Emm-Powered Elevations 2020 – Mt. San Jacinto

Peak Summited2020 Mount San Jacinto
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadMarion Valley Campground
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a group
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were an annoyance
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

This was #5 of the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge. I've grown up going to Idyllwild every summer my entire life. I knew Mt San Jacinto was there but just never dreamed I'd climb it one of these days. I've done Taquitz from Humber Park a number of times. This time I planned ahead. A couple of my nieces and a roommate and a friend and I camped at Marion Valley Campground the day before. It was nice to just set up camp and enjoy a pleasant evening in the mountains. The camp was partially full but not packed enough to feel like we were on top of each other. We found a nice lookout the night before that gave a great sunset and view of the Riverside/Los Angeles valleys. We even caught a glimpse of the comet.

We left the camp at 6am. One of my nieces and a friend stayed behind. They packed up our gear for us and eventually would drive us home. The trail is steep. The first few miles was in good tree cover. The air was nice as we were behind the ridge and not in sun. It was a hot day. There was plenty of water on the trail. The Little Round Valley campground was deserted when we came through. We stopped for lunch but not for long as the bugs were horrible in this area. There was lots of water so I am sure that was feeding them. The last 2 miles were pretty brutal. We were feeling the altitude and the steep switchbacks almost made us turn around. We persevered! At the saddle junction we were greeted by the warm breezes of the desert air. The air was clear and you could see for miles and miles. We scrambled to the top and perched precariously on the boulders to take a picture. Our legs were toast. The view was so awesome. My dad hiked this when he was a teen. I wish he were still around to share the experience with him. It was a good hike. We took 11hrs to complete and were so thankful for a rested driver to meet us and take us back to San Diego. Would do this one again in a heartbeat.


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