend for his first backpacking trip. Chose this route because it was the shortest and it was the only route that had water along the trail. We started the hike around 10am and didn't get to Little Round Valley until almost 8 pm. It was incredibly steep so we went really really slow and took tons of breaks. Little Round Valley was really beautiful and a great place to camp. There was a really good flow of water to filter about 1/4 mile below the campground. The next morning we summit San Jacinto. I honestly liked the trail from Little Round Valley to San Jacinto peak the most.

This trail was really hard considering we are not athletic people to begin with. I hiked to the peak from Idyllwild two years ago and that was a much longer but easier trail. If I had to do it again I may start at the tram but still camp at Little Round Valley. But as my son says we definitely challenged ourselves.

I'm giving it 4 stars because there are sections that were so had for us that it was a little difficult to enjoy. But that's based on our level of fitness.

backpacking
18 days ago

Backpacked 3 days 2 nights, 6/1 - 6/3. Had a great time but it was really challenging and longer than expected. We got permits to camp in Tamarack Valley which was further off the loop trail than anticipated. Thought we’d do ~18-20mi & 5000ft but ended up doing 26+ and 6500ft. Also the AllTrails Topo map shows a trail from Tamarack to the main peak trail, but beware this trail is unmaintained and quite hard to follow at times. Got scratched up by overgrown brush and had to rely heavily on GPS. Overall AllTrails maps were pretty unreliable in the Tamarack area.

The water situation is pretty dismal. Strawberry Cienega was a trickle on par with a fridge water dispenser. The next Cienega (Wellman?) was more substantial but difficult to collect from, a bunch of trickling streams running down a rock face. The last water source we saw was the spigot at Round Valley. Also a trickle. Purification recommended for all water sources. Pretty sure I drank 3-4L or more.

hiking
20 days ago

Excellent, easy hike with great views.

Awesome hike, we did this on memorial day weekend. Here are pros and cons.
pros:
1) My 13 year old was able to do it. Nothing to difficult except distance and rock scramble at summit.
2) Tram is a fun way to get started on hike.
3) great scenery along the way
cons:
1) busy weekend so the lines for the tram were 1.5 hours both ways. Painful wait after a long hike.
2) Tram is $26

Great hike on 5/27/18. Bummed that I was not able to record it on AllTrails.
Perfect day. Nice cool temperatures. Love the smell of pine.

Amazingly beautiful with a ridiculous view at the top. Hard hike but definitely not as hard as the mythology behind it would have you believe. Mostly requires the right prep. Both me and my buddy were in ok shape and trained for a few months. Did Iron Mt. one week out to test ourselves and parts of that we're actually tougher than C2C. Lucked out with amazing 85f weather on memorial day. Started at 2am, hit long valley by 10a, the peak by 2:30 (I was dragging from elevation nausea), back the tram at 6. 16 hours total but we took LOTS of breaks. Brought 5.5 L of water (didn't need it all on the skyline but best to be safe), 1 gatorade with extra salt in it (my buddy did salt pills), ate 9 GU gels, 3 clif bars and a banana. The biggest thing is just to keep fueling/hydrating yourself and taking the GUs almost hourly was a huge help I think. I got a Charley Horse in my quad pretty early on but was able to work through it. Used a GPX on our phone and had a Sat beacon for emergencies. GPS is huge help for the first 3rd of the skyline which you will prob do in the dark and has a lot of splitting. After that the trail is impressively well maintained and clear, and the notch at the top of the skyline trail is all switchbacks so it's hard but not awful. The push to the summit was the worst part for me. It's not steep but it just takes forever (lots of traversing) and by that point you are exhausted. Def need warm clothes for the summit. Hooded windbreaker and gloves were lifesavers.

BTW, as we were cresting the notch at 10am 2 trail runners ran past us the opposite direction having already summited mid-C2C2C. We had seen lights ahead of us early so they prob started just before 2a and looked fresh as hell 22 miles in at 10. So yeah... goals.

hiking
24 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 I really don't ever need to do that trail again.

We started C2C on Saturday morning at 3am. We hadn’t done any similar hikes before. It is the hardest hike we’ve done so far. It was consistently steep from the start until you reached Long Valley. The view at the peak was worth it. For us, there were three essentials for completing this hike (aside from food and water): hiking shoes, offline map, and a phone charger if you are using your phone for the offline map. It is easy to get lost so a gps is a must. Per person, we brought 1 gallon of water, 32 oz of Gatorade, 3 GU gels, 5 granola bars, and 2 sandwiches. We didn’t have to refill our water at the ranger station since we had plenty of supply left when we got there. It was so cold and windy at the peak so I’m glad I brought a sweater. Overall, this is an awesome hike for experienced hikers. Plan ahead and check the weather.

Amazing steep lush hike

Started at 3 am made it to the tram at noon and after grabbing lunch at Peaks restaurant and wandering around made the peak at 4 pm.. Alllllll day hike, the majority of your pack weight should be water. In case you get hung up in lower elevation. You’ll need salts too. Great hike all in all.I had to turn off GPS though because I didn’t want to drain my battery life for pictures and such.

Endurance test. Definitely exhausting.

Tough hike, relentless climb. Definitely going back!

I completed this hike today, 5/27/18. A great day overall, the views along the way and from the top are amazing!
I think that the indicated 16.6 miles is in question, my total for the hike was 18.74 miles using the Apple Gen 3 Watch's GPS functionality. There are significantly more plot points in the GPX file that I exported from the watch than from the GPX file that can be downloaded for this route here. I opened the watch's GPX file in Garmin Basecamp, cleaned up any ancillary data from places where I paused for a breather (the GPS track can roam on those occasions) and was left with a distance of 18.2 miles.

25 days ago

Decent hike, not as interesting as other hikes we’ve been on.

beautiful hike the the signs are a little confusing but we figured it out thecamp sit was a little confusing but the fellow hikers help us out ..... the trail was Rocky but amazing view all the way up saw some wild deer in the morning weather was great no bugs just super coold up at the top did not stay long but I'm happy the sign is up now to take pic with

We summited in 3.5; stopped for about a half hour lunch and it took us about 2.5 hours to get down. Zero snow. If you follow the signs for the marion mountain campground, there is eventually a sign for the marion mountain trailhead. The trail is an upward push for the first 2.4 miles and the last 1.3 miles. Zero snow.

Hiked this yesterday and it was a beautiful and scenic hike! Even though it was about 87*F in palm springs, it was in the high 30s low 40s at the summit. Definitely a tough hike because of the elevation but the view of San Gorgonio and overlooking the desert was definitely worth it!

snowshoeing
26 days ago

I had only hiked here in summer, so I decided to try this trail during the winter for my first snowshoeing adventure. Rentals are available at the Winter Adventure Center, located not far from the bottom of the tram path. Many people were attempting to hike without snowshoes and were postholing down to their knees and thighs. As a result, most didn't make it very far and I had the trail nearly all to myself. Obviously, the "trail" was a little harder to follow but you get the general idea, and in most places there were previous tracks to follow. It was so beautiful to see such a familiar place blanketed in snow! So if you're looking for something new and different, this is highly recommended for snowshoeing. As always, be aware of the weather forecast, be prepared for quickly changing conditions, and dress in layers. Conditions were beautiful along the lower portion of the trail but the wind was gusting pretty hard at the notches and it was significantly colder.

on Desert View Trail

27 days ago

Easy loop with great views of the Coachella Valley, San Jacinto & Santa Rosa Mtns, and more. Very accessible for visitors and beginners.

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