San Jacinto Mountains
Why This Mountain?
This peak has been on my radar because of the challenging nature of the Cactus to Cloud Trail which starts at an elevation of 520’ and gains 10,300’ of elevation. Hiking to the summit of San Jacinto via this route makes my longest hike as well as the most elevation gain I’ve ever done in a single day.
Mountain & Route Facts
The Cactus to Clouds Trail from Palm Springs, California, to San Jacinto Peak is a hiking trail. With a net elevation gain of 10,300 feet (3,100 m), it has the greatest elevation increase of any day-hike route in the United States. It gains it in only 14 miles (23 km), also making it one of the steeper trails of its length in the world. Also known as the Skyline Trail, it climbs 7,900 feet from the desert to Long Valley where it joins with the main trail to gain another 2,400 feet to the summit. The trail is ten miles to the tram in Long Valley (coined nickname Cactus to Crowds) or twenty miles to San Jacinto Peak and back down to the tram. Wikipedia
San Jacinto Peak is the highest peak of the San Jacinto Mountains, and of Riverside County, California. It lies within Mount San Jacinto State Park. Naturalist John Muir wrote of San Jacinto Peak, “The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!”
San Jacinto Peak is one of the most topographically prominent peaks in the United States. It is ranked sixth among peaks in the 48 contiguous states. According to John W. Robinson and Bruce D. Risher, authors of The San Jacintos, “No Southern California hiker worth his salt would miss climbing ‘San Jack’ at least once.”
Known for its spectacular north escarpment, the peak rises 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above San Gorgonio Pass. It plays host to the famous Cactus to Clouds Trail.