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“Snow-Capped Mountain Forest Above the Desert” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness

Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness
25905 Highway 243, Idyllwild, CA
909-659-2607
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Top Rated
$95*
and up
The Earthquake Canyon Bike Express
Ranked #1 of 13 Attractions in Idyllwild
Type: Mountains, State Parks, Outdoors
Activities: Hiking
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 13,000-acre park offers over 50 miles of trails in the mountains soaring above the Sonora desert.
Toronto
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Snow-Capped Mountain Forest Above the Desert”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

This is a mountain park with a beautiful view, awesome pine forests and dramatic cliffs and rock formations. What's not to love?

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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71 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Tucson, AZ
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
184 helpful votes 184 helpful votes
“Beautiful sights, wonderful hiking”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

We spent a week in Idyllwild and hiked three times in the state/federal wilderness areas. Our first hike was up Devil's Slide trail from Humber Park to Wellman Divide, our second from Marion Mountain trail head to San Jacinto Peak, our third up Deer Springs trail to Suicide Rock. We were amazed at the beauty of the forest and the trails. Somehow we had expected a dry and scrubby landscape with few trees and hard, rocky trails. Instead, every place we hiked was thickly forested and the trails were shaded and cool. With the exception of the area directly below San Jacinto Peak, which was all tumbled boulders, trail surfaces were generally smooth and fairly soft, with only short rocky sections. The trails are not easy, though, because they tend to be steep as they climb the mountain. In addition, elevations start at 5300 feet in Idyllwild and top out at more than 10800 at the peak, which makes breathing a whole lot more difficult. Our Marion Mountain hike was the shortest and steepest route to the peak, also the most difficult and the one we found the most gratifying. We day hiked, didn't backpack, but we were impressed with Little Round Valley Campground, really high (a joke) end real estate just over a trail mile below the peak. There are six backpacker campsites far removed from one another. Each has its own name and a separate signed trail leading to it, each is totally private and totally different from all the others. In late May all the trails were lined with flowering manzanita, lupine, Indian Paintbrush and many other flowers whose names we didn't know. We've hiked in many different mountain ranges throughout the western states and feel that the San Jacinto mountains comprise some of the loveliest mountain real estate we've seen anywhere.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oceanside, California, United States
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“You can't get bored in the San Jacintos!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

I've been hiking in this area for just over a year now. I started as a pretty new hiker and have slowly advanced. There are easy, yet beautiful, hikes like Ernie Maxwell trail all the way to the soul draining Cactus to Clouds butt kicker. Devil's Slide, Deer Springs, and South Ridge trails all offer pretty easy ways to get up into some beautiful country where you'll find a huge network of trails. You can't miss going up to the summit of "San J" the 2nd highest peak in Southern California. Or hiking a few miles or more on the famed Pacific Crest Trail. Conditions in the summer are really nice, but it gets crowded and you do need to stop for a hiking pass at the Idyllwild Ranger Station - they are free, but parking at trail heads requires a $5 Adventure Pass. If you like the outdoors, you must do this!

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hemet, California, United States
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Clean and fun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

There are a lot of sites to see and activities for the entire family. this is a great natural environment, with lots of hiking trails. the town and house are very unique, this is a beautiful place to visit year round.

Visited November 2012
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Irvine, California
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Hike to the snow!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

It is always nice this time of year to have a hike where you can end up in the snow, but you need to be ready for it with good traction shoes and light but water resistant pants.

Visited March 2013
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