by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Mount San Jacinto

Park Brochure

brochure Mount San Jacinto - Park Brochure
Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. John Muir once remarked that the view from Mount San Jacinto “was the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth.” California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (951) 659-2607. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact interp@parks.ca.gov. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Mount San Jacinto State Park 25905 Highway 243 (mail: P.O. Box 308) Idyllwild, CA 92549 (951) 659-2607 www.parks.ca.gov/msjsp © 2002 California State Parks (Rev. 2016) W hen you enter Mount San Jacinto State Park, you come into the heart of the wilderness, high in the San Jacinto Mountains. This 14,000-acre park can be reached via Highway 243 from Idyllwild or by tram from Palm Springs. Granite peaks, sub-alpine forests, and mountain meadows offer the best opportunity to enjoy a primitive high-country experience south of the Sierra Nevada range. San Jacinto Peak — a giant, often snowcapped crag marked by great upthrusts of weathered granite — rises almost 11,000 feet above sea level. The highest peak in the San Jacinto Range and in the California State Park System is also the second-highest point in southern California. Several other peaks within the park exceed 10,000 feet in elevation. Much of the rest of the park, standing at more than 6,000 feet, is cool and comfortable in the summer. Expect summertime highs in the mid-70s with some hot spells reaching the low 90s. Evening temperatures generally fall into the mid-50s. Winter is cold, with sudden snowfalls and temperatures dropping near zero at times. From the Tramway Mountain Station, you can see the greens of Palm Springs golf courses, the irrigated agricultural areas in the Coachella Valley, and the windmill farm. The vistas from the park sweep into the desert for more than a hundred miles, extending southeast to the Salton Sea and beyond into the Imperial Valley. The northeast face of the San Jacinto Range plunges down 9,000 feet in less than After a lift of nearly 6,000 feet, visitors find themselves in a world quite different from the valley below. A range of hiking trails beckons those who are prepared to explore forests interspersed by small meadows. four miles — among the steepest and most spectacular escarpments in North America. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, one of the world’s largest and longest single-lift passenger tramways, carries passengers 2.5 miles from the Valley Station in Chino Canyon to the Mountain Station, on the edge of the Mount San Jacinto State Wilderness. PARK history The Cahuilla, native Californians, used the area for seasonal hunting. They traversed its wooded canyons and protected valleys, gathering food and other resources. Their trails still cross the mountain, and several bedrock mortars can be seen in or near the park. The mortars date back hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, giving evidence of long-term human habitation. European settlers at first used the high country much as the native people had, hunting the abundant deer. View of San Jacinto Range from San Gorgonio Pass Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Later, loggers began to harvest the hillsides of pine while domestic sheep and cattle grazed the fragile mountain meadows. In 1897 President Grover Cleveland created the San Jacinto Forest Reserve to help contain and control these practices. The Reserve became the San Jacinto Ranger District of San Bernardino National Forest in 1930. When the California State Park System was established in 1927, a state park at San Jacinto became a priority. The first 12,695 acres for the park were deeded to the California State Park Commission in 1933 and were opened to the public in 1937. The aerial tramway was authorized by California’s Legislature in 1945 and completed in 1963. Visitors to the park can now take a 15-minute tram ride and experience a series of biotic communities; they range from desert scrub at the Valley Station to a mixed conifer forest dotted with wildflowers at the Mountain Station. From Idyllwild, trails of varying difficulty travel through conifer forests, past lush meadows, and across rocky outcrops into San Jacinto’s high country wilderness. The park became part of the 280,071acre Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument in October of 2000. The park’s Park Rustic Historic District has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. NATURAL History Similar to the Sierra Nevada, the San Jacinto Mountains rest on a major fault block with a distinct westward tilt. The entire San Jacinto region — bounded on the west by the San Jacinto Fault and on the north and east by the San Andreas Fault — is seismically active and slowly rising in elevation. In 2002, 255 acres of Mount San Jacinto State Wilderness were designated as the Hidden Divide Natural Steller’s jay Preserve. This classification provides the highest level of protection possible to Hidden Divide’s sensitive wildlife, plant species, and distinctive natural features. The park’s varied landscapes shelter whiteheaded woodpeckers, Steller’s jays, and mountain chickadees. Noisy Clark’s nutcrackers and red crossbills feed on the seeds of the forest’s pine species — Jeffrey, sugar, and lodgepole pines. Recreational Opportunities A short walk from the tram station takes you into Long Valley, which has a ranger station, a picnic area, restrooms, an adventure center, a self-guided nature trail, and the Desert View Trail overlooking Coachella Valley. Snow normally covers the wilderness from November through April or longer. High winds and sub-freezing temperatures are common. For current weather and trail conditions, call (760) 327-0222. Camping Developed campsites are available in Mount San Jacinto State Park at Idyllwild and Stone Creek campgrounds. Reservations are recommended; visit www.parks.ca.gov or call (800) 444-7275 up to seven months in advance. Summer weekends fill quickly. Sites accommodate motor homes or trailers up to 24 feet long. Winter camping demands preparation and good equipment. In the San Bernardino National Forest, developed campsites may be reserved by calling United States Forest Service (USFS) at (877) 444-6777. Hike-in Camping A Wilderness Camping Permit is required. California State Parks and the USFS manage the two wilderness areas in the San Jacinto Mountains. Camping permits must be obtained from the agency that administers the area where you plan to camp. This permit serves as a hike-through pass within all state park and US Forest Service boundaries. For weekend camping in one of the four state wilderness campgrounds, an advance permit must be obtained. Mount San Jacinto State Wilderness permit applications are available at www.parks.ca.gov/msjsp. Allow at least two weeks before your visit for valid permits to be issued and returned to you. For USFS camping info and permits, visit www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf. Within the state wilderness boundaries, camping is permitted only in designated campsites — up to 15 people per site. NO OPEN FIRES ARE ALLOWED. Only chemical stoves are permitted. Day Hiking The park’s extensive trail system was designed to minimize the impact on scenic and wilderness values. Emergency shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps Popular hikes start from either located below San Jacinto Peak the town of Idyllwild or the tram’s Mountain Station. See Round Valley in a moderate loop of 4.5 miles summer, when day-use permits to enter the with a 700-foot elevation gain near a verdant wilderness via Devil’s Slide Trail can green meadow. You can also hike from Long only be obtained from the USFS ranger Valley to San Jacinto Peak, a strenuous station in Idyllwild. round-trip of about 12 miles with a 2,434Accessible Features foot elevation gain. All day-hikers must have Stone Creek Campground in Idyllwild permits to enter the wilderness. has accessible camping and a trail. The Obtain day-use permits on the day of Idyllwild campground near headquarters has your trip by visiting one of the ranger stations accessible camping and showers. Parking, shown on the map. These permits are restrooms, food service, and picnic areas are honored by both agencies except during the all accessible. Mountain Station has an accessible elevator and viewpoint. The wilderness area terrain is extremely steep and rugged. People with mobility issues may want to access the backcountry from Stone Creek. Accessibility is continually improving; for updates, call the park at (951) 659-2607 or visit http://access.parks.ca.gov. Photo courtesy of Sean Hueber Preserve plants and prevent erosion by staying on trails. Please Remember • Caution — All natural and cultural features are protected by law and may not be disturbed or removed. • Permits — You must have a permit to enter the wilderness. • Litter — Pack out all trash and garbage. • Sanitation — In USFS areas, bury human waste at least eight inches deep and at least 200 feet from the nearest drainage, trail, or camp. In the state wilderness, use the pit toilets in camp areas. • Waste Water — Wash dishes and dispose of waste water at least 100 feet from any stream, spring, or faucet. • Trails — Stay on trails. Help preserve plants and prevent erosion by not making or using shortcuts. • Horses — Equestrians must pack in weed-free feed; grazing in the meadows is prohibited. • Smoking — Smoking is permitted only in designated areas at the tram’s Mountain Station. At Idyllwild and Stone Creek, smoking is permitted only within designated campsites. • Hunting — The wilderness is a state game refuge; possession of firearms, bows and arrows, slingshots, or other weapons is prohibited. • Dogs — Except for trained service animals, all dogs are prohibited in the wilderness areas. • Fires — All fires are prohibited in the wilderness areas. Backpacking stoves are permitted. • Motor vehicles, bicycles, strollers, coolers, and any wheeled devices, except wheelchairs or walkers, are prohibited in the uneven terrain of the state and USFS wilderness. Nearby State Parks • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 200 Palm Canyon Drive Borrego Springs 92004 (760) 767-5311 • Lake Perris State Recreation Area 17801 Lake Perris Drive Perris 92571 (951) 940-5600 This park receives support in part through a nonprofit organization. For more information contact: Mt. San Jacinto Natural History Association 255 N. El Cielo Rd., Suite 140, #141, Palm Springs, CA 92262 • www.msjnha.org Weather can be unpredictable; bring warm clothing layers to prepare for sudden changes. Restrooms Tramway Fire Lookout Showers Intermittent Stream Food Services Ski Center State Park Property Locked Gate Trailhead State Park Wilderness Marsh Viewpoint 300 0 5000 W AY AM TR AL RI Tra i 1.0 5000 S Ro l Tr 1.8 RI SP M 00 Val ley 2.3 k ee de n F or k 5000 Trai l Willow ST 2.3 s D e vi l k ee 0.6 Cr gs Deer B W A 00 60 ba m 0 1.6 00 SAN BERNARDINO y il Tra M ax E RI H 80 1.5 Kilometers 1.25 8000 0.8 DR 8738ft 2663m 8828ft 2691m 00 EA S C A N Andreas Falls to Los Angeles San San Bernardino Gorgonio 10 Wilderness NF RIVERSIDE 7000 Moreno Valley 60 62 10 Lake Perris SRA 243 111 Hemet 74 US Forest Service Ranger Station 15 N Joshua Tree NP to Indio Idyllwild Palm Desert 74 San Bernardino NF 215 YO Palm 50 00 Springs Perris Mount San Jacinto SP (Idyllwild County Park) 74 371 Temecula Murrieta 60 to Hemet, 74 , Palm Desert 1 Mile 0.75 1 Red Tahquitz T U 0.75 AN D G 4.0 ni SO 0.5 Contour Interval: 200 Feet TRAIL So uth Rid ge 0.5 0.25 0.25 0 LITTLE TA H Q U I T Z VA L L E Y Tahquitz Peak e 0 N AT I O N A L F O R E S T EST 6000 0 CHINQUAPIN F L AT Lily Rock w e ll R T S 2. l Tra i 1.5 r Cr e e k Sli c Ro er De ic i Su Mar i on Tr a il N O Y N A C P A A E 700 CR B SKUNK CABBAGE MEADOW PACIFIC State Park Headquarters C reek 7000 6000 Idyllwild Idyllwild Nature Center IDYLLWILD Caramba Road 5S11 © 2009 California State Parks (Rev. 2016) 00 Camp Pendleton 15 Agua Tibia Wilderness to San Diego 76 0 10 0 10 20 Mi 20 79 Cleveland NF 00 R Humber Park Er 243 Trai l 50 T 1.4 00 Y e il Tra a Tahquitz A IL Str Y E L b aw w TA H Q U I T Z VA L L E Y TR R R L ar L AW S CAMP ra i l k T ee 0.6 80 7000 V E SADDLE JUNCTION 2.5 00 7528ft 2295m A C 00 Suicide Rock ri n Sp . 3 2 Foster Lake (Dry) 0 60 de 1.0 Trail W ill o 0.5 de 7000 60 1. 7000 k (Private) r e ek C 80 Thousand Trails C RE s 1.8 I D S p ri n g R N k A M I O E EST R G WILLOW CREEK CROSSING CR 243 R H id Cr 1.8 L il Tra ee 6000 HIDDEN DIVIDE N AT U R A L PRESERVE w 8000 k Cr ey IF IC s Strawberry Junction a il PINE COVE 9356ft 2852m ee CIFIC PA Rd C Va ll 8000 5000 L o g an Lo ng No Off-trail Hiking Within Preserve Wi llo TRAI 6000 S t o ne ga t Divide Peak Landells Peak an 7000 2.3 Trail 9000 C PA Panorama Point Trail mill Fla Saw t Round Valley ll m eek Trail Sto n e Cr Stone Creek Tra il 10,362ft 3164m gh er 0 T R AI L C Marion Mtn 2.5 i on Trail WELLMAN DIVIDE ai n Marion Mountain Fern Basin 10 Hi 0.3 We M ar Lawler Lodge u nt lley Va d un 000 R 1.1 ROUND VA L L E Y MEADOW C ie ne Mo PAC I FI Dark Canyon 0.5 rr to Banning 6000 l Scenic A D s N to ci n Ja O n Sa Y N A R th Ro ad 4S 02 N or Seasonal Ranger Station 1.0 C R EST C K i Tra d S k ee Cr Mi F ul le r Fuller Mill Creek 243 10,670ft 3252m n ou eek rk Jean Peak 10000 Fo De g 9000 ll 0 ri n 0.5 Cr 0 80 p er S 00 Upper Terminal Mountain Station 0.6 N AT I O N A L F O R E S T 1.0 70 (accessible elevator available) il Tra covery DisTrail 10,160ft 3096m 3.8 Tamarack Valley Trl 2.4 Newton Drury Peak Trail SAN BERNARDINO 9750ft 2972m ak Trail Pe 6000 Long Valley Cornell Peak er k Valley rac Ro s 0.3 Little Round Valley 00 Ta ma ad 4S 01 90 Miller Peak 1.0 P i ne en R iv 0 0 10,834ft 3293m NG 00 70 00 E ev 0 50 00 San Jacinto Peak 6000 MOUNT SAN JACINTO S TAT E PA R K A N D S TAT E W I L D E R N E S S 80 G 10 Folly Peak 0 AE t 700 E as D 5.0 8000 00 PA L Ea s I 7000 40 For k R 00 7000 S no w 8000 t 80 00 ch 70 Bra n R 8600ft 2621m 7000 Cre e k Castle Rocks to Palm Springs Valley Station Terminal 4000 6000 C r ee k R 1 N AT I O N A L F O R E S T 700 L Campground: Primitive State Park and State Wilderness View l 1.5 0 Trail: Round Valley Loop Mount San Jacinto SAN BERNARDINO 80 E AI Ranger Station s TR L Black Mountain S0 d4 oa 800 Campground: Group Fa l l s L T Trail: Mileage Tra i U ES Picnic Area De F Parking Campground 1.0 CR Accessible Feature Unpaved Road ow Creek Will Tr a il PACIFIC Fuller Ridge Paved Road Nature Trail 00 00 1.0 Natural Preserve 50 70 00 00 Major Road Cr 00 60 70 40 Legend 30 Km AnzaBorrego Desert SP

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