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Marion Mountain to San Jacinto [CLOSED] is a 14 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.

Length 14.0 mi Elevation gain 4,520 ft 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 Closed Off trail No dogs
Description
Waypoints (6)
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Getting There

Note: as of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. 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.

San Jacinto State Park (909) 659-2607 Idyllwild Ranger Station at 909-382-2922 Wilderness pass link: http://www.fsva.org/pdf/wilderness_permit_app_msjw.pdf

Allow sufficient time to get to the trailhead. This place is not freeway-close. If you're meeting your hiking partners, plan to meet at the Ranger Station in Idyllwild, then caravan to the trailhead outside of town. It's easy to find the Ranger Station; but not so easy to find the trailhead. Permits are required, even for day hikes. You can get one easily however. There are self-service forms to fill out at the ranger station in Idyllwild at 25905 State Highway 243. A National Forest Adventure Pass must be displayed in your parked car at the trailhead.

Drive north on the 243 from Idyllwild a few miles to the San Jacinto State Park Entrance. Turn right and follow the signs for Marion Mountain Campground. Approach from Marion Mountain Trail is tricky only in that you need to go through both Federal and State permitting. Getting a campsite permit is 'smarter than average bear' category... Getting your State permit is often easier due to the hours of operation in the town below - if the Forest Service office is closed when you arrive, you can pick one up from the in-town Idylwild campground just a hundred yards or so up the road. or Drive south on the 243 from Banning 19 miles to the turnout for San Jacinto State Park. Turn left and follow the signs for Marion Mountain Campground. Park at the locked gate, follow the road to the trail, or continue on the road to the campground where you can also begin the trail. Follow this trail to the PCT, turn left, and follow the PCT until it intersects with the Fuller Ridge Trail, stay right and ascend the Deer Springs Trail past Little Round Valley to the intersection of the Peak Trail. Clamber up the rocks to the summit.

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Reviews (1093)
Photos (1796)
Recordings (1110)
Completed (1659)
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Solmoz Azartash-Namin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 7, 2020
Hiking

We started this hike around 7am and finished around 2pm. It's a tough first 2-2.5 miles right off, in my opinion, probably the hardest part of the hike. We got a little off track from the parking to the trail so make sure you're paying attention... I was too excited to start I guess. On the drive in, we saw off in the distance the El Dorado fire and we were not sure if we would or should do the hike. When we got to the trailhead parking we decided to evaluate. Since the fire was far enough away, no evacuation at the time, and no high winds we determined it was okay. We saw a ranger in their truck to ask. The only reason for 4/5 stars is the smoke and air quality was not that great at the top, and you could not see much at the summit. Most of the trail though was not that bad, but you could smell the smoke some still within the treeline. On a perfect day, I would probably give it 5 stars. It's a kick-ass hike and challenging! We were doing this hike as our 5/6 of the 6 pack challenge and our last big hike before our Mt Whitney trip next weekend (RIP to that, it just got cancelled because of the fire danger the National Forests are facing, and they are closing in California until further notice) Although we are in an excessive heat, starting early was our ally and we never got too hot. It was perfect temperature the entire hike...60s to 70s at the end. The breakdown was this: as avid hikers we kept a good pace up and summitted in 3hrs 20min. Spent about 20 min at the top. The way down we explored more and took our time so we took ~3hrs 15min down. Not many people this day on the trail.

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ricki perry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
Hiking
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Shumin Guo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
HikingGreat!

Second time to hike this trail, the view is spectacular as always, and it is such a nice place to escape from the heat. The temperature can be 50F lower than the foot of the mountain. Really enjoyed the hike!

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Benjamin Brehm-Stecher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking

Good, well defined trail. Quite steep at the beginning, but manageable.

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Zeyuan Chen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking

Like what others mentioned: steady and relatively steep incline. With decent shades the entire trail. There are at least three creeks still running 3 miles to 4 miles in. While definitely filter the water before you drink it, the small creeks all seem pretty clear, not extremely muddy. The San Jacinto sign on the summit has also been replaced. It is previously reported to be stolen... We witnessed the formation of a new forest fire today September 5th 2020 in the San Bernardino forest and the mushroom clouds/smoke it generates. The air quality will most likely go down significantly in the next few days, so plan your hike accordingly!

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Snezana Nesic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

Gorgeous trail! The trees, the views, the rock formations, the smell of pines, the lush vegetation and abundant water in the springs, this trail is one of my all time favorites! We hiked it Sunday, Aug 30th. It was shady almost all the way, and the sunny portions were on higher altitude so it never got too hot. No bugs whatsoever! Steady climb all the way up. Very steep, so glad we brought the trekking poles. We didn’t encounter too many people on Marion Mountain trail, it got a bit busier when we merged with other trails. We didn’t find this trail to be rocky at all, it was pretty comfortable. There was plenty of water to filter in Deer Spring, and we replenished the supply at Little Round Valley too. Views all the way up. At the top there were about 20 other hikers. The sign was gone. It was an awesome day of hiking!

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Giancarlos Munoz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 2, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Kevin Gonzales
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2020
Hiking

Great hard hike

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Trent Revic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!Rocky

The first 2-miles of this hike is a steep incline which is the hardest part of the whole hike, coming back down it is quite a strain on the knees (I stupidly left my hiking poles in my car). The middle half of the hike is really not too bad, there are some thorns on the way up which are overgrown, and if you have shorts on they will almost certainly cut your legs. The last 1.3 miles from the signpost are exciting and the incline starts to become steeper at parts throughout, you do have to boulder to get to the top which is quite fun, I decided to boulder from the bottom, you can take the trail up a little further, but where is the fun in that... I left at 6am from Marion Mountain Campground and it took me 3 hours 3 minutes to get to the top (I hike somewhat fast solo), and the descent was faster where I trail-ran a few parts to add to the excitement, this took 2 hours 25 minutes for a total hike time of 5 hours 28 minutes. Tips: There is good shade coverage for the descent (I had shade for the whole ascent just about due to leaving early). There are a few streams you cross (one is a little muddy) where you can refill water if you have a good filtering system or tablets. I definitely recommend having a spray of some natural bug deterrent at the start, this should be enough to last the whole hike (it was for me). I went through 2.7 liters of water with electrolytes and had some energy gummies and fruit on the way up, along with a smoked turkey sandwich at the top. Always bring good long-sustaining food. Be sure to have enough water, I hiked this much quicker than average, if you are out there longer I would advise you to bring more, a good rule of thumb is to bring at least 500ml per 1-hour. Ideally, have electrolytes added to help your muscles and body go longer and recover faster. Wear pants to help with the overgrown thorns in two patches. The trail is easy to follow and signposted very well, I did not use my GPS or map at all. But always good to have a physical map and to know how to read it just in case! Acclimate as well as you can, you will notice the thinner altitude when you get to around 2-miles remaining. If you get AMS stop and wait, if symptoms don't subside, then start descending. I would advise camping at Marion Mountain Campground the night prior, they have sites you can reserve in advance, but there are also just 8 First-Come First-Served sites that only cost $10 cash in an envelope at the campground to reserve, there were 7 of these available when I arrived. Check in/ Check out is 2pm and the trail goes right through the campground I highly advise this for anyone who has come from a very low altitude (I live right next to the sea, so I deemed it as necessary for me).

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Hiroko Murakami
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 31, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Ken Dolitsky
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
Hiking
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Helmut Bevensee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Great trail, enough rocks to keep you on your toes! Make sure to get your day hiking permit, you can get it from the campground right as you turn onto the road that leads to the trailhead. If you get there and it’s dark, go into the campground entrance and make a right towards the check in, once you make that right, there are 3 parking spots off to the right where the day hiking permits are, remember to bring a pen. When you get to the trail head, be careful going into the dirt parking area if you have a car, there is one section with a significant drop (a foot maybe?) between the road and the dirt parking lot, since I got there and it was pitch dark I didn’t realize until my mustang fell a foot and I heard the whole bottom of the car scraping. After you park, enjoy the hike! Pretty constant slope all the way to the top. Mile and a half from the top there is an outhouse, bring your own TP! One last note, went on a Sunday and 90% of people were not wearing masks :(

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Charles King
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking

Tough hike but the setting and views are spectacular!

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jerry stephenson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking

Nice trail. steep. some single track brush that I hate. but lots of shady forest. nice view. plenty of water as high as little round valley. some mosquitoes down low. so if you're the one that complains about a mosquito bite for a week wear some repellent.

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Mari Montes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful. Rocky. Tough one for sure! Sad someone stole the sign :(

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Derek Cotton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 28, 2020
HikingGreat!Scramble

Tough first two and a half miles, steep with a lot of bugs and then very pleasant with varying grades until you clear the campground then it's up again. Bouldering the last quarter mile to the top with great views.

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Sam Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2020
BackpackingBugsGreat!Rocky

This is a very strenuous hike especially if you are carrying a heavy bag. It's a steep hike from start to finish and coming back down can be hard on the knees. But it is beautiful, has lots of shade so is doable on a hot day, and there are water streams a little past halfway so you can carry less water by filtering.

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Mike Vesser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2020
Hiking

13.27 miles on Strava. Plenty of water still flowing in at least 3 spots along the trail. This is my new favorite trail. Scenery was amazing. Was not crowded, fairly steep in first two miles, but reasonable overall. Trail is generally easy to follow. A couple of places around the campground that could have used a sign, but pretty easy to figure out. Also, I am afraid of heights, and there wasn’t one place on this trail where I felt the least bit uncomfortable. There are some thorny brambles for about .5 mile or so in the middle that poked at my legs a bit so bring the bottom part of your shants. Well shaded in the morning, but the shade in the PM wasn’t great in some places. Definitely was hot.

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Shiloh Turner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking
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Kristoff Fajardo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking

Steep! Rocky. Great workout.

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Trung Pham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
HikingBugsOff trailOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

Brutal but rewarding hike to San Jacinto Peak on 8/22/20 with another friend. Picked up a hiking permit @ Stone Creek Campground and got to Marion Mountain Trailhead by 5 am, only a few cars at parking lot. Started super early so needed headlamps to hike in the dark. Strenuous hike from the very beginning with switchbacks up the mountain, first half of hike required a little bit of trail finding as we transverse across large boulders, rock debris, & a few fallen trees. Mostly shaded with tree cover. At halfway point, trail starts to flatten out and cross a field of mazanita brushes, exposed here. Then trail continued to climb again, crossed a couple of creeks that were flowing well. Noted trail was slightly washed out in this section probably from thunderstorm from previous day or creek running onto trail. Took a break at Little Round Valley Campground with an outhouse. After the camp, hike became most difficulty as we were at about 10,000 feet elevation, air became thin, and felt effects of attitude sickness with dizziness, headaches, grogginess, etc., so had to slow down. At summit trail junction, there was an nice outlook towards Round Valley and Aerial Tram. Final climb up passed a stone hut and the trail then became undefined and required rock scrambling over large boulder to reach the top. We summitted San Jacinto Peak by 10am and was we rewarded with a specular 360 view including San Gorgonio Mountain to the north, Palm Springs & Joshua Tree to the east, & Riverside County to the west. Sky visuality was slightly smoggy and smokey (possibly from previous Apple Fire) but it did not take away the awesome view. Had lunch at summit, was windy and cool, only saw a few people at the top. When heading back down, ran into a lot of hikers coming up and temperature became warmer though out the day. Completed 13.5 miles within 8 hrs 10 mins moving time, adding on 1.5 hour of lunch and rest breaks in between. Drank 3 L of water. 75% of people were wearing mask.

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