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San Jacinto Peak via Marion Mountain

"The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!” - John Muir

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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 11.8 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  Naturalist John Muir wrote of San Jacinto Peak, “The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this ... more »

Tips:  Allow sufficient time to get to the trailhead. This place is not freeway-close by any measure. It took us a full two hours to get... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Marion Mountain Trailhead Parking

The Marion Mountain trailhead can be reached off of CA 243 a few miles north of Idyllwild. There are signs indicating where to turn for the Fern Basin and Marion Mountain campgrounds. The trailhead begins on road 4S71 between the campgrounds.

If you've never been to this trailhead before, allow extra travel time.

2. Steadily Climbing

The trail has good coverage up to Little Round Valley, and climbs steadily upward with only the occasional switchback. During the spring, you'll cross many little rivulets as the snow pack at higher elevations melts.

3. Little Round Valley Campground

This idyllic little valley has a sub-alpine meadow with a spring-fed creek. There are backpacker campsites here, requiring overnight permits.

There is a chemical toilet in the center of the campground; the only facilities on this trail.

Little Round Valley is a nice place to rest for a bit before the final push to the Saddle Junction and... More

4. [JCT] Saddle Junction

At this point, you are almost at the summit! You join up with a the trail from the east side, and turn north toward the summit.

5. Stone Hut

The stone hut is an emergency shelter and storage for donated emergency supplies (food, water and other basics). There are four bunks in the hut, but as the sign on the door states, a good tent will keep you warmer.

If you do deposit (or take) any supplies, be sure to securely close the supply cabinet to keep mice out. Likewise, close and latch ... More

6. San Jacinto Peak

Just past the stone hut, you'll head west and boulder scramble up to the summit. Nothing technical, and on most days, you will have plenty of company on this popular 10,834' summit.

And as Muir noted, the views are indeed sublime.

Enjoy your lunch, and retrace your steps to the trailhead parking.