Mount San Jacinto Peak

Featured photo of Mount San Jacinto Peak

The most popular hike to reach the summit is from the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway. After a short Tram ride you reach the upper station and trail head. You are required to gain a permit from the Ranger Station. The permit is free for day hikers and Rangers along the way may check. The trip ranges from 11.5 to 12.25 miles round trip. Temperatures can change quickly as they do on most peaks 10k and above. Water is only available at the tram station and Round Valley Camp area. Allow 6-9 hours for a round trip day. The Tram does stop running at night so be sure to check the hours of operation so you don't get stuck on the mountain. The landscape changes are very diverse and the views are unobstucted and relaxing.

There are also four other trailheads located near Idyllwild which can be used for the hike to the summit: Seven Pines, Fern Basin, Deer Springs and Humber Park (Devil's Slide trailhead). One of the more popular routes is the Devil's Slide Trail. Taking the direct route to the summit is approximately 15 1/2 miles. You can also spend the night at Round Valley Campground (28 sites-water), Little Round Valley Campground (6 sites-no water), Tamarack Valley Campground (12 sites-no water) or Strawberry Junction (3 sites-no water).

There is also starting on the Palm Springs side of the mountain is the infamous Cactus To Clouds Trail with 10,400 feet of elevation gain. The Snow Creek Route climbs directly up the 10,000 foot north face and can offer excellent snow and ice climbing with 9,600 feet of elevation gain.

Elevation (feet): 10,804
Elevation (meters): 3,293
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Central and Southern California Ranges
State: California
Latitude: 33.8144
Longitude: -116.678
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: Jun, Jul, Aug
Nearest major airport: Palm Springs
Convenient Center: Palm Springs

Thanks to Matt Goodman for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 41 trip reports for Mount San Jacinto Peak.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #21770 - by Parag Ahire on Sep 20, 2009
    We started the hike from Mountain Station of the aerial tramway. The route is well marked and pretty easy even for a hiker without a lot of experience. The scramble at the top over rocks is the only...
  • Log #21763 - by kcarchitect on Sep 05, 2009
    Backpacked from Tram to Round Valley. Drop overnight gear and then went to the peak. Returned to Round Valley for overnight camp. Left the next day going to Hidden Lake (which is closed currently),...
  • Log #21470 - by Gary Guyot on Oct 13, 2008
    Use the devil's slide trail out of Idywild. Permit required. Better work out and two water sources on way up. Check with rangers to see if springs are active.
  • Log #19051 - by Scott Tracy Griffin on Oct 16, 2005
    Joined the Sierra Club for their annual "Cactus to the Clouds" hike up the Outlaw Trail to the summit, and back via the Tram. Started just after midnight, hit the Tram Station before 8...
  • Log #13033 - by Eric DiLeo on Aug 03, 2004
    My buddy Allan and I started out Saturday, 7/31/04 up the Marion Mtn. trail. We learned quickly just how grueling this trail is, especially with some weight on your back. We overnight camped it in...
  • Log #13032 - by Brian & Lina Whitworth on Aug 02, 2004
    I wish I'd had a Tom Harrison map of the area to start with. They have a 2004 version of the area which is quite current and accurate. The maps from the Ranger Station are comparatively...
  • Log #13034 - by Ari Schauder on July 26, 2004
    Ran to the top, turned around after lunch, ran down until I stepped on a rattler...did not get bit..but I sprang my foot when I jumped off the snake. I hate snakes.
  • Log #13035 - by Gregory Trotter on July 25, 2004
    I first made the top from Humber Park and Devil's Slide in 1988, when I was 38. (It was my first ever hike.) I have since also peaked on Seven Pines, Marion Mountain (my favorite--I have...
  • Log #13036 - by Michael Shockley on July 20, 2004
    If you want a great challenge, try to summit via the Marion Mountain Trail near Idlywild. The first 2 1/2 miles are a bear! But, it is a beautiful trail with good water supplies during snow melt.
  • Log #13037 - by Laura on June 15, 2004
    What a great hike! We took the long route, through Fuller Ridge, and up Deer Springs to the peak. It was the most difficult hike I have ever taken , and I was HURTING in the end, but it was well...
  • Log #13038 - by David Lachtman on June 01, 2004
    We started our backpacking trip at Humber Park in Idyllwild about 11 on saturday then we hiked up devil's slide then around the scunk cabbage to willow creek where we ate dinner. Later that night we...
  • Log #13039 - by Allison Ogden on May 31, 2004
    We made the trip up on my birthday, and it was a wonderful way to spend the day. We took the tram up at about 10:00. You are required to register, but we forgot and nobody checked to see if we were...
  • Log #13040 - by Phil Hackett on Nov 27, 2003
    Great hike from tram station. Good weather. Decent visibility for a summer day.
  • Log #13041 - by Peter Holleran on Oct 08, 2003
    About ten hikers and one runner (me), age 54, did the Cactus to Clouds Trail starting at 5 A.M. in Palm Springs (400') at the Desert Museum. I got to the top of the Tram at 9:30, took a 1 1/2 hour...
  • Log #13042 - by Dan Jocobs on Oct 01, 2003
    Perfect Day for a great climb. Snow on the trail almost the entire trip from the ranger station, but only about 6-8 inches. Sunny, with temps in the 40's and 50's. Light winds at the summit.
  • Log #13043 - by Paul Zablotny on Sep 15, 2003
    I summited San Jacinto via the Fuller Ridge Trail. Round trip was about 16 miles starting at about 8k feet. Fuller Ridge is a fantastic trail that follow the ridge crest giving you awsome views on...
  • Log #13044 - by Sean Declercq on Sep 11, 2003
    Not sure of the dates I have summited San Jacinto. I have done it a few times and been up the tram just to camp in round valley and little round valley several times. I really do enjoy it up there. I...
  • Log #13045 - by James Barlow on Sep 02, 2003
    I cheated on this one and took the tram from Palm Springs. I snowshoed up to the meadow below the actual summit pretty quickly, so I made camp and snowshoed on to the summit. I got up there in late...
  • Log #13046 - by Larry Klementowski on Aug 25, 2003
    Gorgeous day hike, staring from the Aerial Tram stop at about 8300ft. Not much for many, but for some in our party (including me) it was a challenge, and a great feeling of accomplishment! Loved...
  • Log #13047 - by The Lonewacko Blog on June 30, 2003
    I dayhiked from the tram to SJ Peak on 6/28/03. There are pictures taken from the peak at Pics from last year's trip are at www.
  • Log #13048 - by Randy Evans on May 27, 2003
    Beautiful day! My 14 year old daughter and I started from saddle junction about 10:30 and reached the summit about 3:15. It was awesome to share the experience with my daughter. Glory to GOD to put...
  • Log #13049 - by Xue-Qian CHEN on May 27, 2003
    Superb summit view, especially with high power binocular. Brilliant sunset and rise Neat Summit Stone Shelter, thank to CCC. Trek thru some snow in total silence and peace - Wellman's Junction to San...
  • Log #13050 - by Kevin Masui on Apr 06, 2003
    It was a beautiful day for a hike. My buddy and I hiked up Miller first going straight up the snow, patchy on Miller but San Jacinto was completely covered except for a few exposed manazanita. Bring...
  • Log #13051 - by Jim Taylor on Feb 08, 2003
    I've summitted San Jacinto 8 times. 2 times by taking the tram up & down. 4 times from Marion Mountian trial outside of Idylwild. And 2 times via the Catus to Clouds from Palm Springs and taking...
  • Log #13052 - by Ayslinn G. on Feb 07, 2003
    San Jacinto Peak is beautiful! The day I sumited the peak, there were partly cloudy skies and a cool wind- very chilly! But the view is worth it! I had to drag my friend up to the peak, but once we...
  • Log #13053 - by Keith Bunker on July 18, 2002
    Got to the Devils Slide Trail Head at 9:15am on a great sunny day. Summited at 12:25pm, and had lunch for 30 minutes, perfectly clear views in every direction. Jogged most of the way down and was...
  • Log #13054 - by David M. Parker on June 22, 2002
    First time up for me. Went with my friend Dale. We took the tram and hiked up in fine sunny weather. Views were awesome, there was smog over the desert cities and smoke from a fire on the southeast...
  • Log #13055 - by Jim Fox on Dec 26, 2001
    I climbed with Dave Lesh, He suggested May, because the snow ramp to the top would be long. We left at 4:30 am from about 1,000 ft elevation, near a water treatment plant, we hiked and bouldered up...
  • Log #13056 - by David Young on Sep 05, 2001
    This was my first climb/backpack trip on a peak over 10,000 feet. Stunning views of the desert toward Palm Springs and Los Angeles basin. (The winds were blowing from the east, so the smog in LA was...
  • Log #13057 - by Nick Segalle on Aug 09, 2001
    Summited this peak 4 times now, and I am going to do it several more times... Awesome view!
  • Log #13058 - by jafet Aguilar on May 03, 2001
    great place to hike. I enjoy this mountain any time of the year.
  • Log #13059 - by Anthony on May 01, 2001
    Hiked from the tram to the summit in the snow. Left the Mountain Station at 8:25am and reached the summit at 11:15am. Beautiful day and gorgeous view. see additionals at my web page, sorry text only,...
  • Log #13060 - by Gergo Szabo on Apr 27, 2001
    Hiked up on the 5.5m (one-way) Marion Trail, from the southwest. During its entire length it leads through pine forest, and I meet only 2 persons excluding the summit, where people walk up from the...
  • Log #13061 - by Tom Hayes on Mar 27, 2001
    Went up the "outlaw trail" on the east side, 8 miles and 8000 feet up past the top of the tram station and another 6 miles to the summit in 4:45 for a total grain of 10,600 feet, then...
  • Log #13062 - by Kelly Harriger on Mar 23, 2001
    A very enjoyable peak, regardless of the route. A good hike or good trail run, depending upon the time of year. Typically use the Marion Mtn. trail in winter since it's on the north side and the snow...
  • Log #13063 - by Kelton Kleinman on Mar 19, 2001
    Took a Boy Scout troup up as a practice run getting ready for a week trip in the Sierra Mountains. We had a blast! Hotter than heck though.
  • Log #13064 - by Scott & Juli Rinefort on Mar 18, 2001
    Our first summit together! We backpacked in to Round Valley with our friend Cynthia. Then we ran up to the summit & back down via Wellman Divide. This is an especially inspirational peak with 360...
  • Log #13065 - by Jonathan Regele on Mar 08, 2001
    The trip to the top from the tram is a nice hike. The trail to the top along the Fuller Ridge trail gets long on your way back at the end of the day because it is a very long traverse along the...
  • Log #13066 - by jason farrington and victoria mata on Jan 21, 2001
    we hiked up the marion mountain trail . this trail was wonderful. we crossed some springs and made our way to the summit. there were hardly any other hikers on the trail which was nice.
  • Log #13067 - by Ray Tibbitts on Feb 17, 2000
    Palatinez I've climed and camped around alot on this mountain. Mostly with my Boy Scouts Troop 108, and with Hemet High School cross country. I've only actually 'run' up Tahquitz, the smaller peak to...
  • Log #13068 - by Matt Goodman on Jan 07, 2000
    Following a Christmas Dinner and all the holiday visiting we could stand my brothers Brian, Sean and I decided to test out some new gear we plan on taking this summer down the Rainbow Trail. We got a...