Blog hike LA Mountain Hikes San Bernardino National Forest Hiking Trails The Best LA Hikes

Cactus to Clouds Hike Directions & Info- HikingGuy.com

The Cactus to Clouds hike is epic. It was rated one of the hardest day hikes on the planet by Backpack Journal. You begin in downtown Palm Springs and climb over 10,000 ft to the summit of Mt San Jacinto, with a big stretch on the treacherous Skyline Trail. The Cactus to Clouds hike should solely be attempted by the very skilled and very fit hiker, and only underneath the appropriate circumstances. This guide provides you all the data you want to do that unimaginable hike safely.

When to Hike Cactus to Clouds

cactus to clouds warningThe warning rock on the hike. Individuals die right here. Know exactly what you’re doing and be ready.

The Cactus to Clouds hike is common, particularly with Southern California hikers, nevertheless it isn’t a hike you simply present up and do. It’s a hike that you simply need to prepare for, and then you definitely do it only when the circumstances are right.

Because there are extremes at each ends of the weather spectrum (alpine and desert climates), timing your Cactus to Clouds hike is a little bit of an art. Use the listing under as a rough information. All the time verify the local circumstances before making any selections. You’ll need to verify the climate for Palm Springs (the start of the hike) and San Jacinto Peak (the top of the hike).

  • October – Usually this is your greatest guess. The desert is cool sufficient to survive in, and there’s in all probability no snow on the summit. Late September and early November may be favorable too.
  • November to April – Doing Cactus to Clouds within the winter ought to solely be completed if are very skilled in winter / ice climbing. After the primary snow, the melt/freeze cycle will coat a lot of the trail in ice. This comes into play when ascending the Traverse, where the gradient can go up to 50%. You’ll need ice axes and crampons / micro-spikes. Winter temperatures on the summit could be -10F. Circumstances begin getting higher in March and April.
  • Might – One other good window, comparable to October. Ususally the snows have melted and temperatures are nonetheless cool. Even when the summit seems to be clear of snow, there should be snow and ice on the shady portions of the hike.
  • June to September – Nearly all of rescues and deaths happen in the summer, when the excessive’s may be round 110-120F. The park rangers strongly advocate NOT doing all of your hike during this time.

One of the best (and perhaps the one) method to do Cactus to Clouds is to start earlier than dawn. For instance, on this journey report, I started at 1am. The thought is that you simply hike the desert in the cooler nighttime hours, and get to a high (and cool) sufficient altitude by the point the solar rises. Take a look at the weather stories and calculate roughly 5F drop in temperature per 1000 ft climbed. Do the maths to work out a rough begin time.

cris hazzard at dawn on cactus to clouds hikeYou’re going to need to strategically use the climate in your hike. Here I’m hitting 5000ft at dawn, and it’s already 85F.

To find out one of the best time to depart, take a look at an hourly climate forecast for Palm Springs and the summit. Work out your slowest tempo, and estimate where you’ll be at each hour and temperature. Treat it as a rough information, understanding things can change and you could need to change your plans.

One last notice on timing. Regulate the Palm Springs day by day excessive and low temperatures. Even for those who depart in October, the temperatures might be larger than normal, by which case you must contemplate one other day. Take a look at the hourly forecast and estimate where you’ll be at every hour.

Training for Cactus to Clouds

The Cactus to Clouds hike is steep and lengthy, there’s no getting around it. You need to get used to climbing for 10-13 hours straight. I might advocate these hikes as preparation for climbing Cactus to Clouds.

Gear For the Hike

delorme on san jacintoI used a satellite beacon to send a “I’m okay” message with my place to my family. Value it’s weight in gold.

To start out, deliver additional water. There are not any water sources on the hike earlier than Long Valley. I brought 6 liters of water (3 liters in my daypack, and then 2×1.5 liter bottles), and that seemed to do the trick. I also refilled on the Lengthy Valley Ranger Station simply in case. An alternative choice for water is the tram station, but it can take you off the hike. Don’t rely on any water sources along the hike being out there. In the summertime, or during a drought, many sources are dry.

Some people also deliver a bottle of Gatorade. Sugar, electrolytes, water, it might’t harm.

I additionally convey two small water bottles to depart at the rescue packing containers. See the directions under for more information.

Trekking poles assistance on the climb, and I feel they’re good in stopping a snake chew as properly, because the pole will land ahead of your foot. Snakes are lively at night time right here. Just tread rigorously and also you’ll be high-quality.

Convey a lot of snacks. I tried to eat a ProBar each 1.5-2 hours. The mixture of heat, effort, and altitude will usually kill your urge for food, but you want to eat if you would like power. I took some power gels too, that are easier than strong foods to get down. I made positive I popped a couple of gels once I acquired to Flat Rock, and that helped on the final 2, very robust, miles up to Lengthy Valley. You will in all probability burn about 4,000-6,000 calories on this hike.

medicine on cactus to clouds hikeFound this discarded field on the trail (and took it with me and threw it away). If this can be a piece of extra gear that you simply want, it is best to in all probability do Cactus to Clouds one other time. Doing a desert hike with a situation that causes dehydration is probably not an incredible concept.

In case you are doing Cactus to Clouds in a transitional month, be sure to convey layers and clothing for an alpine climate at the summit. Palm Springs could be scorching and sunny, and the San Jacinto Peak may be in blizzard circumstances at the similar time. You want to be prepared. Even in the course of the summer time, the peak can have robust winds and cold temperatures. There may additionally be ice and snow on the higher parts of the Skyline Trail, so micro-spikes and trekking poles are a great transfer.

One other quick tip, have additional batteries on your headlamp useful in your pack. Most headlamps are LED and final a long time, but just in case they die, you don’t want to be fumbling for batteries in the pitch darkish.

Lastly, have a way to sign for help. I had 2 emergency beacons and multiple GPS models. I had loads of survival gear, including a tarp for shade and shelter, a mirror, whistle, hearth starters, and some other miscellaneous gear. Put together for the worst.

I might read this article about some tragedies that occurred on the Cactus to Clouds hike before you begin. It should definitely sober you up and will put your plans into perspective. Even for those who really feel 100% assured which you can full this hike, ensure you have contingency and backup plans in place.

Getting to the Trailhead

Learn this section rigorously. Cactus to Clouds is some extent to level hike, so there are some extra superior logistics concerned.

The beginning of the hike is here: 101 N Museum Dr, Palm Springs, CA, 92262, USA.

The trailhead is within walking distance to many downtown Palm Springs resorts. If you need to stay for the weekend, you possibly can walk out of your lodge to the trail, do the hike, after which head again to your lodge for a heat (or cold) shower.

If you park, do not park within the Artwork Museum parking zone, or within the coated lot throughout the road, which has a four hour most time restrict. Park on the road next to the storage and lot, which is free.

cactus to clouds heatThe temperature outdoors my automotive after I completed the hike. You may want some heat protection in your automotive inside.

The Cactus to Clouds hike doesn’t finish at the beginning trailhead. After the hike climbs to San Jacinto Peak, it then heads back down to the Palm Springs Arial Tramway station (see the under for details). The station has food and drinks, including booze. In case you’re in the temper, it’s a nice place for a post-hike celebration.

Once there, you should purchase a one-way tram ticket back down the mountain within the present shop on the tram station. They take credit cards and money.

Verify the tram web site to see when the final tram down leaves. Also, the tram sometimes closes for upkeep. It’s very, very, very, essential to examine the tram website. Avoid a pressured C2C2C or an overnight on the station flooring.

At the backside of the tram journey it’s a reasonable Uber experience again to the Palm Springs Art Museum. There isn’t any cell reception at the tram station, however they do have free wifi to connect and call a automotive (inside only). You can too ask the visitor providers desk at the tram station to name you a taxi.

Cactus to Clouds Path Maps

This information covers the preferred routing on Cactus to Clouds, utilizing the Museum and Skyline trails. There are other routes, like the North Lykken Path. Depart the harder, extra obscure trails for the subsequent time.

The Skyline Trail (the portion of the hike until you get to Long Valley) isn’t an formally sanctioned path by any park service. It is recognized as a cross-country route by authorities and public entry is allowed. In accordance to the official topographic map, the decrease elements of the hike are on the Aqua Caliente Indian Reservation. The Skyline Trail is totally maintained by native hikers.

The historical past of the Skyline Trail is murky. Some say it was a Cahuilla Indian trail, others say it was began by the CCC within the 1930s and deserted. The fashionable day Cactus to Clouds hike began in 1991 when members of the Coachella Valley Mountaineering Club revived the trail and began main hikes there.

Cactus to Clouds Hike Map Downloads

Obtain the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

How Will You Navigate the Hike?

I like to recommend utilizing a mixture of paper maps, GPS, and a guide to navigate the hike. Earlier than the hike I will take a look at any guides, print out sections which are useful or take notes, load a GPX monitor onto my GPS models, after which take a look at the paper maps. I do know the trail names, know what elements are onerous, which elements are straightforward, and the place the most important landmarks are.

In case you are tempted to simply use a smartphone, please don’t. You’ll typically unfastened cellular phone reception on the path. On the very least, print out a paper map and this information. Better yet, take a look at the navigation section on my gear picks page to see the newest and biggest that I’m using. There’s even a particular discount on GaiaGPS for HikingGuy users.

See The Nav Gear I Use

cactus to clouds 3d mapThe hike begins in the Palm Springs Artwork Museum parking zone, at 470ft. It then climbs to the Lengthy Valley Ranger Station, where the tram ascends to. From there it’s nicely marked trails to the summit of Mount San Jacinto.cactus to clouds hike elevationThe bulk of the climbing is from Palm Springs to Lengthy Valley, which is the place the tram takes you. The 2 miles or so to Long Valley are among the hardest, with gradients reaching 50%. After that, the remaining 5 miles or so only climb about 2,000 ft. Unfortunately they feel fairly robust due to all the climbing you probably did beforehand.

Breakdown of Cactus to Clouds Sections

It helps to mentally break the hike into sections and deal with one by one. Right here’s the thin. Distances are approximate and will change rely upon how many improper turns you make (if any). I’ve seen some mileage charts online that had totally different (and lower) milage values. Take them with a grain as salt and use it as a rough information.

  • Palm Springs Artwork Museum Trailhead (470 ft)
  • Picnic Tables (0.eight miles, 1,340 ft)
  • Rescue Field 1 (2.6 miles, 2,340 ft)
  • four,300 ft Rocks (5.1 miles, four,400 ft)
  • Rescue Box 2 (7.four miles, 5,400 ft)
  • Flat Rock (8.4 miles, 5,900 ft)
  • Begin of Traverse (9.5 miles, 7,400 ft)
  • Grubb’s Notch – entrance to Lengthy Valley (10.5 miles, eight,400 ft)
  • Long Valley Ranger Station (10.eight miles, eight,400 ft)
  • Spherical Valley Campground (12.3 miles, 9,400 ft)
  • Wellman Divide (13.1 miles, 9,700 ft)
  • San Jacinto Peak (16 miles, 10,834 ft)
  • Tram Station (21 miles, eight,400 ft)

Some people hike all the best way again down to Palm Springs, but as you’ll be able to think about, it’s extraordinarily robust, lengthy, and has a lot of the white blazes dealing with the opposite means. That is referred to as he C2C2C. Reserve it for the day that the traditional C2C is just too straightforward for you.

The Point of No Return

Hopefully you read the article about deaths on Cactus to Clouds and absolutely perceive that you could easily die in the event you make poor decisions and/or have dangerous luck. Even for those who’re deliberate and timed your Cactus to Clouds hike completely, typically all of us have dangerous days.

You want to do some assessments on your situation within the first few miles. Examine in with your self on the picnic tables, after which at Rescue 1. In the event you’re feeling tired or have doubts, you want to turn round. I might say that in ideally suited circumstances, after Rescue 1, you want to be 100% committed to climbing up to Long Valley. In scorching circumstances, I might make that call on the picnic tables. After that time you must NOT flip round and hike down via the heat. Continue up to Lengthy Valley no matter what. A standard thread in deaths and rescues is turning around (and perhaps getting lost on the best way down).

In case you want to take water from a rescue field, do it and get in touch with the Coachella Valley Climbing Membership afterwards to allow them to know. There’s zero room for errors here. Be assured in your health and your route earlier than you begin.

Getting lost or too drained to continue can mean demise. This is actual.

Skyline Trail Navigation Ideas

The first part of Cactus to Clouds is on the Skyline Trail, normally hiked at midnight, might be challenging to comply with. Mountaineering with a headlamp places your focus right in front of you. The peripheral imaginative and prescient that you simply use to acknowledge a twist or activate the trail is just not there. Here’s how to be sure to’re on the correct trail.

  • Local hikers have completed an ideal job of blazing the trail with white dots. I’ve read that there are numerous “false” white dots, but I didn’t encounter any. When unsure, head up and look for the white blaze. The white blazes fade over time, and is perhaps lighter or stronger than you see in these footage. Have a number of GPS options to cross-check your place.
    cactus to clouds white blazeThe white blazes on rocks alongside the path are fairly straightforward to spot with a headlamp.
  • In search of bootprints is a good way to work out which trail is right. Typically, when you keep on with the trail that has probably the most bootprints, you need to be in the appropriate place.
  • If the trail stars to fizzle out and grow overgrown, it’s greatest to head back and search for a flip or switchback that you’ll have missed. There are a number of sections where the trail goes by means of shrubs, however it solely happens a number of occasions.
    overgrowth on skyline trailRight here’s an example of a bush rising over the trail. There’s not many of those. To verify that you simply’re on the path, hike by means of the brush and see in the event you nonetheless see footprints and a properly worn path. If not, backtrack and find the trail.
  • Sooner or later the Skyline Path splits and comes back together later. Take a look at the map and know where these sections are. My GPX file usually follows the much less steep choice.
  • Incorrect aspect trails are sometimes cordoned off to aid you keep on the primary Skyline Trail.
    cactus to clouds hikeBranches and rocks block off a trail shortcut.
  • Equally, some sections of the Skyline Path are marked by a line of stones.
    cactus to clouds hikeThis line of stones helps, especially at night time with a headlamp.
  • Usually I don’t depend on digital maps, however at night time they actually got here in useful. I had the GPX file loaded on my GPS and iPhone. Periodically I might examine each to be sure that I used to be on the trail. And if the trail fizzled out, I’d additionally verify the GPS. Not a way I might depend on, nevertheless it was useful.
    skyline trail gpsRight here I am checking my GPS towards a pre-loaded GPX file. Seems to be like I missed the cut up that I needed to take.
  • If in case you have time in the evening earlier than your hike, I’d advocate mountaineering the first mile to the picnic tables and again with sunlight so you’ll be able to acquainted with the path. It will make the beginning of the hike in the early morning much less intimidating.
  • It could actually assist to have a punch sheet and timetable together to assist maintain the essential particulars of the hike shut at hand. Thanks to reader Brian C there are a couple of templates that you need to use right here:

Cactus to Clouds Hike Directions

Straightforward Methods To Say Thank You >>
Help Me On Patreon (with members-only benefits) or Shop at REI / Amazon without charge to you

Video Directions

New Guide Notifications

Publication – Instagram – YouTube – Facebook

Flip by Flip Directions

Observe: Apologies for the blurriness of a few of these photographs. The digital camera was on the mistaken setting for the darkness. The primary photographs have been completed in twilight to make the starting directions a bit of simpler. It’ll change to darkness ultimately.

cactus to clouds hike parkingThe hike starts on the far end of the parking zone at the Palm Springs Artwork Museum. Don’t park on this lot, you’ll get a ticket.cactus to clouds hike trailheadThe trailhead is properly marked with signage. Learn the signs for any notices.cactus to clouds hike trailheadThat is additionally the start of the Museum Trail, a shorter day hike on the same route.cactus to clouds hike trailheadThere’s signage to warn hikers who aren’t prepared.cactus to clouds trailHere’s an summary of the primary few miles out of Palm Springs. You go straight up on the ridge line.cactus to clouds trailStart mountaineering up the properly marked trail.cactus to clouds trailThe trail is steep from the beginning.cactus to clouds trailAs the path winds it’s approach behind homes, there are lots of personal property signs. Respect that and stay on the trail, avoiding shortcuts.cactus to clouds trailVirtually immediately after beginning there are some stairs that lead to a paved driveway.cactus to clouds trailCross the driveeway and proceed up the path. The first a part of the trail, to the picnic benches, is also referred to as the Museum Trail.cactus to clouds trailDo your greatest to stay on the path. Slicing switchbacks isn’t solely dangerous for the land, but in addition makes it more durable for different hikers to know where they’re going.skyline trail white blazeThe white dots are your greatest pal on the Skyline Trail. On this beginning stretch, there are some small aspect trails and shortcuts, however the primary trail is properly marked with the white dot blazes. They’re straightforward to spot at night time together with your headlamp.skyline trail white blazeHere you’ll be able to see two white blazes marking the trail. They’re not all the time this shut, however they’re fairly consistent for the first half of the Skyline Trail.skyline trail white blazeThe path is steep on this first section. Hold going up, following the white blazes.cactus to clouds trailThe trail splits, comply with the trail to the left and avoid the steep shortcut that features a rock scramble.cactus to clouds trailWhite blazes may also mark a switchback. If the path doesn’t look apparent in front of you, examine back and up for a switchback.cactus to clouds trailComply with the path indicators. There are a couple of of these at first Museum Path portion of the hike.cactus to clouds trailProceed up the steep path.cactus to clouds trailAt one point the trail goes downhill for a short stretch and also you’ll assume you are going the fallacious approach, nevertheless it’s not.cactus to clouds trailOn the end of that brief downhill part you’ll see another brown trail sign. Keep to the left. The trail to the fitting is the steep shortcut from earlier.skyline trail white blazeThe path goes over arduous rock for some stretches. These are usually marked with white blazes.cactus to clouds trailThe elements of the hike nearer to Palm Springs have some nice overlooks. Usually there is a path signal to hold you on the primary trail and never on one in every of these spurs.skyline trail white blazeMaintain climbing, following the white blazes.

The next photographs decide up from the night time,

skyline trail white blazeHere’s what the white blazes seem like at midnight. They stand out nicely with a headlamp.cactus to clouds hike picnic tablesAt slightly below a mile or so, you’ll attain the picnic tables. You’ll see the first ones down to your right as you enter the world.cactus to clouds hike picnic tablesThis satellite tv for pc photograph helps understand the place you want to go at the picnic tables. It’s an open space so you’ve gotten to hit the sides to find the path once more. Do a tough left to continue.cactus to clouds hike picnic tablesThere will probably be one table to your left as you exit toward the Skyline trail.skyline trail white blazeThe path continues with the white blazes.cactus to clouds trailShortly you’ll come to this massive cairn. Bear right behind it.cactus to clouds trailHere’s a satellite photograph of the trail by the cairn.cactus to clouds signYou’ll also see this signal by the cairn, which some filthy animals have tagged.cactus to clouds trailIf you come to this rock, hike to the left.cactus to clouds warningShortly after that rock you’ll reach the warning rock. Contemplate this the point of no return and maintain climbing.cactus to clouds trailHere’s a satellite tv for pc photograph of the final two rocks and the trail intersections. From this photograph you possibly can see a lot of intersections. At the hours of darkness with my headlamp, the primary trail was the only one I noticed. Perhaps it’s the painted rocks, however in actual life this was easier than navigating the intersection that the map showed.cactus to clouds trailRight here’s my GPS monitor via on that satellite photograph for reference. The little diversion I did off the path was to learn the warning rock.cactus to clouds trailAfter that, you’re on the Skyline Path until Round Valley. Any aspect trail will probably be pretty small and unofficial. All the time stay on the bigger and more well-worn path. Comply with the white blazes as standard.cactus to clouds trailWhen the path goes by means of open areas, search for a line of rocks marking the trail. The native hikers have achieved a very great job of marking the path.palm springsAs all the time, the trail climbs, supplying you with skyline views into Palm Springs under. The lights of the town must be seen for many of your hike at the hours of darkness.skyline trail white blazeWhen there are not any white blazes, the trail is often properly worn. Search for boot prints as you climb.Rescue Box 1Just after 2 miles you’ll attain Rescue Box 1.Rescue Box 1Rescue Box 1 is true on the trail and straightforward to spot.Rescue Box 1For those who introduced water to depart, do it right here.skyline trail white blazeProceed mountaineering up the climb, retaining your eyes open for the white blazes.skyline trailWhen the hike goes over flat sections, search for branches and rocks that mark the best way.tram station lightsAt round four miles, you’ll see a shiny mild within the distance, up the mountain. These are the lights at the tram station. This can be your north star for a the subsequent few robust hours. When it gets mild out, you possibly can nonetheless see the gray metallic beams of the tram station sometimes.skyline trailKeep in mind to periodically verify your monitor towards the GPX file. There were only a handful of occasions once I lost the path, however checking in with the GPX every 20 minutes or so and seeing myself on the trail ensured that I wasn’t wandering off into the desert on some coyote run.4300 foot markerA bit before 5 miles, you’ll see the 4300 foot marker.4300 foot markerThe path continues back behind the 4300 foot marker.skyline trail white blazeOnce more, the white blazes stick with you, marking the Skyline Path.sunrise on skyline trail When dawn arrives, you’ll be completely happy and hopefully excessive sufficient that the desert heat isn’t a problem anymore. The trail is far simpler to comply with after you have some sunlight to supplement your headlamp.lights from the tram station The lights from the tram station will still mild the best way. So shut yet thus far…cactus to clouds trailOnce you get to round 5,000 ft the desert modifications and there’s far more cactus and scrubs.cris hazzard on cactus to clouds trailI haven’t been mentioning it, however this complete method is principally straight up. It’s steep. Ensure you’re consuming at common intervals and stop for a breather if you want to.cactus to clouds trailOn this present day, there have been a ton of clouds from a forest hearth in the Cajon Move.ridge at Round ValleyAt around 6 miles you will begin to see the ridge at Round Valley. The path has some degree and downhill sections here and is sort of pleasant.skyline trail white blazeWhen it’s mild out, the white blazes are simpler to spot and nonetheless mark the Skyline Trail.skyline trailThere are a couple of path splits on the route, which are also marked on many maps. At this one, make the left. It heads downhill a bit and feels counterintuitive after a lot climbing, however it’s the right approach.skyline trailYou can too use your map to navigate these trail splits. Both ways get you there. The longer method is often the (much less steep) official versionskyline trailAfter that final cut up, your legs get a break when the path goes downhill.skyline trailWhen the cut up ends, proceed on the primary trail. You possibly can see the cutoff to the correct, which is cordoned off with stones.Sunrise on the hikeSunrise on the hike.skyline trailYou’ll see a painted rock pointing backward to Palm Springs. Maintain heading up to Long Valley.skyline trailThe crest at Lengthy Valley gets nearer. The steepest elements are but to come.Rescue 2Ultimately you reach Rescue 2.Rescue 2In case you brought an additional water, depart it within the field.skyline trailShortly after Rescue 2 there are some respectable locations to cease for a snack and drink. You may need seen some little areas where individuals camped and had a small hearth. Doing this as a backpacking journey, temperatures allowing, can also be an choice.chino canyonThis part has some great views into Chino Canyon to the proper, the place the tram comes up. You’ll be able to actually start to see how far up you’ve gone and the way robust the route is.Flat RockAt around 8.5 miles you’ll attain Flat Rock, also called Dry Falls.Flat RockAt Flat Rock the path continues throughout the wash and to the back. It is perhaps overgrown, so maintain your eyes open.cactus to clouds trailRight here’s an summary of the final two miles to Grubbs Notch. You possibly can see how the steepness dramatically will increase, with the worst stretch on the very end after Coffman’s Crag.skyline trailNow you begin going up. Simply mentally prepare your self, take breaks once you need to, and hold climbing.grubbs notchYou’ll see the high level to the left of Grubb’s Notch as you climb. That’s the place you’re going.views of San GorgonioOnce you cross the Traverse you’ll get some good views of San Gorgonio and the valley under, including Chino Canyon the place the tram is.skyline trailI ran via my 3 liters of water someplace round here and refilled. I also topped up my water on the ranger station later.skyline trailThe trail heads across the Traverse. Typically it splits into smaller trails that come again collectively. My focus was staying on the path with probably the most footprints, and it worked.coffmans cragOnce you get to Coffman’s Crag, the trail turns left and gets the steepest.skyline trailThe path skirts the edge of the mountain, supplying you with nice views down under and of the tram.cris hazzard on skyline trailThis half is steep. I had to take breaks each jiffy.cris hazzard on skyline trailUltimately you’ll see the sky as you strategy Grubb’s Notch. The toughest is behind you.long valleyYOU MADE IT! At Grubb’s Notch you emerge at peaceable and flat Long Valley. From right here on out, you’re in Mount San Jacinto State Park, and the trails are nicely marked and straightforward to comply with. And not as steep.long valleyHead onto the Desert View Path, after which make the fast proper onto the service path.long valleyHere’s a closeup of the proper flip onto the service path. Don’t go through the log, although it seems cool.cactus to clouds hikeThe service path isn’t an official trail but is marked as a shortcut to the tram.cactus to clouds hikeHold going straight, avoiding any trails to the left. There are picnic benches here if you would like to refuel for the final push.

In case you are cooked at this level, there isn’t a disgrace in taking the tram again down and calling it a day. You’ll be able to bail out here by making the best on the subsequent junction and heading to the tram, skipping the portion to San Jacinto Peak. For those who do proceed on, simply keep in mind that you continue to have 11 miles of mountaineering left to full.

cactus to clouds hikeAt the massive junction with the concrete path to the tram station, make the left to head to the Long Valley Ranger Station.cactus to clouds hikeThere’s a pleasant map on the board that may show you how to orient your self for the remainder of the hike, together with the obligatory mountain lion warnings.cactus to clouds hikeThe ranger station could be very close to the signal. There are loos right here, so go in case you need to.cactus to clouds hikeYou want to stop on the ranger station to get a free allow.long valley ranger stationThe allow station is on the porch in entrance of the ranger station. There are directions, climate reviews, and path circumstances right here. Fill out the permit, maintain one copy, and depart the opposite.long valley ranger stationThere’s water in again of the ranger station. On this present day, there was a warning about potential toxins in the water, but I observed that the rangers have been filling their bottles right here, so I went forward and topped up.long valley ranger stationThere’s a cool signal on the ranger station that’s great for posing in a picture with.cactus to clouds hikeAfter your break on the ranger station, head back on the trail, which is clearly marked.cactus to clouds trailAfter doing the Skyline Path, these trails will appear to be Disneyland. Don’t be fooled although, you still climb 2,000+ ft and it will really feel more durable after your eight,000 ft initial effort.cactus to clouds trailJust comply with the signs from right here on out. These trails are nicely marked as a result of many day hikers take the tram up and summit Mount San Jacinto from Lengthy Valley. When you depart Palm Spring early enough, you’ll be able to beat the crowds from the tram. If not, you will perceive a few of my grumpy previous hiker associates name this hike the Cactus to Crowds.cactus to clouds trailAfter the first degree stretch, you begin going uphill again. No getting around that.cactus to clouds trailAvoid the Round Valley Loop and head to Spherical Valley instantly.bathrooms on cactus to clouds trailThere are some primitive loos earlier than the Spherical Valley campground. I noticed a feminine hiker open the door, take a look, and switch round. Just a heads up.cactus to clouds trailHold heading toward San Jacinto Peak because the Round Valley Loop rejoins.cactus to clouds trailAvoid any aspect trails and keep on the primary path.cactus to clouds trailUltimately you reach Round Valley Campground. For those who needed to make this a backpacking journey, you can camp right here earlier than the summit. Hike left towards the height.water on cactus to clouds trailThere is probably not water obtainable right here. Examine with the rangers.cactus to clouds trailThe trail begins to climb once more.cactus to clouds trailVirtually there, you reached Wellman Divde. Make the correct at the vista level.cactus to clouds trailWellman Divide is the primary time you’ll be able to see west on the hike, into Orange and San Diego counties. It’s a superb place for a snack break earlier than the last push to San Jacinto Peak.cactus to clouds trailAt the official junction of Wellman Divide, make the correct.cactus to clouds trailThe junction is nicely marked.cactus to clouds trailAlso, word the tram sticker on the again of the sign. These appear on many signs heading back from the summit to assist unprepared day hikers.cactus to clouds trailThe hike begins going up by means of some manzanita.cactus to clouds trailThe path progressively winds it’s approach up the aspect of the mountain. That pointy mountain you see on the best is Cornell Peak at 9,750 ft.cactus to clouds trailAt one level the path goes via a boulder area, and continues to be straightforward to comply with.cactus to clouds trailAfter rising from the boulder area, you continue up with unimaginable views to the best.cactus to clouds trailAfter an extended stretch, the path cuts again to the left.cactus to clouds trailAfter the switchback, the path opens up again with unimaginable views.cactus to clouds trailAt the finish of this stretch, you head over some rocks to the ridge.cactus to clouds trailThe final junction! Head to the correct and up to San Jacinto Peak.cactus to clouds trailThe path to the peak is properly marked. It wasn’t all the time like this, however it’s a lot better and protects the panorama from the tram crowds.cactus to clouds trailQuickly the hut will come into sight. Hold mountaineering up past the hut.cactus to clouds trailThis final part is a bit of a scramble, however some cairns initially level you in the appropriate course.cactus to clouds trailThe very finish is a free-for-all scramble to the height.san jacinto summitBOOM! You made it, the summit.san jacinto summitSeize your photographs, hydrate, and gasoline up. You continue to have 5.5 miles of superb downhill to go. After you’re completed at the summit, head again to the Lengthy Valley Ranger Station.long valley ranger stationAt the station, search for this small mail field next to the trail.long valley ranger stationPut your copy of the permit again into the field. On the finish of the day, the rangers match the incoming permits with the outgoing permits to get an concept of how many hiked and who’s still out there.long valley tram stationMaintain mountaineering again to the concrete ramp to the tram station. After the hike you simply did, this concrete ramp will really feel like pure hell. Know that it’s your last uphill of the day, and there’s cold beer and soda on the finish of the trail.long valley tram stationHead into the tram building and go up one degree. You should purchase a ticket back down the mountain at the present store. Should you go up one other degree from the present store, there is a restaurant, cafeteria, and full-service bar.long valley tram stationTake the tram back down and call it a day. What you simply completed will really hit house because the tram takes you back to Palm Springs. For those who made it this far, congrats. Contemplate your self hardcore.

Did something change on this hike? In that case, please contact me and let me know. I’ll replace the guide.

Related Guides

Help These Free Guides

There’s a simple means to help me by way of Patreon, a group web site that allows you to make a small monthly donation. In return, you’ll study new guides first, get precedence e mail help (for questions), and may get a public thanks (and hyperlink) in my guides. You can even help me with a donation on PayPal.

Help With Patreon

One Time Donate With PayPal

There’s one other free and straightforward method to help the location. Simply click on a hyperlink under to buy anything from REI or Amazon. I get a small proportion and also you don’t pay anything additional.

Help With REI

Help With Amazon

FYI, these guides will all the time be free for everyone.

HikingGuy Retailer

Hiking T Shirt Store Products

I’ve additionally created a retailer with easy, cozy, high-quality gear that celebrates life on the trail whenever you’re off the path. I get a small revenue from every item bought. Website supporters get 25% with code SUPPORTER.

HikingGuy Retailer