Hiking

Long Valley Hikes

Long Valley is at an elevation of 8,400 feet at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Prior to the tramway being built in 1963, Long Valley was considered the "backcountry" of Mount San Jacinto State Park where Park Rangers and Aides would patrol on horseback from the park headquarters in Idyllwild eastward. However, Long Valley is now the most visited part of the park due to the access provided by the tramway.

A variety of trails begin from Long Valley, the most popular of which are described below according to difficulty. If you are planning a hike into the State Wilderness, you must stop at the Long Valley Ranger Station to fill out a free day-use permit. Campers must also check into the Long Valley Ranger Station prior to heading to their primitive wilderness campsite.
 
Note: The only entrance into Mount San Jacinto State Park from the Mountain Tram Station is down a steep, paved walkway that descends 100 feet in 1/8th of a mile. The steepness of this walkway is difficult for some and the handrails do not run its full length. 

Easy Hikes

Discovery Nature TrailTrail Sign
0.6 mile roundtrip (loop)
Flat and level, good footing, suitable for children
Minimal elevation gain
Does not require wilderness permit
Partially under construction

Moderate Hikes

Desert View Trail
1.5 miles roundtrip (loop)
50 feet elevation gain
Some rocky sections, suitable for older children
Does not require wilderness permit

Strenuous Hikes

Round Valley Loop TrailRound Valley Meadow
4.0 miles roundtrip (loop)
600 feet elevation gain
Requires wilderness permit
 
To Round Valley Meadow
4.2 miles roundtrip (out-and-back)
700 feet elevation gain
Requires wilderness permit

Very Strenuous Hikes

To Wellman DivideWellman Divide
1,300 feet elevation gain
6.2 miles roundtrip (out-and-back)
Requires wilderness permit
 
To San Jacinto Peak
11.6 miles roundtrip (out-and-back)
2,400 feet elevation gain
Requires wilderness permit

Idyllwild Hikes

The town of Idyllwild is at an elevation of 5,400 feet and is accessible from Highway 243. The Idyllwild Ranger Station (not to be confused with the San Bernardino National Forest office down the street) is open seven (7) days a week for trail information and camper check-in. 
 
The trail system across the San Jacinto Mountains is shared between both Mount San Jacinto State Park and the San Bernardino National Forest; in fact, many trails on the Idyllwild side begin on National Forest land but then cross into the Mount San Jacinto State Wilderness. Because of this seamless transition between trail systems, both the State Park and National Forest will honor each other's day-use wilderness permits. Day-use wilderness permits are required if hiking into either State or Federal Wilderness area. They are free and available at the Idyllwild Ranger Station (State Park) as well as the San Jacinto Ranger District Office (National Forest), both located in the town of Idyllwild.
 
Note: All hikes listed below are to destinations within Mount San Jacinto State Park & Wilderness with the exception of Suicide Rock (technically in the San Bernardino National Forest). Due to the significant elevation gain from most Idyllwild trailheads into the high country, many of the hikes listed below are rated "Very" to "Extremely Strenuous" and are only recommended for expert hikers.

Easy Hikes

Panorama Point Trail
1.0 mile roundtrip (loop)
ADA accessible, suitable for children
Minimal elevation gain
Does not require wilderness permit

Strenuous Hikes

Deer Springs Trail to Suicide Rock
6.6 miles roundtrip (out-and-back)
1,900 feet elevation gain
Requires wilderness permit

Very Strenuous Hikes

Devil's Slide Trail to Wellman Divide
10.6 miles roundtrip (out-and-back)
3,300 feet elevation gain
Requires wilderness permit

Extremely Strenuous Hikes

Devil's Slide Trail to San Jacinto Peak
16.0 miles roundtrip (out-and-back)View from San Jacinto Peak
4,500 feet elevation gain
Requires wilderness permit
 
Deer Springs Trail to San Jacinto Peak
18.4 miles roundtrip (out-and-back)
5,300 feet elevation gain
Requires wilderness permit