Marion Mountain Trail to San Jacinto Peak and back
(11.4 miles, +4,600/-4,600 feet).
The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!
At 10,834 feet above sea level, San Jacinto Peak is not that high. It is not even the highest peak in Southern California. What makes the mountain special is its prominence: it stands 10,000 feet above San Gorgonio Pass. This puts it in the top 10 of all peaks in the lower 48 United States.
The fastest way to get to the top (other than taking the tram most of the way from Palm Springs) is a day hike from the Marion Mountain Trailhead. I did this hike with my buddies BarnFinder and MixMaster and it also allowed us to hike for about half a mile on our beloved PCT.
We got started about 6:30am, which was important because it was a warm day.
After about four and a half hours, we made it to the summit. The last half mile or so involves some light class 2 hopping over boulders, but nothing too strenuous.
It was just as sublime as John Muir said it was.
We spent about an hour at the summit before heading back down.