Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

#5 of 90 state parks in California

Best trails in Mount San Jacinto State Park

5,961 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Mount San Jacinto State Park, California? AllTrails has 31 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 17 hard trails in Mount San Jacinto State Park ranging from 6.6 to 122.6 miles and from 475 to 10,830 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Mount San Jacinto State Park is all about the San Jacinto Mountains. The park's namesake, Mount San Jacinto, rises to 11,000 feet at San Jacinto Peak and offers hikers stunning granite rock faces, subalpine forests, and a lush, fern laden forest floor. San Jacinto Peak is the highest peak in the California State Park system, and the second-highest point in southern California. The northeast face of the San Jacinto Range sharply descends down 9,000 feet in just four short miles, and is thus one of the steepest escarpments in America. Only a few hours from Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and San Diego, this 14,000 acre Southern California state park is crowd pleaser. With miles of hiking trails, a tram ride available from Palm Springs, and multiple campgrounds for overnight stays, this park is a great way to take in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. Most of the park is a designated wilderness area enjoyed by hikers and backpackers. At the park's Mountain Station you can enjoy a restaurant, gift shop, and the state park visitor center near the Long Valley Ranger Station. The park also offers picnic areas, a ski center, and nature trails.

Show more
Map of trails in Mount San Jacinto State Park
Park information
Acreage:
14,000 acres
Park hours
Monday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Contact
951-659-2607
Helpful links
Top trails (31)
#1 - San Jacinto Peak from The Tramway
Mount San Jacinto State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(1100)
Length: 10.5 mi • Est. 6 h 1 m
As of June 2020, the tramway is closed due to COVID 19 concerns. The trailhead is accessed via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which is $25 per person. It is best to make reservations online in advance or there may be a wait for a tram. Check in at the ranger station before hiking. Bring microspikes when there is snow, as the hike is slippery and that aspect can be dangerous. Bring at least 3 liters of water and food. You will be at high elevation, so be aware of the potential for altitude sickness.Show more
#2 - Marion Mountain to San Jacinto
Mount San Jacinto State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1077)
Length: 14 mi • Est. 8 h 20 m
Full day hike! Definitely separates the avid from the casual hikers, this is one hike you want to be acclimated for, or allow extra time to reach the peak. If there's a hint of bad weather, make sure you are prepared for it with at least a windbreaker. You need to get a permit to enter the San Jacinto Wilderness. Get it from the station in Idyllwild. Day permits are also available at the Stone Creek Campground for this hike. There is a kiosk to the right just before you enter the campground registration area. Permits are unlimited, and they are free for day hiking. There are several routes up San Jacinto. Most people take the Palm Springs Aerial Tram up from the desert floor and begin their journey in Long Valley. The lesser-travelled Marion Mountain trail skips the tram, beginning a few miles north of Idyllwild. It's the shortest route up Mt. San Jacinto. It's also steep, climbing over 4,000 feet in under 6 miles.Show more
#3 - Suicide Rock via Deer Springs Trail
Mount San Jacinto State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1201)
Length: 7.9 mi • Est. 3 h 47 m
Great view of Strawberry Valley, streams, and the lovely San Jacintos. This is a beautiful relatively easy (but very uphill) hike through the lush wonders of the San Jacintos. You will enjoy every minute. Suicide Rock is a great place to peer over the edge and contemplate life. You can also wonder what life might have been like for the Cahuilla version of Romeo and Juliet who legend says ended their lives here. The views are standard fare for the San Jacinto Wilderness - that is amazing. You get a great shot across Strawberry Valley at Lily Rock and Tahquitz Peak, and you can take in the heights looking up at Marion Mountain and Jean Peak. Don't miss the short trek to the peak, where there is a register in a smiley face can at the top. Feel free to explore all around the edge of Suicide Rock, there are plenty of viewing platforms, but do be careful near the edge.Show more
#4 - Skyline Trail: Cactus to Clouds
Mount San Jacinto State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(610)
Length: 19.8 mi • Est. Multi-day
Note: Due to COVID-19 measures, the tram is closed however the trail is accessible. Check here for more information: https://pstramway.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/COVID-19-Learn-More.pdf The Cactus to Clouds Trail from Palm Springs to San Jacinto Peak has the greatest elevation gain of any trail in the United States. Also known as the Skyline Trail, it climbs 8,000 feet from the desert to Long Valley, then joins with the main trail to gain another 2,600 feet to the summit. The good news is that you can take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway down the mountain! The Cactus to Clouds hike is long. You start on the desert floor and climb to 10,804 feet. You gain over 8,000 feet in the first 12 miles and much of this is hiking in dry arid desert conditions. This trail is nearly always completed by returning from the peak to the upper station of the Aerial Tramway and taking it back into Palm Springs. Please note that there is a fee for using the tram. This is a very difficult hike and people have died or been injured while hiking here. Use caution and you will have a challenging but rewarding hike. You will probably want to buy tram tickets in advance, or leave yourself ample time and be ready for a bit of a wait. There are snacks and drinks available while waiting for the tram. TRAMWAY INFO: Winter Hours (September 2 – May 23) Monday – Friday – First Tram up 10:00am Saturday, Sunday and Holidays – First Tram up 8:00am Daily – Last Tram up at 8:00pm. Last Tram down at 9:45pm Summer Hours (May 24 – September 1) Monday – Thursday – First Tram up 10:00am Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holidays – First Tram up 8:00am Sunday – Thursday – Last Tram up at 8:00pm, Last Tram down 9:45pm Friday & Saturday – Last Tram up 9:00pm and last Tram down at 10:30pm Cars depart at least every half hour. *Prices and Hours Of Operation Are Subject to Change Without Notice. Sorry, pets are not allowed. Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult of 21 years or older. Holiday Hours The first Tram up is at 8am on the following holidays: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day Weekend President’s Day Weekend Memorial Day Weekend Independence Day Labor Day Weekend Thanksgiving Day Weekend Christmas Week New Year’s DayShow more
#5 - Skyline Trail to Aerial Tramway Top Station
Mount San Jacinto State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(164)
Length: 9.7 mi • Est. 9 h 21 m
Timing for this hike is essential. In the winter months, the top of the hike can be icy and/or snowy and foot traction is necessary. After recent heavy snowfall, it may be very difficult to reach the reach the tram, so this hike becomes a MUCH longer out and back. In the summer, temperatures will be very high, and the heat can be deadly. This is a very difficult hike and people have died or been injured while hiking here. Use caution and you will have a challenging but rewarding hike. Read the reviews for more info on timing and the challenged you will face! Taking the tram down is $13 per person. Note that the tram typically closes 2-3 weeks in September for annual maintenance. Show more
#6 - San Jacinto Peak Loop Trail
Mount San Jacinto State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(206)
Length: 18.5 mi • Est. 9 h 55 m
Starting from the town of Idyllwild, this trail is ideal as either a long single day out and back, or a two day with overnight camping. Little Round Valley sits just below the summit, which makes a great spot to camp before a morning summit. As an alteration, take the eastern trail back down which crosses Wellman's Divide and then loops back to Strawberry Junction, making for a longer overall hike. While there is strong elevation gain and snow/ice in the colder months, this trail is very manageable, and great strength training for bigger climbs. Also shares a few miles with the PCT, be sure to say hello to the springtime thru-hikers! **Please note campsites, such as Little Round Valley, require a permit. These fill up fast in the summer so call ahead for availability. To request and obtain a permit, applications must be submitted 10-14 days in advance by mail. If you haven't done so, permits can also be obtained as a walk-in from the State Park Office in Idyllwild, but this is not a guarantee of availability.**Show more
#7 - Desert View Trail
Mount San Jacinto State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(209)
Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 49 m
As of June 2020, the tramway is closed due to COVID 19 concerns. A 1.5 mile (2 km) loop trail leads to a number of scenic overlooks and forest views. Short climbs, moderately strenuous. One of the handful of trails you can hike after getting off the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in Mt. San Jacinto State Park near Palm Springs. Tram is $25.Show more
#8 - Museum Trail
Mount San Jacinto State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(240)
Length: 0.7 mi • Est. 29 m
#9 - Willow Creek Trail to Hidden Lake and Round Valley Loop
Mount San Jacinto State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(123)
Length: 5 mi • Est. 2 h 40 m
As of June 2020, the tramway is closed due to COVID 19 concerns. Accessing the trailhead first requires a trip on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The ride is $25 for an adult. Permits are required and can be obtained for free at the Ranger station at the first junction past the Tram station. The Round Valley Loop is an excellent day hike encompassing much of the valley between the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and Mount San Jacinto. Hiking the loop in a counter-clockwise direction takes one up a steady climb along side a seasonal creek to Round Valley. It then travels along the southern rim of the valley with great views of Mt. San Jacinto and other nearby peaks before dropping back into the valley and the Tram Station area. Many other trails, including the hike to San Jacinto peak itself, branch off from this loop.Show more
#10 - PCT: CA Section C - Highway 10 to Highway 15 (Cajon Pass)
Mount San Jacinto State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(87)
Length: 122.6 mi • Est. Multi-day
Showing results 1 - 10 of 31