Summary: The Cedar Springs Trail is a beautiful trail that is gently graded up to the PCT. The views along this section of the PCT are amazing.
The trail switchbacks up to the PCT. It is a bit rocky, so wear good boots.
A cairn(rock pile) marks the side trail to Pine Mountain, but I was unable to summit. I made it within .12 of a mile from the top, but I became entangled in the thorny manzanita which grows about 10 feet tall on the side of the mountain.
The trail was very hard to find in spots, and I had on new boots that created a large blister on my heel. I kept getting lost, and having to retrace my way along steep slopes. I tried to skirt around the edge of the chaparral, but to no avail. The blister cut my trip short by one peak and a visit to Cedar Springs. The summit is a great destination by itself, and the hike to Pyramid and Lion can be combined with this into an all day peakbagging adventure. Be advised that the combination is strenous.
Trailhead: The trailhead is very simple to find. Drive east about 4.5 miles past the Lake Hemet Store on the 74 Palms to Pines Highway. The road is clearly marked as Morris Ranch Road. Turn left. There is a fire station on the northeast side of the highway and a ranger station just down the road.
The road is paved all the way to the trailhead, which is clearly marked, and has ample parking a few feet away from the gate.
There are no trespassing signs, but they do not apply to hikers, just stay on the trail and you will have no problems.
For the first 3/4 mile the trail alternates between trail and road, there are a few gates and you will have no trouble staying on the trail. Turn right onto the PCT at the junction. When it seems you will pass Pine Mountain, you will see a large cairn and a side trail through tall manzanita. Follow it, it is marked by more cairns and the first bit is well worn. (Lat:33.64864 Lon:-116.56028)
Trail Guides for Pine Mountain - San Jacinto Range - SBNF:
San Bernardino Mountain Trails - 100 Hikes in Southern California
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: San Jacinto Ranger District (909) 382-2921
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Jrp on 3/10/2013
Did pine mountain and pyramid today pine mountain seemed to be marked very well and incredible views and fun bouldering
Reviewed by Jesse P on 5/2/2010
We bagged Pyramid and Lion yesterday but we could not find the trail to Pine from the PCT. It seemed overrun by manzanitas. Conditions were v good yesterday. The sun was out, but there was a cool breeze. Very little snow on peaks.
Reviewed by jeff on 2/21/2006
I hiked it on 02/12/06. The bushwacking at the final stretch to the top made it a little more difficult than it should of been. Otherwise, an easy hike, with a great view of the desert. Thanks to the person who put all the cairn piles that allowed me to find the way to the top. I might not of had the desire to continue without them
Reviewed by Dan Carlin on 12/27/2004
This is a delightful hike, even though the path to Pine Mountain is a little hard to find. You just have to follow the cairns very carefully. Once you reach the little trail heading west from the PCT marked by a big rock pile, you have to descend the path towards Fobes Saddle, and once on the plateau look for a big boulder to the right of the flat with a cairn on top. From there follow the occasional cairns through the thick undergrowth, and the path winds its way through a scenic landscape to the top of Pine Mountain. Once on top, you have to scramble over some boulders (cairns will point you most of the way) to get to the tippety top, but it's totally worth it for the wonderful view.
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