Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

San Jacinto Peak from The Tramway

HARD 1127 reviews

San Jacinto Peak from The Tramway is a 10.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Palm Springs, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

Distance: 10.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,644 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

snow

historic site

fee

no dogs

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.

I attempted the summit hike just after a fresh snowing. The rangers recommended snow shoes as the snow was about 2’ at the trailhead. I only had micro spikes. I had to turn back because everyone turned around on the round valley trail. I was post-holing up to my chest. I decided to turn back. People with snow shoes powered on and seemed fine. It’s a shame because it was a beautiful sunny day with almost no wind. Another time Mt. San Jacinto!

hiking
icy
snow
12 days ago

Amazing hike. Snowbound trail the entire way from the start to the summit, with south-facing slopes more slushy. Traction is a very good idea, especially for the last thrust towards the summit. Extremely beautiful trail and once of the most accessible ways to a 10,000ft peak. John Muir wasn’t wrong.

hiking
rocky
17 days ago

18 days ago

Hiked this on Saturday 11/16. Camped in Round Valley the night before. Good camping, but no fires allowed. Hike is excellent. Well marked and easy to follow trail until the last tenth of a mile. That's when you have to scramble to the top and summit sign. My third time at the top, new sign this year so had to get my pic with it. A few notes: the spigot/spring at Round Valley is flowing like a champ. At least a gallon a minute. There's an outhouse at Round Valley too, around the 2 mile mark. Please take a pic by the peak sign and then clear out of the way. Others want pics too :-)

hiking
fee
rocky
scramble
18 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

The busiest trail I’ve hiked. We did the summit on Nov 9th. We arrived at 7:45am with no tickets, and were able to get on the 8:30am tram. The hike is challenging but doable - there were people of all ages at the top. Start early so you can take as many breaks as you need, and get down before dark. At the summit there was a group of obnoxious people (who clearly weren’t part of the backpacking community, and obviously locals) drinking vodka and occupying space near the summit sign, making it hard for people to get good pictures. If you’re in Palm Springs it’s a good hike (we liked Joshua Tree better), but I’d never drive/fly there just for this trail. CA has much better options. Bring a GPS to record your route so you can backtrack. There’s at least one junction that’s confusing. Talk to the ranger at the top of the tram if you don’t have a gps or good map. The views are really great, don’t get me wrong, but because of the crowds and other options in CA, three stars.

hiking
26 days ago

11/10/19 - We went up on the first tram at 8:00am. It was supposed to be about 38 degrees when we got off the tram but it felt slightly warmer, at least until we got into the shade and felt a slight breeze. Glad I had a light jacket and gloves for the first part. Checked in at the Ranger's Station for the permit and hit the trail. I was taking a friend of mine who has never done a summit hike before. The scenery is always breathtaking and the hikers are always friendly and helpful. We met some really great people! Tip #1 - There is only one set of accessible outhouses on the way to the summit and it's fairly early on, so remember it for the way back :-) Tip #2 - Don't forget to stop at Wellman Divide and check out the amazing view to the west, it's just a glimpse of what you will see up top :-) Tip #3 - When you get to the hut near the summit, watch which way people are coming down from the summit. You have to climb up the boulders to get to the summit and sign, but you want to make sure you are going up towards it and not around it. Tip #4 - Don't forget to turn your permit back in at the Ranger's station! Tip #5 - If you go on a weekend, be prepared to wait awhile for the tram down. We got back at 3:30pm and there was an hour wait to go back down, but it seemed like it went much fast. Tip #6 - This time of year (November) it gets dark earlier, especially with the sun setting on the other side of the mountain. It was dark about 4:30 or 5pm for us, just know that when you select a turnaround time or at least have a headlamp just in case. Tip #7 - Have fun on the tram ride down, they play some great music and it's so much fun when people sing along :-) And don't forget to 'WOOOOOOO!' each time you go past a tower lol

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Scenery is great. Little chilly, bring a jacket.

hiking
1 month ago

water spigot around the halfway mark flowing around 3L/min ... needs treatment to drink

hiking
icy
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

What an absolutely beautiful trail. I am by no means in shape & was able to do this trail although it took me most of the day. Totally worth it. ♡

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Did the trail for the first time and really enjoyed it. I’m not an experienced hiker, so I brought some poles and they really helped me over the more rocky parts are the terrain. There wasn’t a lot of foot traffic on the trail; it was very peaceful, quiet and scenic, which was lovely. If you haven’t done the trail before and have a specific trail in mind, pay attention to the signage and ranger’s instructions as there’s many different trails and destinations.

running
rocky
1 month ago

Amazing trail run! Loved it!

Amazing trail! Took about 4.5 hours, I’ve never seen anything so amazing as the view from the top, definetly one of the best trails I’ve ever been too...the altitude thing is real, take heed to all advice!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful! Worth the effort to reach the summit which requires some bouldering. Only criticism is that the signage could be better but trail map from tram station helped.

hiking
off trail
scramble
snow
2 months ago

We went up in February, in 3ft of snow. Camping wasn’t impossible, but it was tricky finding a dry patch. No one was around, which for some is scary but if you enjoy a serene wilderness experience, SJ in the snow is the way to go. The trail to the summit was completely snowed over, so we followed footprints, and ended up climbing straight up the east side of the mountain. It was terrifying and a calf burner but very rewarding. Do not attempt without crampons ($30 yaktrax from REI worked great). Ice ax optional, trekking poles work fine. If it’s a sunny day, bring sun screen. The light will reflect off the snow and you will fry. Amazing views. You feel on top of the world. I’m scared of heights, but still loved the adventure.

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

Great day hike! Perfect weather conditions today, well marked trail, AllTrails always helps. Will definitely be camping here next time.

hiking
rocky
washed out
2 months ago

Nice. varied grades. lots of rocks to navigate, which is tough on tired legs. only about 75% runable in my opinion. feels a lot like trails on big bear.

hiking
2 months ago

completed hike from tramway to san Jacinto peak, a 10 mile round trip Start time 9:00 am end time 6:30 pm. Did hike with Hiking with friends. Great hike amazing forest and scenery.

hiking
2 months ago

Any trail that ends at a bar gets 5 stars.

hiking
3 months ago

Rewarding hike! The 360 view from the peak is fantastic.

Load More