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Me on San Jacinto Peak

This was probably up there on the list of tough hikes. I don’t know if it was the late 9:30 am start or the warm summer day or a combination of the two… But I had a hard time on this particular hike.

Anyways, Deer Springs Trail is located off of highway 243 and is actually on a turnout off the main highway. A forest adventure pass is required. You will also need a wilderness permit to day hike in the San Jacinto wilderness. You can pick one up at the ranger station a few miles down the road past the Trailhead. (Follow the signs on the roadside)

This a wonderful trail and I cant wait to bring my wife back to experience it. We have reached the summit before via the Palm Springs Tram which was a wonderful hike but this trail is my new favorite way up to the peak. The 9.3 mile trail makes its way up the west side of the mountain so an early start is recommended or else the sun will be beaming down on you as it was on me.

The trail is well marked and almost impossible to lose. The First marker is always such a drag… nothing but a reminder of how long you have left!

2.3 miles down…. 7 more to go!

The scenery on this trail is absolutely some of the best! Tall pines, lovely creeks and amazing rock formations

Large Boulder on the trail

Usually climbing out of the tree covered forest is not one of my favorite things… sometimes i wish i could stay there wondering around all day.. but on this hot summer day i knew that getting higher meant cooler weather. So we kept pushing on  passing trail junction after trail junction. Finally! blue skies in the distance! This is when you finally get a real feel for how much elevation you have gained..

Little windows like this were breathtaking!

view of The Santa Ana Mountains to the West

View of The Santa Ana and The San Gabriel Mountains

The views were amazing!!

We passed a lot of streams along the way making note of them and their distance just in case we needed to refill on the way back.. (which we did)> The last water source before the peak was at The Little Round Valley Campground. From here it is about 1.3 miles to the top. On our way back we refilled our 3L waterpacks here before heading down.

The climb out of little round valley was tough about 1,100 ft in in 1.6 miles. Not to worry The views from here were great! I got s sneak peak of my soon to be next hike San Gorgonio! (which was easier than expected)

View of San G

The Final Push! This was the longest 1.6 miles EVER! But being that close to the peak is nothing but motivation to keep on going.. So thats exactly what I did.. Reaching the last trail junction is always such a good feeling especially when it reads……


This is the Longest, Hardest .3 miles around! At least from my experiences.. The trail leads to the emergency shelter and from there its a rock scramble to the peak. Take your time and be careful  the high altitude can get you even at this point. I saw a guy sick as a dog throwing up just before the peak. I made sure to take some advil every 3 hours or so to prevent the killer headaches associated with high elevations hike.

Happy Trails!

  • ALL DAY HIKE (10.5 HRS)

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