Marion Mountain to San Jacinto

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Mount San Jacinto State Park

Marion Mountain to San Jacinto is a 13.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.

Distance: 13.1 miles Elevation Gain: 4,520 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

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.

hiking
1 day ago

We are not pro hikers and wanted to try a challenging hike. Our group (middle aged) mostly runs, gyms, and Jazzercise. We started at 7. Not crowded so parking was easy at the trail head. We hiked 14 miles in about 9.5 hours. It took awhile longer because parts of the trail were covered in snow and we were wandering around. Thank goodness for downloading the map beforehand because we didn’t have service. We had to cross over snow mounds, cross over streams, and scramble over big boulders. Weather was forecast at 85 in Idyllwild. We each brought 6 bottles of water( came back with extra) and few snacks. There were lots of bugs, bring bug spray and sunscreen. It was a challenging hike and I had some doubts along the way, but we did it and the view was amazing!

hiking
scramble
snow
4 days ago

This trail is beautiful! It ends with a 360 view of the mountains and desert cities from the peak. We started the hike at around 9am, and there was limited amount of parking in a medium sized dirt lot. I suggest getting there early so that you’ll be able to get a spot in the lot— not sure how other people park if the lot is filled. The hike itself was stunning— you’ll go from seeing huge trees, and you’ll pass by rock ledges that features a clear view of a valley of trees. You’ll also pass by a few small waterfalls and creeks. The elevation gain is quick, and is pretty steep throughout. By the 3rd mile up, I already started feeling the changes in my body due to the elevation. But after several sets of switchbacks and a bit of scrambling, you’ll be at the top! Don’t forget to check out all of the different views up there— you’ll see layers of mountains, forests, Hemet, and Palm Springs.

Tons of creek access to water. Great hike. Snow not bad at all.

hiking
4 days ago

Hello, did anybody had any difficulty parking at the Marion Mountain trailhead?

hiking
scramble
snow
washed out
4 days ago

First time doing this beautiful hike. Got started at around 7am and got back to the car by around 4pm. It’s not an easy hike but it’s beautiful and rewarding. Lush alpine scenery, snow melt turning into streams and waterfalls (and while they do cross some of the trail there is no issue with either snow or water) and of course amazing views from the top! It’s a bit of a scramble getting to the peak once you get right under it and there is snow so just be careful and take your time!

Hiked 5/24. Super hot in afternoon, recommend really early start. Vast majority of snow gone on trail but present on last push to and on the summit. All remaining snow on trail gets super slushy and post-holey in afternoon. Multiple good flowing water sources along trail if you have filter. Didn’t use spikes. Trekking poles nice on steep downhill return.

muddy
rocky
snow
4 days ago

just hiked today we started at 11 and ended at 8 i was with my mom who is slower and we had no issues completing it. out of all the six pack of peaks hikes this is honestly my favorite. the huge boulders the gorgeous variety of trees and the multiple streams and small rivers made it very enjoyable. it is a littke tough and steep headed up but very doable and the 360 degree views are amazing up top.

hiking
11 days ago

Absolutely beautiful! Snow, creak crossings, blue skies! Great Friends! Couldn’t have asked for a better hike.

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike today. A bit smoggy looking down to Hemet. Made it to PCT junction but too tired to get to MSJ peak. Heard still snow up top but no spikes needed.

hiking
14 days ago

Not easy to find the trail

hiking
15 days ago

I loved this trail, the panoramic views at the summit are breathtakingly beautiful. I summited yesterday and there is still a lot of snow up there. I lost the trail a couple of times due to the snow so be prepared to second guess yourself.

running
blowdown
bugs
flooded
icy
muddy
off trail
scramble
snow
19 days ago

@fitkatra

hiking
icy
snow
1 month ago

Great hike and views of Hemet and westward mountains/features. Made it 2 miles in and had to turn back due to snow. Hikers who went farther reported waist deep snow.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

March 22nd, 2020. Five word review: Snowy Views Cardio Sequoia Amazing I've done this hike twice now, once in June and now in March. Snow was present on both ascents, but this past time in March, it was deep. Based on the tracks there had been few other hikers on the trail. The trail was only passable because a snowshoer had been up an compressed enough of the top layer snow to make it firm enough to walk on in the AM. Started around 0910 and hit summit at 1223. After lunch at the summit, the snow started softening up, so the descent was slushy and I would sink in past the knee about every 5th step. Regardless of when you hike it, this is a wonderful trail and a slice of nature that's pretty accessible. Leave no trace!

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Sunday March 29th, 2020 I started around 7am to give myself extra time to summit. And I knew this would give me hard packed snow for awhile. As soon as you pass the Marion Mountain campgrounds the trail has sparse snow here and there. And it's pretty hard packed most the way to Little Round Valley campground. Almost immediately after the campground the snow is deep and soft. I encountered some postholing but not bad. In this section you can use snowshoes but they would be awkward to carry for such little use. Going up I didnt need micro spikes or crampons. I summited a little after 1pm. My conditioning was poor and I'm pretty much out of hiking shape so it would be nothing to shave an hour or more of that time. Coming down I wore micro spikes, but should have worn crampons. And the postholing was worst. But not to the point of being bad. Great hike. Summiting San Jacinto in March was simply amazing. It was so beautiful. The whole hike took me 10 hours which I was actually okay with. I'd say the most important gear to have right now would be sunglasses. And probably sunblock.

hiking
off trail
snow
2 months ago

Still lots of snow on this trail, but still completed with microspikes. Current conditions did not require crampons or snowshoes. Started at 630am completed around 2pm. Followed previous hikers foot steps through snow which lead straight up to the peak, no switch backs. Much harder that way than regular trail during the summer months. This is always such a fun trail.

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