Mount San Jacinto State ParkLeave review
About Mount San Jacinto State Park
Campgrounds in Mount San Jacinto
Idyllwild Campground is one of two drive in campgrounds in the Mount San Jacinto wilderness area. Pitch your tent under a canopy of sweet smelling...
At 9100 feet in elevation, Round Valley is your first of four, primitive hike-in campsites and also your most plentiful. With 28 spots, Round...
The bigger of the two drive-in campgrounds, Stone Creek hosts 50 sites, (7 of which include water faucets). You won’t find showers, but you will...
You’ve made it! Strawberry Junction is the last place to lay down your pack, stretch your legs and spin a bedtime story before you crest the peak....
Drop some Mount San Jacinto knowledge on us.
Oh the sweet smell of pine! Stayed for 4th of July weekend watching the stars and milkyway go by. Awesome campsite, very clean toilets and showers. Surrounded by pine trees every where! there's a couple of lakes where you can go and fish. 5k elevation so day time gets hot even when the temp is low.
The town is very close and you can walk there in 2 mins. They have bars, markets, restaurants and other small town stores. So if you forget bring water or wood for camp fires they're available. Plenty of hiking trails and if you want to go hiking up the mountains, permits available at the ranger station where you enter the campgrounds.
Nearby neighborhood has potential for some noise, especially in the evening. Otherwise a very calm and peaceful campground! Gorgeous paths within campground for exploring with kids and pets. Walking distance to town, but it's a long walk - I recommend driving into town, but walking inside campground. Nature Center nearby offers discount tickets for accessing its trails and museum if you're a camper!
Stayed one night 9/6/15: hiked up Devil's Slide via Humber Park. No water along trail. Stay north on PCT and take turn off where sign says "Strawberry Cienenga" Campsite is marked at left about 10 minutes past the Cienega. No picnic tables or fire rings, there is an out house. Clean and spacious with 3 campsites, not marked by posts. Great place to camp, with boulders to climb and a beautiful west facing view.
If you want a moderate in difficulty, but day-long hiking excursion, try the 10-hour round trip Deer Springs Trail to San Jacinto Peak.
Although charming, nearby shops and restaurants can be a little pricey - stock up before your trip if you’re on a budget.
Tram lines are long, get your tickets online and consider the ride and dine program if you want the full package deal!
History of Mount San Jacinto State Park
The Cahuilla, native Californians, used the San Jacinto 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. 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 a part of the 280,071-acre Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains national Monument in October of 2000. The parks Park Rustic Historic District has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
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 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 white-headed 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.