San Jacinto Peak via Marion Mountain Trail ("Three Saints" Series #2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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  • Bob in P.

    Another great hike! Hadn't ever done Marion Mountain Trail, so that was interesting (and steep ...) Thanks to Paul and Mike for organizing and leading the hike.

    November 10, 2013

    • Paul

      Another great set of photos, Bob.

      1 · November 13, 2013

    • Bob in P.

      Thank you, Paul.

      November 14, 2013

  • Grace

    It was such a fun hike, and met great old and new friends!

    Paul, thank you for organizing the trip and proving the amazing opportunity! Was my first time to San Jacinto - absolutely one of the most beautiful hikes. The rocks at the peak was surprising and our rock scrambling was so much fun! Mike, thank you for sweeping and guiding us back to the car - would have lost 100 times without you and your GPS!

    1 · November 11, 2013

  • Shine

    Paul, thanksss! It’s a #2 great hike again and enjoyed the moonlight downhill hike too. Mike Chen, thanks for sweeping with me uphill. You were all GREAT hikers and we were together to complete this challenge hike, wow. Also, thanks to all the professional photographers for those awesome pictures :) What the night-owl ladies, Anne Chambers, Mylene and I had stuck together at downhill trail, hahaha….

    November 11, 2013

  • Paul

    This turned out to be quite an adventure, what with having to finish the last part of the hike with headlamps in the dark. The trail was very demanding, San Jacinto Peak as spectacular as ever. Great group of hikers, thanks Mike for sweeping on the way up.

    1 · November 10, 2013

    • Star

      Thanks again Paul for your steady lead... On the fun adventure coming down!

      November 10, 2013

    • Irfan P.

      Star you were indeed the star light star bright, the forst star i saw that night..

      November 11, 2013

  • Michael

    Boots! This sounds like a "The dog ate my homework" sort of thing. But I recently moved, had everything ready to go, and now can't find my boots. Sorry gang. I'm begging out of this one.

    1 · November 9, 2013

    • Bob in P.

      Let's hope the dog didn't eat the boots ..... !

      November 10, 2013

    • Michael

      If I had a dog, I could blame her. If the boots don't show up soon, I'll need to get another pair. Sorry I missed what sounded like a great hike...

      November 10, 2013

  • Mike C.

    San Jacinto Peak and Marion Mountain trail are certainly worthy of a visit by a devoted group of hikers. The alpine scenery was exceptionally beautiful, the rocky San Jacinto peak a challenge and a surprise change of scenery. Paul, thank you for organizing this epic event.

    1 · November 10, 2013

  • Star

    an utterly amazing (and exhausting) hike, delightful company, and great leadership- thanks Paul and Mike!!! Thank you so much- I definitely got out of my box today : )!

    1 · November 9, 2013

  • Irfan P.

    Got home safe too.. Thanks to everyone staying together..

    November 9, 2013

  • Mike C.

    Hi Everyone:

    We need to account for everyone. If you got off the mountain safely, you must reply to this post so that we know you are safe.

    1 · November 9, 2013

    • Paul

      Mike, everyone made it back safely.

      1 · November 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    We all got to the parking lot at 6:15. Everyone made it safe.

    2 · November 9, 2013

  • Mike C.

    Paul, Leslie, Grace, Larry, Vince and I left the mountain safely at 6 pm.

    November 9, 2013

  • Matt O.

    Also stuck on the 243. Might be 10 to 15 min late.

    November 9, 2013

  • Leslie L.

    Construction on 243. We (Vince n Grace) on our way but we r stop

    November 9, 2013

  • Grace

    There is construction on 243. We are completely stopped. Hopefully it opens up soon!

    November 9, 2013

  • Irfan P.

    Let's get a head count for people going to pomona for carpool and who is willing to drive their car.. if there are more people we can arrange something by Fontana cuz I can seat 8

    November 8, 2013

    • Paul

      So far there are 3 people meeting in Pomona.

      November 8, 2013

    • Matt O.

      I am planning to meet you folks at pomona for carpool @ 6:30. I can drive, but I have a tiny car, so I could only take 3...

      November 8, 2013

  • Star

    Thanks so much Susan- ill be there- hopefully by a little after 6am just to be sure I'm not keeping anyone :). I drive a grey Prius with flower stickers on it.

    November 8, 2013

  • Susan

    Look at dpw.lacounty.gov. Then Fairplex Park and Ride. These directions are better than those in the meetup description (I wonder who wrote that, Paul---). And you get directed to a nice little map.

    I will try to get there a little before 6:30am. Hang around outside your car and I will drive around to find you. I don't mind driving. (But I might need some help navigating.)

    Irfan are you planning to meet at the Pomona Park and Ride? I've seen the posts from Star and Michael already.

    November 8, 2013

    • Irfan P.

      No.. Pomona is opposite direction for me.. I will drive to the trail..

      November 8, 2013

  • Paul

    As far as I can see Star, Susan, and Michael will be meeting at the Pomona park and ride. I will not be there as I have to be a little earlier to get the permits from the ranger station in Idyllwild. I will be carpooling with Shine and Mylene.

    November 8, 2013

  • Star

    Im planning to meet at the Pomona Park and Ride- from online search looks like it is north of 110 frwy in Pomona? Above says north of the 60.... hope it's the same one : )!! If anyone has input please advise me : )

    November 8, 2013

    • Paul

      Star, the Pomona park and ride is just north of the 10 exit Fairplex just east of the 57 freeway.

      November 8, 2013

  • Michael

    I plan on meeting you all at Pomona so that we can carpool from there. I'm coming from near the 2 & 134 freeways in Eagle Rock. If anyone wants a lift to Pomona, let me know and we can meet at the park and ride at 1553 E Wilson Ave, Glendale, CA 91206 right near the 2 & 134. I'll be there at 5:30 AM if anyone is coming. Looking forward!

    November 8, 2013

  • Bob in P.

    Wow -- looking at the topo map again, I can see why the Marion Trail has the rep that it does -- the steepest part of the hike will be from 7200 ft elev to 7600 ft .... where the trail gains 400 feet of elevation in ... 1/4 mile. That's a rate of 1600 feet per mile -- about twice the steepness of what most people would call 'steep' (i.e. about 800 ft/mi) ..... whoo hoo .... !

    November 8, 2013

  • Bob in P.

    We MUST do a group shot at the summit with each of us holding up two fingers to signify the 2nd of Three Saints. We should have all done that on Baldy -- as Paul did ! AND -- then maybe a second group shot with us ALL pointing to Mt. San Gorgonio, our third Saint!

    November 8, 2013

  • Bob in P.

    For other photo-minded nutz like me: Quarter crescent Moon Rises is at 12:03 pm in the east over the Coachella Valley, and we may be at the summit to see it. Sun sets at 4:52 pm, which could be during the latter part of our descent looking west, depending on timing.

    November 8, 2013

  • Star

    I think I want to carpool too from Pomona, or wherever the meeting point will be- not sure my car is up to mountain roads.... And, is a long drive, would love company/ what in gas cost, etc... Can u please keep me posted on carpool meeting point? So looking forward to tomorrow's adventure :)

    November 8, 2013

  • Star

    I think I want to carpool too from Pomona, or wherever the meeting point will be- not sure my car is up to mountain roads.... And, is a long drive, would love company/ what in gas cost, etc... Can u please keep me posted on carpool meeting point? So looking forward to tomorrow's adventure :)

    November 8, 2013

  • Star

    Hi Paul and all,

    November 8, 2013

  • Susan

    I planned to drive to the Pomona Park and Ride and carpool from there. If this plan changes, please let me know.

    November 8, 2013

  • Irfan P.

    I will be driving from Fontana if anyone wish to carpool let me know. Paul if there is still room in ur car maybe we can decide a carpool by rancho or fontana. I have an adventure pass.

    November 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can I hitch a ride with someone, please? I can meet along the 134 or the 210. And I'll pitch a 10 for gas. And I'll be on time. Please tell me where and when.

    November 7, 2013

    • Paul

      Hi Mylene, you can meet me at Monrovia park and ride at 6 if you want to carpool with me and Shine.

      November 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Okay... Thanks, Paul.

      November 7, 2013

  • Mayra

    I am doing this with a friend but she bought ticket to the tram, so we will do from there, see you at the peak!

    November 7, 2013

    • Paul

      Booo! That's the easy way.

      November 7, 2013

    • Mayra

      ha ha ha someone sounds like is feeling better!!!! I will do Gorgonio with you for sure if the number gets expanded. Happy hiking Paul!

      November 7, 2013

  • Bob in P.

    Wow, now 3 spots available .... !

    November 7, 2013

  • Amanda S.

    I got a pair of micro spikes!! Happy happy joy joy!

    1 · November 6, 2013

    • Paul

      Congratulations on your new purchase!

      November 6, 2013

    • Bob in P.

      Kahtoola est la boola boola ....

      November 7, 2013

  • Amanda S.

    Ok, My friend just got me tickets to go see a concert I've wanted to see for years. I am going to have to bow out of this for now. :(Enjoy, Ill see ya all on the next one.

    November 6, 2013

  • Celeste

    My ankle is still messed up! Have fun everyone :(

    November 6, 2013

  • Olivia R.

    I have to bow out. Good luck everyone

    November 6, 2013

  • Bob in P.

    For any other compulsive map-niks like me, I've uploaded a topo / trail map with our route for Saturday's hike:

    http://www.meetup.com/hiking-196/files/

    November 6, 2013

  • Mike C.

    To avoid driving 2 1/2 hours to the trail head early in the morning, I plan to spend the weekend in Palm Springs.

    November 6, 2013

  • Kate F.

    Still experiencing knee problems. It is best that I bow out this time. Will be at the next one for sure.

    November 6, 2013

  • Mark

    Next time need to stay more local this weekend

    November 6, 2013

  • Paul

    Here is a copy of the email I have sent you all:

    Hi All,

    I have extended the list for this Saturday's hike to 24, which is 2 permits' worth of hikers. However, I want to make the following 2 points as there are still more people on the waitlist. 1. If you are thinking of changing your RSVP to 'no' then please do so ASAP.

    2. This will be a very challenging hike so I want to know that the people I take are capable of completing the hike. Some of you I know, some of you I do not, so I may be asking for recent hiking experience from some of you on the list. Please answer my email ASAP so I can make a decision as to your participation.

    3. I spoke to Idyllwild ranger station this morning. Apparently there are still a few inches of snow on the ground near the summit, and perhaps at lower elevation. If you have a pair of micro-spikes then I suggest you bring them along just in case. I expect to be able to reach the summit but if not we will go as far as possible.

    November 5, 2013

  • Star

    Hi Paul,
    I'd love to join the group for this hike- was lovely meeting everyone yesterday... (join the waitlist I mean) do you think I'm up for this hike based on my performance on the Mt Baldy hike?

    November 3, 2013

    • Paul

      Hi Star, it was good having you along yesterday. I think you would have no problem doing this hike, I am working on trying to take more than 15 so watch this space.

      November 3, 2013

  • Anne C.

    Is there any way I can join this hike on Nov. 9th?

    2 · October 31, 2013

    • Paul

      Anne, you are currently on the waitlist. The attendance list will likely change a lot between now and then for a number of reasons so you may well make the final list. All I can say is be patient.

      1 · October 31, 2013

  • Elizabeth T

    Welcome back, Paul! Sorry to miss this one but hope to hike with you on another one soon.

    October 31, 2013

  • Amanda S.

    Would anyone like to carpool from the valley? I can pitch in for gas...

    October 27, 2013

  • Bob in P.

    The last time I did the Three Saints in Three Weeks was in 2009 -- it's time to do it again !

    1 · October 26, 2013

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