Hike Organizer: Paul Kemp
Location: San Jacinto Mountains, San Jacinto State Park
Hike Difficulty: Strenuous 8/10
Distance: 11 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 4500 feet
Time: 7-8 hours
THE MORONS AT MEETUP ADMINISTRATION HAVE TAKEN AWAY THE OPTION TO USE COLORED TEXT IN THESE DESCRIPTIONS SO IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU READ THE WHOLE WRITE-UP IF YOU SIGN UP FOR THIS HIKE. THERE IS A LIMIT ON NUMBERS, IF YOU RSVP 'YES' AND THEN CHANGE YOUR MIND, AS A COURTESY TO THOSE ON THE WAITING LIST, PLEASE UPDATE YOUR RSVP ASAP.
San Jacinto Peak is one of the "Three Saints," a name occasionally used to describe the high points of the three tallest mountain ranges in Southern California: San Jacinto Peak, Mount San Gorgonio (high point of the San Bernardino Mountains), and Mount San Antonio (high point of the San Gabriel Mountains). This will be 2 of 3 in a series of hikes.
INTRODUCTION: San Jacinto Peak, also known as Mount San Jacinto, at 10,834 feet elevation is the highest peak of the San Jacinto Mountains, and lies within Mount San Jacinto State Park. From the peak, San Gorgonio Mountain can be seen across the San Gorgonio Pass. Also easily visible below is the Coachella Valley and the Salton Sea. In addition, much of the Inland Empire, including Ontario to the west, can be viewed on a clear day. Naturalist John Muir wrote of San Jacinto Peak, "The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!"
HIKE DESCRIPTION: From the trailhead at just past Fern Basin Campground the trail ascends through pine and cedar trees, passing a short access trail coming up from Marion Mountain Campground, then ascend steeply up the northwest flank of forested Marion Ridge to a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), roughly 2 ¼ miles from the start. The trail turns left along the PCT for a short distance to meet a junction at the trail to Deer Springs Camp. Here the trail turns right for about a mile until intersecting the Fuller Ridge Trail, and continuing right (east) along the Deer Springs Trail until Little Round Valley Campground at 1 ½ miles. About a mile past Little Round Valley the trail comes to a junction with the San Jacinto Peak Trail and turns left for a quarter mile to the peak, passing a stone cabin on the way. After a lunch break here, and taking in the views, we will return the same way.
This is an arse-kicker of a hike, particularly the first 2 ¼ miles which involve an elevation gain of 2400 feet. You must have a good level of physical conditioning, and, by the time of the hike, recent hiking experience of at least 9 miles with a few thousand feet elevation gain. This is not a slow-poke hike, the pace will hopefully be 1 ½ to 2 miles an hour on the ascent, faster on the way down. If you are signed up for the San Gorgonio hike the following Saturday then I would like to see you do this one also.
WHAT TO BRING: At least 4 liters of water, although there maybe water available from the streams along the way to allow you to start with less water. If so, you will need to bring a water filtration device. Also, sunblock, sunglasses, hat, camera, snacks for the trail (preferably high-energy), lunch etc.
DIRECTIONS: Take the I-10 east from Los Angeles to SR 243 south from Banning (towards Idyllwild) 19 miles to a junction with a paved road, Azalea Trail (NF-4S02). Turn left and proceed 1.6 miles to a wide dirt parking area just before the Marion Mountain Campground entrance. The Trailhead is signed "Marion Mtn. Trail", park here (A USFS Adventure Pass is required.)
For those wishing to carpool meet at the Pomona Park and Ride, just north of the 10 freeway at the Fairplex Drive exit. The meeting time 6.30 a.m., carpool arrangements will be made there and then. All others meet at the trailhead at 8.am.