Cactus to Clouds (C2C)

Join me for my third trip up this massive climb in three weeks.

The Cactus to Clouds hike is long. You start on the desert floor and climb to 10,804 feet. You gain over 8,000 feet in the first 12 miles and much of this is hiking in dry aird desert conditions. The total elevation gain is 10,400 feet in 17.5 miles. An early start is suggested if you intend on making the last tram down.

From the very first step you start gaining elevation - non stop. After a mile you come across a rock painted with a note saying, "No water on trail until Round Valley Ranger Station, 8 miles, 10 hours." New information from the State Park Rangers suggest it is 11 miles and not 8. After 12 hard miles you reach Long Valley. This is where the upper tram station is as well as the State Park Ranger Station where you will need to obtain a permit for the rest of your hike. From the Ranger Station simply follow the signs to the summit. In 5.5 miles you will have reached your goal and probably will be exhusted. Return to Long Valley and the upper tram station for the ride down.

Join or login to comment.

  • Joe

    My first time doing C2C, great hike, great weather. I even met trail legend Ellen. Wonderful hike.

    November 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello Robert! I've finally confirmed that I am free tomorrow,
    and I want to attend this hiking. I think I can finish 11 miles of uphill hiking. Is it OK that I join you guys at 3 am?

    November 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Robert, I did't do any significant climbs recently, I know there is possibility to have mountain sickness for such challenging climbing. I used to climb 6~7 thousands feet mountains in one day about one and half year ago in Taiwan. But, I don't know~! It might be different in here from Taiwan?! I guess you are right~! It's a little bit rush to make this decision. Since there will be another one on Nov. 16th, I think I can join that one!
      Thanks for your suggestion~^_^!

      November 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thxs Aiken! If u plan to do C2C, I highly recommend u do a couple of hikes up Mt. Baldy both from the Ski Hut and bear canyon trails. These are very good preparation hikes for C2C.

      November 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    WOW, the weather work out great! No ice or snow on the trail from the Art museum up to the tram. But definitely traces of it on the trail in the shaded areas leading up to Wellman's Divide. But all of it was manageable to get through or around. Also, the peak was free of snow. Thank you Joe for joining me on this hike today. You did great! I was glad you were able hike with David . He is a really cool dude! I'm looking forward to hiking with you at the GC next weekend. I think we'll be ready after today's C2C.

    November 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Joe, I contacted the visitor center and the hike is on. I plan to go Let me if u r still going.

    November 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Be sure u bring ur microspikes just in case we need them.

      November 1, 2013

    • Joe

      I do not own a pair of microspikes. I will take my change and hope for the best.

      November 1, 2013

  • Julie

    Have fun tomorrow Robert. Wish I could go but I have meeting tomorrow that I cannot miss. Be safe!

    November 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Robert. Due to the uncertainty, I am going to have to bow out this time and maybe try it next weekend. Thanks for organizing! See you next time.

    October 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Robert. Is the hike still on? I heard they had snow.

    October 29, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hey Gideon, I plan on contacting the ranger station and will let everyone know by friday morning if the hike is still on. If it is cancelled, I will reschedule for November 16th.

      1 · October 29, 2013

  • Sylvia E.

    Hi Robert! Ralph has done Skyline twice before and is comfortable leading us... so Laraine, Anthony, Ralph and I will be starting at 5:00 am and do it on our own. So we will change our RSVP's from "Yes" to "No". Hopefully we'll still run into you guys that day! THANK YOU for the inspiration to actually do it!!! And thanks so much for that Mt. Baldy hike, which was a total blast... we will see you on another hike! :)

    1 · October 24, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Sylvia! You guys have a good hike and thank you Ralph for leading the Skyline group!

      1 · October 24, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      We'll sweep the Skyline trail. Maybe CTC a different day. It'll be a good day. Travel safe.

      October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just to let everyone know, there's a weather system moving in late Sunday night and will linger into Tuesday evening. I'm fairly certain there will be residual moisture resulting in ice on Skyline, specifically, the Traverse area, along with the area from Long Valley to the top of the peak. For this reason, I highly suggest you guys invest (& bring) in a set of microspikes and hiking poles to deal with the residual effects of the storm on the route we will be hiking.

    October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are you guys open to starting the hike an hour earlier, 2:30a.. I like to time the meeting with the C2C support group at 11a.. I'm guessing it will take us 8.5 hours to get to the top of Skyline based on last week's fast paced group who finished in 6hours and 45mins. to the top of Skyline. Also, it gives the rest of us going beyond Skyline to be able to peak and get back to the tram before dark.

    October 22, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      It's not so much the time to meet the other group. That was only suggested by someone who was part of the C2C support group last weekend. So we don't need to feel pressured in that way.
      Since we actually have two groups, a Skyline, and, a C2C group, I need to worry about getting both groups to the finish line. The earlier start ensures folks who need to turn back, have time before the heat of the day, and, the C2C group to be able complete the hike before the last tram left and dark settled in. Moreover, it's a risk for ankles to twist hiking downhill and this risk is increased hiking in the dark. So let's meet in the middle with a 3a start instead of 2:30a.. If this new time will cause folks to not make the hike, we can look to reschedule for a Skyline only hike. I choose safety/completion in the day light versus the discomfort of getting up early. If waking up early is a major discomfort for folks, wait until they get on the trail. There's going to be some major discomfort

      October 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Cont) going on =(......Robert.

      October 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very tempting Gary! Your Nov 12th hike would be my 6th-C2C, in one year. I'll seriously consider it.

    October 22, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Six??? And i'm working on number 2! Lol!

      October 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Oh yeah, HAPPY BIRTHDAY for your dad! That's awesome, 80 year old. I'm sure he has many stories and much wisdom to share with those around him. Have a wonderful day with him!

    1 · October 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wish I could join you Robert. My dad's 80th birthday party that day. Making the hike Nov 16 if you're interested in #4! You're a stud Robert!

    October 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Okay everyone, I was able to do C2C yesterday and was reminded how tough the Skyline trail is. I know many of you plan to hike up Skyline and end your hike there. And with completing C2C my third time in a year yesterday, I can say the Skyline trail is the toughest part of this hike. So please do some preparation in a way to build your leg strength and cardio endurance to handle this severe elevation gain. I know we have two remaining weeks before the hike, so you can only do so much at this point in time. However, many of you have been signed up for awhile. So I'm assuming you already have been training. If not, then you need to consider dropping yourself from the RSVP list for your safety and others in the group. So please be honest with yourself regarding your fitness level. Other than that, have a great start to your week and see everyone in a couple of weeks.

    2 · October 20, 2013

    • Sylvia E.

      Robert, was there any ice or snow yesterday?

      October 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes, some ice on the trail where the Traverse is but manageble to get through w/out microspikes. There was also snow and some ice in some areas of the trail before Round Valley up to Wellmans divide. Also, here and there off the trail as you got closer to the peak.

      1 · October 20, 2013

  • Tom K.

    I was up for doing at least the Skyline trail part of this hike with Charles, but I've probably been saved from embarrassment by a previous commitment to meet some friends in Phoenix that weekend. But I'm thinking about C2C as a goal, with a training plan.

    October 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds good Tom! Thanks for considering the idea = ).

      October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Since I am on the waiting list, I am going to go ahead and answer the question about recent hikes. I've done so many in the last 2 months - here are some highlights: 8/4 Mt. Baldy up ski hut trail and down devil's backbone. 8/11 Third Burroughs (WA) 9 miles, 3000 feet gain. 8/14 Mt Elinor (WA) 2500 ft gain in 1.6 miles, then back. 8/15 Marmot Pass (WA) 12 miles, 3600 ft gain. 8/21 Kendall's Katwalk (WA) 13 miles, 2400 feet gain. 9/4 Cub Peak (WA) 3800 feet in 3.3 miles, then back. 9/8 Alpine Lookout (WA) 10 miles, 3500 feet gain. 9/14 Mildred Pt. (WA) 9 miles, 2500 feet gain. 9/29 Marion Mt Trail plus 7 miles, 2700 feet. 10/12 Sawmill Road partway 12 mile, 2500 feet gain. I am a friend of Sylvia and Anthony and only plan to hike to the upper tram station if I am accepted. Thanks.

    2 · October 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Laraine!

      October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awsome hike. take plenty of water & snacks. Also take layers & gloves as it may be chilly for the later portion of the journey. Enjoy the adventure.

    2 · October 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Robert. Look forward to hiking with you. How are people planning on getting back from the tram to the trailhead?

    October 13, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Pitch in for a taxi.

      October 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I was planning to do C2C on Nov. 10, but I would prefer going with someone familiar with the route

    October 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Gideon, you did not answer the question when you first signed up. What recent hikes have you done, the miles and elevation gains.

      October 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm in. For the Skyline segment. C2C ? been there twice before.

    1 · September 26, 2013

  • Sylvia E.

    I'm only planning to go as far as the upper tram station (not SJ Peak) hope that's okay!

    1 · September 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sylvia, that's fine.

      1 · September 16, 2013

2 went

  • Joe
    Assistant Organizer
  • A former member

This Meetup is community funded

$6.00/year

Member dues are used to:
  • Cover Meetup costs
  • Help compensate organizers
  • Encourage more engaged members
  • Improve Meetups

14 day free trial

No credit card required

After the trial you must pay dues to be a member of this Meetup.

Cancel dues at any time.

Dues are billed each year.

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create your own Meetup Group

Get started Learn more
Allison

Meetup has allowed me to meet people I wouldn't have met naturally - they're totally different than me.

Allison, started Women's Adventure Travel

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy