San Jacinto Peak Loop Trail

HARD 32 reviews

San Jacinto Peak Loop Trail is a 16.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Idyllwild, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
16.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5219 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

snow

no dogs

Starting from the town of Idyllwild, this trail is ideal as either a long single day out and back, or a two day with overnight camping. Little Round Valley sits just below the summit, which makes a great spot to camp before a morning summit. As an alteration, take the eastern trail back down which crosses Wellman's Divide and then loops back to Strawberry Junction, making for a longer overall hike. While there is strong elevation gain and snow/ice in the colder months, this trail is very manageable, and great strength training for bigger climbs. Also shares a few miles with the PCT, be sure to say hello to the springtime thru-hikers! **Please note campsites, such as Little Round Valley, require a permit. These fill up fast in the summer so call ahead for availability. To request and obtain a permit, applications must be submitted 10-14 days in advance by mail. If you haven't done so, permits can also be obtained as a walk-in from the State Park Office in Idyllwild, but this is not a guarantee of availability.**

hiking
2 months ago

***One of the best hikes that I've ever done, consistent climbs with gorgeous views and pristine natural beauty. We summited the Deer Springs Peak, which is a total of 12.4 miles from the parking lot (round trip). Just 2 important tips:
*The parking lot sign says Deer Springs Trail, don't get confused, it's the same as San Jacinto Trail, they coincide after a few miles.
*A permit is required (as per signage) on the trail, which is free and can be acquired at the Ranger Station which is a mile down the road on your left hand side right after you pass Idyllwild's downtown square ish.
Overall, a must do hike, I'm eager to see how it looks in the spring

hiking
2 months ago

What a wonderful hike. Beautiful trees. A perfect workout. Enjoyed every step that we took. According to the app, it would take almost 8 miles to get to the peak, we sere 2,5 miles in when we saw the sign saying we have 7,5 miles more to get to the top. A bit frustrated but we continued for another 4 miles and we got to deer spring summit and we rested for about 45-50 mins than head back. It took us 5:27 hrs to do the hike. We even saw a lot of snow which was amazing. Later we found out you can actually camp at the top. Btw, at first you’ll the sign for deer spring, don’t get confused. You’re on the right path. 20 miles of beautiful nature, amazing weather and scenery.

hiking
3 months ago

I was on the trail in mid October 2017. Great hike with some of the best views. Got to the trailhead at 6:30am and finished at 6:45pm. That includes some photo op breaks and a nap at the peak.

3 months ago

Great views

3 months ago

Great views

4 months ago

Great trail beautiful longer trail was certainly difficult, but whoever said 17.7 is incorrect my gps was reading 19.8 when done so more realistically it’s 20 miles, but still great trail highly recommend

hiking
4 months ago

I decided on this route for my San Jacinto summit rather than the usual Marion Mountain route. I was just interested in a little bit longer of a day hike.

If you've already hiked some of the "advanced" trails in the San Gabes and San Bernardinos, then this trail won't offer much additional challenge EXCEPT for the short scramble at the top. Its quite comparable to San Bernardino and San Gorgonio in terms of difficulty. Nothing is ridiculously steep, slippery or otherwise "unpleasant". The trail is well marked and easy to follow, even with all the various junctions.

Doing the trail clockwise, the panoramic views from the trail head to the summit aren't anything to write home about. Its all about being in the forest and the forest is BEAUTIFUL. There are small windows here and there that hint at the what is to come, but you will not get your real reward until the summit.

The view at the summit is incredible. If you move around the various boulders, you can see just about anything you want from up there. Do not limit yourself and your view to just the sign/survey marker areas. Move around.

The return leg continues with the panoramic views. You will have something amazing to look at from the summit back to the Deer Creek Trail junction. The descent is somewhat gentle and it didn't beat up my knees at all.

6 months ago

Pretty tough hike. First backpacking overnight hike.

6 months ago

TOUGH! Be wary of elevation gain. It’s no joke. Great hike and great views. Completely worth the pain! Check with rangers about available water. In October there was a stream only at Little deer springs.

hiking
7 months ago

I would give this a 5 star if it was not for the rather boring 3,8 mile part from Deer Springs Trailhead to the PCT. I descended from the peak on the eastern route, and it was beautiful, the views all the way back to Strawberry junction were amazing! Many cool people along the route!

9 months ago

Great hike, beautiful views. Lots of water on the little round valley side.

hiking
10 months ago

Easily the most beautiful views I've ever seen on a hike. The difficulty of this trail lies just in how long it is, and how the climb is so consistent. This hike took me 10+ hours to finish. But the views are well worth it. Highly recommended. Bring lots of water.

hiking
10 months ago

Love this trail. I used it as one of my prep hikes for Mt. Whitney. There's a lot of different scenery to see on this path and possibly some nice snow drifts still sitting on the north side of the mountain. I'm thinking of doing it again next weekend.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Loved this hike. It took us all day but the view was amazing and worth the trip. Can't wait to do it again.

hiking
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Had a phenomenal hike here this past weekend with a group of friends. We based out of Idyllwild Campground, which was great to not be driving to and from Idyllwild the morning of/after our hike. The first day we gained Little Round Valley campsite in around 5 hours. Plenty of time to cook dinner and catch the sunset. Nighttime was very cold, be prepared for high winds and cold temperatures, especially in spring/winter months. We camped at site #1, which fortunately had lots of bare ground, which we gladly shared with other campers who found the other sites covered in snow.

The next morning hiked the remaining 1.5 miles to the summit. Beautiful cloudless conditions, and great views of Gorgonio. Descended to LRV to pack up camp and descend to Idyllwild. Total time down was about 4 hours, it's a very forgiving descent, and you can really cover ground quickly here, especially once past the snow.

Technically not very challenging, beyond the unrelenting climb/descent. While we did encounter snow, crampons were not necessary at the time we did. Under colder/wetter conditions, I would highly recommend them however. Deer Spring, about a mile before Little Round Valley was flowing well, and can be used to filter and resupply water if needed.

trail running
4 days ago

recorded San Jacinto backpacking

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

camping
8 months ago

recorded Good trail, but long

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

trail running
10 months ago

10 months ago

Saturday, September 17, 2016

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