San Jacinto Trip Report - Fuller Ridge

Report courtesy of ME!

Distance: 15 miles RT

Difficulty: Strenuous

Elevation Gain: 3,000 (rolling)

Total time: 10 hours

Hiking time: ~7.5 hours RT

This was my third trip up San Jacinto. I recently hiked up with Karen, and I guess I decided I just hadn't had enough. My actual intent was to get some additional points for a winter hike and to verify my GPS points at the top half of the mountain. John says this is where you really need the points.

John and I drove up together and somehow managed to get a late start. I'm sure it was all my fault, I enjoy my Saturday morning sleep-ins too much. We were on the trail at 9:30am with two GPS's. Why two? Well that's easy, we're both techno nerds. It was an experiment to verify the accuracy of the two units. I guess it doesn't have anything to accuracy since we don't know our exact coordinates. It is more an issue of precission, which is the repeatability of a single GPS. Well, the results were good not great, but they will keep me from getting lost while stumbling around in the snow.

What I didn't realize is how long this particular trail was. The only trail longer is the Devil's Slide Trail to Wellman's Cienega to San Jacinto Peak which is 7.7 miles and 4,400 ft of elevation gain. I'll need to workout to even think about attempting this one. The Fuller Ridge TH, 7,700 ft, is the highest TH on Mt. San Jacinto! Unfortunately it is an uphill battle both ways. The trail does not consist of a steady cliimb, but rather many ups and downs which can be 500+ feet according to my GPS.

The thermometer in John's car read 40 degrees when we started hiking. Because of this John heard a lot of, "Hurry up John I want to start hiking," as he slowly prepared his pack for the trail. Only we walked to the other side of the mountain things warmed a little. The sun never really came out to warm us up, but there was a beautiful layer of clouds around 5,000 ft that made me glad I wasn't flying. We were passed on the way up by some fast moving Korean alpinists that were doing an awful lot of trailblazing/ trail destruction in my opinion. But for the most part it was quiet.

We lingered longer than we should have on the way up and realized we wouldn't be getting back to the Blazer until after sundown. I had managed to leave one of my ten essentials at home, so I was eager to reach the car. We finished at 7:30p about 30 minutes after sunset. There was minor panic, but the vehicle keys were found without too much trouble.

The waypoints turned out great. John has a serial connector for the computer, which makes uploading the points a breeze. I will post the points as soon as I combine both GPSs. I don't think the Fuller Ridge Trail is an option for a winter hike. The 8 miles of access road would take over a day to snowshoe. Of course the road itself would probably make a nice beginner snowshoe because it is so flat. If you have the peak in mind I would probably suggest the Marion Mountain Trail unless you have about 5 days to burn on Fuller Ridge.

The majority of Marion Mountain Trail traverses the Mt. San Jacinto State Park Wilderness; this means the hiker must obtain a wilderness permit, available from the state park headquarters at 29505 Highway 243 in Idyllwild. In addition, because trailhead parking and the first mile of trail is in the San Bernardino National Forest, you'll need to display a U.S. Forest Service Adventure Pass or purchase a $5 day use pass from the forest service's San Jacinto Ranger District at 54270 Pinecrest in Idyllwild.

Listing of Idyllwild Wilderness Hikes

Another Winter Hiker

Interesting Trail Write-up

Popular Trails

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