Summary: Even though I have never seen a ranger on any trail in Southern California, you need to get a permit to enter the San Jacinto Wilderness. Get it from the station in Idyllwild.
This trail is a butt-blaster. It feels longer than it is, it takes longer than suggested, and it will make you work for your summit the entire way. This is the shortest route to San Jacinto without cheating, but it is by no means the easiest.
You get it all - the range of San Jacinto plant life, great views and a killer workout, however the way down is almost as bad as up. I rate this a ten on the toejam scale. It feels like 18 miles not 12. Even my usual stellar 3.2 mph trail average slipped to a dismal 2.3 mph on this one.
It is a tough go, and I will probably never take this trail again, although the views are worth it - I'll take Fuller Ridge or better yet - cheat. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is kind of cheap.
Trailhead: Drive north on the 243 from Idyllwild a few miles to the San Jacinto State Park Entrance. Turn right and follow the signs for Marion Mountain Campground.
Drive south on the 243 from Banning 19 miles to the turnout for San Jacinto State Park. Turn left and follow the signs for Marion Mountain Campground.
Park at the locked gate, follow the road to the trail, or continue on the road to the campground where you can also begin the trail. Follow this trail to the PCT, turn left, and follow the PCT until it intersects with the Fuller Ridge Trail, stay right and ascend the Deer Springs Trail past Little Round Valley to the intersection of the Peak Trail. Clamber up the rocks to the summit. (Lat:33.81454 Lon:-116.67948)
Trail Guides for San Jacinto Via Marion Mountain Trail:
San Bernardino Mountain Trails - 100 Hikes in Southern California
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: San Jacinto State Park (909) 659-2607
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 Page 1 of 10 Submit your own review
Reviewed by CP on 8/11/2012
07/23/2012 Hot that day. The leader of our pack forgot to mention DOGS NOT ALLOWED on this trail so we had to turn back at the 1/2 mile point. In California dogs are not allowed on State Park trails. Wilderness Permit is required. Did get some great photos of the milkweed plants in bloom & big black carpenter bees. Since it was hot and getting late, we chose to hike Ernie Maxwell trail instead.
Reviewed by Viewer on 6/19/2012
if you love pain this trail is for you . i personaly love to hurt i don't like easy Hikes . went on father's day and it was the pretiest i ever seen this trail in this time of the year very green i could not get over of how Beautiful the Cabage looked and the water streams / Creeks were full and i also forgot how hard is to descent speacially the last 2 miles Enjoy ! Run Borrega Run"
Reviewed by DG on 9/20/2011
Error: Reserved Word Found: ;
Reviewed by Bruce K on 9/13/2011
It was a great hike. It took us 9 hours. The sign at the Trailhead said 5 1/4 miles to San Jacinto, but it felt like 10 miles.
Reviewed by Chris D on 9/12/2011
After reading the reviews here, I expected this trail to be much worse than it turned out to be. Got an early (near sunrise) start yesterday and wasn't in the sun for more than a minute or so until Little Round Valley. Lots of water on the way (in mid-September! but it was a wet winter), and it's well-spaced. Last water is in Little Round Valley. I could easily have taken just one liter and a steripen/filter. Very convenient! Stupendous views all along the way, and steep, loose sections of trail are mitigated by intermittent moderate and flat sections with great scenery. Much more rewarding than the hike up from the tram, but I'd have to say that while it felt like 6 miles going up, it felt like 10 going down!
Reviewed by Arturo on 9/6/2011
This trail seemed a so long. I had brought a tuperware to put a my spaghetti in but unfortunately me a forgot my red pepper and olive oil. It was a sad dull lunch with a my wife but we enjoyed good nature time there. That peak scramble leave me a bit a confused and for few time minutes we a get a little lost on a way down the peak there. My wife a start to yell and make commotion but soon we find a way back a to trail. One long tired day!
Reviewed by Naomi on 8/17/2011
Did this hike 8/16/11 at 8am.Took us 3 hours to go to the peak and 2hours 4min.to come down...Actual Garmin distance read 12.4 roundtrip..But it actually felt longer because of the difficulty of the terrain and the altitude. Beautiful hike overall but worth the drive .My advice will be to start early and be prepared for the long journey that keeps on going up and up and up. Be careful on the way down and keep your eyes on the trail. Easy areas to twist your ankle..Stop and enjoy the view.overall i would do it again..Happy trails!
Reviewed by Bob on 8/16/2011
Did this hike 8/14/2011. Beautiful, but steep hike. Did the hike in 6hrs rt, but it does seem longer than posted because of the accent. Somebody left some trash outside the hut on the peak that I bagged out. Please everyone pack what you bring with you as we don't need to trash these beautiful trails.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Riverside County Hiking, Riverside County Trails, Riverside County Hikes