Please submit any useful information about climbing Mount San Jacinto Peak that may be useful to other climbers. Consider things such as access and accommodation at the base of Mount San Jacinto Peak, as well as the logistics of climbing to the summit.
We hiked to the summit via the Sid Davis shortcut from the tram on January 11, 2016. The trail was well packed snow most of the way without much ice. I walked up in hiking boots about half of the way, then switched to skis and skins for the rest of the trail. My wife used climbing snow shoes the majority of the way without any trouble. I would estimate 4-5 feet of snow at the top. We skied down the eastern face. Snow coverage was good most of the way down and we were able to ski all of the way back to the ranger cabin.
Just before New Years day we hiked to the summit from the tram. It was icy the whole way up and microspikes would have made the trip a whole lot better. We were in hiking boots and trail running shoes (which are not recommended haha). We started pretty late around 11:30 and got to the peak in about 3.25 hours. The way down was better because it was lightly snowing which gave us better traction but we arrived after sunset so we were in the dark for about an hour. We used offline Google Maps to make sure we were on the trail going up and back since it was our first time. You can still use the GPS when the data is turned off so it saves your battery. It really saved us a lot of worry!
We hiked to the summit of Mt. San Jacinto on the main trail from the tram on Sunday, December 14. Snow the entire way, so micro spikes were necessary. Spend the $65! On the rebound to the tram, the snow had some what softened, but the trail is not recommended in plain sneakers. Hiking boots (and now because of snow, with spikes) will get you there. The temperature was approximately 25 degrees at the top, sunny and clear. We started our hike at 9:00 am and reached the summit at 12:00 noon. It took us 2.15 to get down. A few people had already hiked the trail since the snow storm, so it was easy to find our way to the top. Approximately 1 foot of snow at the top and 2 inches at the beginning. This is a moderate hike and very doable for people in shape and used to altitude. It has less altitude gain than Whitney, versus distance. Beautiful Vistas!!!
During winter months, microspikes are the recommended carry,
with crampons for the melt-freeze conditions that happens in spring
The Trail from round valley back to the tram will melt-freeze just from the volume of snowshoers and foot traffic at any time in the winter. The trail up to Wellmans divide
often times will resemble a luge run. The Sid Davis short cut suffers the same problem.
There are three established winter routes from the tram. 1.Main trail 2. Sid Davis shortcut. Gene peak traverse
Ramp to the ranger station often icy at any time in the winter.Yes you can walk the main trail to the top without microspikes or crampons but your stride will be like walking on egg shells. It is all relative to your skill level. Being safe keeps it fun.
Crampon conditions are pretty rare on San Jacinto. See mtsanjacinto.info for a source of regularly updated info. on trail conditions.
Hiked in from tramway to Round Valley on Thursday. Trail was covered in snow/ice. Windy with up to 50 mph winds.
Night time temperatures were 17 degrees with windchill. Take crampons if you plan on attempting this peak.