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Marion Mountain to San Jacinto

HARD 377 reviews

Marion Mountain to San Jacinto is a 13.4 mile moderately 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
13.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,494 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

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 and 10 essentials. 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, relentlessly climbing over 4,000 feet in under 6 miles.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Hiked this past weekend. Snow shoes were almost a must as you get towards the midway point onwards due to the recent precipitation otherwise you’ll be sinking to your waist in snow. Beautiful views and a great challenge for a winter climb.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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.

5 months ago

Beautiful views, though physically challenging. Hiked the trail last Saturday. Went through five liters of water.

5 months ago

Great hike, very worth it. The climb to Little Round Valley is the hardest part. After the valley, the final assent isn’t much farther or as hard.

If you approach the highest point from directly below, there’s an easy boulder problem ;)

hiking
5 months ago

New favorite peak in Southern California. Took seven hours round trip including 45 m. at the peak. Beautiful.

6 months ago

Midweek hike. Had a late start up the trail and had the summit peak all to myself! Beautiful views, enjoyed the late afternoon sun glowing through the forest trees on the way back down.

6 months ago

Really great! Training for Whitney!

6 months ago

hiked a few weeks ago. great trail, managed to go up and back to the car in about 5 1/2 hours.

first part of the trail was the most brutal for me, although this may have been on account of the pace.

views were unfortunately terrible this time because of all the smoke by San gorgonio. what little I could see of the vast expanse of desert from the top was awe inspiring, and I hope for clear skies on my next visit!

a must for any serious socal hiker

6 months ago

Great hike! Great views! Not too tough as a day hike with a day pack. Might like to overnight on the summit some day, but a full pack would make this one tougher.

hiking
7 months ago

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.

hiking
7 months ago

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.

hiking
8 months ago

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.

hiking
8 months ago

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.

8 months ago

Awesome hike with beautiful scenery, but definitely hard.

hiking
8 months ago

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
8 months ago

What a great hike! We departed from the Trailhead at 8am this morning and arrived at the summit at 11:45am. The trail was well maintained throughout and we saw the occasional hiker on our ascent. The views from the top are incredible and well worth the effort! After spending 45 minutes at the top having lunch and taking in the views, we began our descent at 12:30. The trip down is a grind as the legs begin to wear down, but we made it back to the truck at 4:05. Would definitely recommend for seasoned hikers.
Total Hiking Time: 3:45 ascent + 3:35 descent = 7 hours and 20 minutes.

8 months ago

Love this hike, great escape if you live in the desert. Great views at the summit. And cool little shelter near the top with 2 bunk beds.

hiking
9 months ago

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.

backpacking
9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

Tough hike, relentless climb. Definitely going back!

hiking
9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

Good gps

9 months ago

signage was pretty good, this is a tough one. seems to be just a relentless climb and remember, you are starting the trail at 6000 feet so air gets pretty thin as you near the top.
For an old guy like me (62) it was rough and I took alot of short breaks, but finished, which is all that matters.
Great forest to walk through, very peaceful.

9 months ago

epic^3

hiking
10 months ago

Wasn't into the section where you bump into all the people strolling off the tram for a leisurely walk.

10 months ago

This hike took us 5 hours and 44 mins total. Our GPS said it was 13.2 miles long from where we parked at the trail head and back down. We used this as a training hike for the Grand Canyon. It is definitely one of the hardest hikes my husband and I have done, both physical and mentally. The first two miles are the steepest, and the last mile up is pretty steep as well. Pretty hard on the knees coming back down. Take hiking poles/sticks, they will help out a lot! There is an area with bushes that brush your legs. I wore shorts with long socks and came out fine. We will definitely do this hike again because the views at the top is worth it!

10 months ago

Took on the challenge and summit via marion mt trail. it was good to see plenty of hikers and pct trailheads on this lovely sunny day. completed on 04/29/2018 (bleedingumz.3y3)

hiking
10 months ago

I was not expecting this peak to be so rocky, no wonder why people get hurt and rescued around here, specially if covered in snow. As of April 21, the trail is mostly clear with tiny patches of snow here and there, and the temperature is comfortable. The top was crowded already what makes it uncomfortable to walk and get pics with so many boulders where you have to keep your balance. The first and last thirds of the hike are steep mostly. The views are good. There is a source of water half way through the hike. The drive is long specially, after getting off the highway 15, you’ll encounter way too many red lights along 79, before entering the park area.

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