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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.

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.

Nice trail for a moderate hike. Partly shady.

Lots of gnats and other flying pests during the summer, so prepare.

it was a beautiful hike! I'm giving this trail 4 stars because the miles stated are not correct according to my GPS. I spoke with a few people on the trail and we all had the same amount of miles tracked. I got 15.26 miles and others got 16. I think the miles need to be reevaluated.
Aside from the miles, the weather was perfect!
The trail was easy to follow and beautiful, with a couple of natural springs for extra water.

Gorgeous hike! Lots of shade, and epic views. MUST HAVE TRAIL PERMIT AND ADVENTURE PASS to hike this trail and park. You can get the free trail pass at the Ranger Station in Idyllwild and also purchase parking passes for $5 there. They limit the trail passes to 30 per day so get it early! You can list 12 people per pass. Enjoy!!!

I love this trail and I love this mountain. I work at the ranger station as a park aide and have done most of the trails on Mt. San Jac. If you're coming to summit just make sure get a permit and have 3 liters of water on you as well as plenty of food. Make sure to check the weather and water reports at the ranger station. For hikers of average fitness this hike is not to bad. the hardest section of the hike is from Round Valley Meadow up to Wellman's Divide. At the top you're met with a rock scramble to get to peak sign. Remember to take in the view!

"The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!" - John Muir

Ended up doing this whole trail because I was interested in the Museum Trail but realized after I'd had to scramble a bit that I wouldn't feel comfortable going back down, at times on my butt! So I knew I was past the point of no return and fortunately knew the North Lykken Trail connected. Had a good rest at the picnic tables at the top of the Museum Trail and headed down via North Lykken. A solid workout!

hiking
28 days ago

Great refreshing hike. Escape the heat of the desert with a fun tram ride experience.

They weren't kidding. This is a serious trail. I couldn't get there at 0100 because I had to work Friday and I'm in 29 Palms. I hit the trailhead at 0300, temperature was 91 in Palm Springs. This trail is tough to follow in the dark, and there are some very dangerous drop-offs and narrow ledges. I highly recommend downloading the trail through the Pro version and following the GPS. I could have saved myself some wasted time and energy.

The first couple of miles and the last 3 before you reach the tramway are very steep. there are some portions before the tram that were legit 40% inclines. I was down on all fours many times.

I didn't manage to finish. Reaching the tramway was all I had. I took 4 liters of water and a liter of Body Armor and it barely lasted me to the Ranger Station. I wish I could have started at 0100, it might have let me get to SJ Mountain. As it was, I was proud of the effort.

I only saw 2 other people on the trail. You have to be a bit nuts to try this one in July, I guess.

hiking
1 month ago

Just did Suicide Rock on Sunday (07/15/2018). Definitely a very hilly type climb right from the start of the trail. The trail is not well marked when you park. If you look for the sign that says, "Dear Head Trail" and park directly across from the sign, the trail is directly in front of the parking lot. You will need an Adventure Pass which can be purchased at the Pine Cove market about 2 minutes from the trail. I noticed a lot of people don't purchase a pass. This money helps go towards the preservation of these trails. Make sure you bring ample water. I went through six of the 16oz bottles. Some people didn't even bring water. (Crazy). It was well worth it to me once I reached the top. They also have rock climbers in the morning. So cool to watch....

Mid July, air temp was great all day. Humidity in Socal has been high this year and it was quite apparent up there too. Beautiful views almost all the way up and down. Very crowded on the weekends and BE WARNED, the tram does not run until 8:00 AM. This trail is rated moderate, but the upper half is quite rocky and my knees and ankles were sore by the end. Trekking poles would be a big help on the way down.

off road driving
1 month ago

Very first-time off-road. Trail is rated “Moderate” but difficult for a beginner.

Awesome time with the family. Lots of fun climbing on Indian Mountain trail 4S21. As a first-timer, I found it challenging but the scenic views made it well worth the effort.

Will return with a “Moderate” lift or bigger tires.

Round valley is very easy and flat. then the last few steps to the divide is more uphill and a challenge. great weather up there compared to the desert floor. Save the peak for a bigger challenge from the other side ;)

hiking
1 month ago

Fun hike, tough to see the trail markings at times. Some scrambling required and at my age/ability I chose to not risk it going back down and instead took the North Lykken trail down from where it meets it at the picnic tables.

Awesome hike!!! Got to do it on an overcast day with cooler summer temps. So much to see on this hike. The views from the top are incredible. I recommend doing this hike on a week day to get some peak time by yourself.

It's a steep trail, and it's at elevation. So pace yourself and be ready for a climb. It's mostly shaded by giant, beautiful trees and there are great views. When we hiked in late June the creek was running, but not strong. We camped at the Marion Mountain campsite and turned it into a weekend. You can backpack it, which would breakup the ascent and might be worth it. Overall a great trail and a rewarding days work. Also, the top is just rocks, so just make your way up safely and you'll find a top with a sign.

This was an amazing hike although there are parts that I would consider to be rated more than moderate. The altitude change can be an issue at first but if you keep a short, slower stride you will be fine. It was 74 last weekend up there and 118 in Palm Springs below. Couldn't have picked a better day to go. Didn't see much wildlife, only a few birds and lizards but the scenery is delightful. Water is important even with the cooler temps.

Amazing and brutal. I recommend starting at 1:00am.

this is now one of my favorite trails! it was spacious, not so narrow. it was nice and cool when we went at 6 am, and the top was a really neat view. I also hiked devils junction and this one seemed a little easier. we made great timing. we did see a baby rattle snake coiled up against a stepping rock on this trail so be aware and have a great hike.

Awesome hike with beautiful scenery, but definitely hard.

The key is LEAVE EARLY. Like IN THE DARK. With a headlamp, because the first couple of miles are not only incredibly steep at times they are also incredibly rugged and sometimes a bit hard to follow. But this gets you to the summit before the crowds - and has the benefit of you descending in the warming day rather than climbing!
7/4/2018 there was water up high in a few places.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy but beautiful hike at the aerial tramway.

This was a really beautiful hike and a great way to escape the 114 degree weather in Palm Springs. It was about 70 degrees on the trail and a welcome change from the heat!

Trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Make sure you sign in at the station as you begin the trail after the paved pathway. This is to keep track of people on the mountain and to make sure they return.

This took about 5.5 hours which included a break at the top and a sandwich. Took the first 10am train and had no issues with lines on the ascent or descent

I almost died.
don't do this hike on 3 hours sleep.
I think most people can do this. there is no real steep part, it just zigzags a lot. it's really long though so make sure you can handle walking for 12 hours.

This was my first trek above 8,000 feet, so the altitude’s physiological effects were a concern. We were fine though. Just stay hydrated and take your time. The air was extremely dry which adds to the difficulty, but overall I’d rate this trail as moderate. 5.5 hours out and back.

Temps today: 105° in Palm Springs, 70° at the trailhead, 60° at the summit. It can get quite cold up there though, layer accordingly.

Trail very easy to navigate, well marked, not too many surprises here. Steep in a few spots, but nothing too savage.

Killer, outstanding views from about mile 3 onwards. Worth the effort 100%, you wont be disappointed. There’s a treatable water source about midway, but not to be relied on in the summer months. Pack 3 liters and you’ll be solid.

This is an outstanding training hike to prepare for the SoCal 6 Pack. Go get em’!

One of my most favorite trails in the San Jacinto range. A 6am start got me to the summit at 9:50 am, and 30 minuets on the summit alone ahead of the Traminites. This is one of the more difficult routes to the summit as you will lose 750 feet of elevation along the undulating ridge section of the trail that will need to be regained on your return. Access to the trailhead is also difficult with the need to drive a sometimes rough dirt road to get there. 2 wheel drive is okay but decent clearance is a must for the few areas that are deeply rutted. If you follow my off trail route please make sure you carry a topo map and compass or GPS unit with topo’s loaded and know how to use them. Enjoy and be safe.

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