San Jacinto Trip Report

Report courtesy of ME!

This was my second trip up San Jacinto. My first trip was with John earlier this year. I remembered it taking and extremely long time because we had biked up Nate Harrison grade the day before and I was all worn out. We were also making frequent radio contact with Stan, W9FQN in Valley Center. This trip was a lot different. There was a hurricane off the coast which was making for some excellent surfing if you could handle the big waves. This system was also bringing rain and cooler temperatures in the mountains. Dispite all of this Karen and I decided to have a go at it.

Karen was recently added to the San Diego hiking reflector. I mentioned to Stan that I would like to hike San J and he put Karen and I in touch. We met at Stan's to make the 1.5 hour drive to Idyllwild together. The first stop was at the forest service station in Idyllwild to pick up a permit. Luckily Karen already had a National Forest Adventure Pass which is required to hike in the San Bernardino mountains. With our permit secured we headed for the trail.

We started hiking at 8:30am. It looked a little overcast, but the sky was clearing. I was collecting waypoints on a GPS I borrowed from work. The GPS will be required for the winter hike I plan on making. I didn't take many pictures on the way up because I thought the visibility would improve. We reached the summit at 11:45am, and had our picture taken. It was windy and we quickly found cover to eat some trail mix and drink water. I think the wind chill was about 55 degrees. A thick layer of clouds quickly rolled in as we were sitting there making the visibility about 1/4 mile. So much for my pictures on the way down.

It took us 2:45 to hike back to the trailhead. We saw 4-5 people with packs heading up to the summit and another group of 5 that had brought a football! We both wore our jackets back to the car due to the slight decrease in temperature from the hike up. I also used the time to check the GPS waypoints as we walked and was surprised by the repeatability of the measurements. On the way out we took a look at the Marion Mountain Campground. A site is $10/night and can be reserved in advance. Pit toilets are available for use

Because of the temperature I only used 50oz of water for the trip. I hydrated with 32oz of water before beginning the hike.

I'm thinking of taking another trip to double check the GPS points and perhaps obtain a few more. I have 39 total points. I thought a 15 minute increment plus waypoints for camping spots and trail mergers would be fine. However 15 minutes with no snow is about 30-45 minutes with. I'll probably take a measurement every 2 minutes. It would be nice if I owned a GPS and had a computer interface. That way I wouldn't have to record all the points manually.

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