Day Hike to the Summit of Mt. San Jacinto

November 25, 2000

A very nice day hike to the peak of Mount San Jacinto, next to Palm Springs. San Jacinto is accross the valley formed by the San Andreas fault (through which the Interstate I-10 runs) from Mt. San Gorginio. After San Gorginio, it is the second highest mountain in southern California with an elevation of 10,804 feet. In contrast to San Gorgonio, however, San Jacinto has trees all the way to the top. Together with the gorgeous views from the top and on the way this makes for a beautiful hike.

From Palm Springs we took the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway into the San Jacinto Wilderness up to an elevation of 8,516 feet. From the ranger station next to the tramway mountain station we took the Round Valley trail up to the San Jacinto peak and back: one-way distance 5.8 miles, elevation gain 2,800 feet, 3.5 hours up, 2 hours down.


Plot of the GPS logged track

(Click on the thumbnail images to view the full pictures)

Katja getting ready in the tramway parking lot... View of the tram going up the valley from the base station. View of San Jacinto from the mountain station. Sumit with the valley in the background. Behind those mountains is Joshua Tree NP and way in the distance Las Vegas. Sumit and Katja with the Long Valley in the background.
...more of the mountain station viewpoint... Beginning of the trail.
Round Valley trail. Rest stop...
At Round Valley campground. Breathtaking view at the Wellmann Divide.
Katja posing in front of the backdrop. ... View towards the mountain station. The light patch on the right is Round Valley. View towards the Salton Sea in the background. Going up
View over the high plain towards Salton Sea. Katja posing again... Katja and Sumit in front of the San Jacinto Peak shelter. San Jacinto Peak! Boulders on the peak.
View from the peak over to San Gorgonio mountains. View of the smog filled L.A. basin Katja having lunch on the peak.
Sumit on the top of the world... The three hikers. ...back at the tramway mountain station.

A. Gerstlauer, October 26, 2000