Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Highpoint Trip Report

San Jacinto Peak on San Jacinto Peak quadrangle (10,804 ft)

Date: sometime in 1963
Author: Bill Schuler

From the town of Idyllwild on highway 243, follow the road signs through Fern Valley to Humber Park (about 5 miles) and the start of the Devils Slide Trail at 6300 feet. As you start on the trail you enter the San Jacinto Wilderness as noted on the signs you pass. After 2 miles of fairly strenuous climbing you come to the signed Saddle Junction and a four way trail convergence. Take the leftmost trail with the sign that reads "Round Valley - San Jacinto Peak" and follow signs to Wellmans Cienega and Wellmans divide and to the summit at 10,804'. Just before the summit you will see an old cabin, a welcome sight as you know that your uphill quest is over. The route is class 1 trail all the way but is a strenuous sixteen miles round trip (about 7 hours at an average speed).

The trails are well maintained and are generally in heavy timber. Open areas through the cienegas are some of the most scenic views in Southern California. The views from the summit can only be described as spectacular and well worth the effort expended. A word of caution. The temperatures are 30 to 40 degrees lower on the peak than at the start so dress accordingly and carry that extra windbreaker or sweater. You'll use it.

Idyllwild can be reached by taking State route 243 south from Banning or north from Hemet via Route 79. Either way, it's miles of winding, twisting (paved) roads and the driving time must be considered in your trip planning.