San Jacinto 7 Peak Loop
15 miles, 5500 ft
The rest of the group’s thoughts and pictures
Another day, another grand multi-peak loop. While the San Jacinto Loop might not be as popular as the Gorgonio Loop, it may be more fun if you like rocks. And this hike sure did have a lot of rocks!
8 of us met up at the tram station at 7:30 am on Sunday, and took the first tram up to Long Valley. I had been on the tram once before, but it was after Cactus to Clouds, and it was getting dark so we didn’t get the best views. This time was different, and quite cool.
After getting our self-issued permit, we set out along the main trail toward Round Valley. In maybe 1/2 mile, we veered off right on a use trail that took us to Tamarack Valley. This was hard to follow in a few spots but relatively easy trek to the campground.
We walked through the campground and began the steep ascent north to Cornell Peak.
Nearing the base of the rocky portion, there are many options of scrambling routes, some more difficult that others. It is possible to maintain easier climbs if one heads a bit west or east and then aims NE or NW, respectively. A few of us arrive at a small chimney and decided to climb it while others went to find an easier route.
We continued up some class 3 stuff that wasn’t too bad and quickly were at the base of the peak on the west side. Here we could see it being a bit more difficult to ascent the actual summit. The rock is relatively vertical with few handholds. At first I didn’t bother to take off my bag which was silly. Then I took it off and tried again, using mostly upper body strength in pulling myself almost directly up to the summit peak. Scott and Winston found a little better route perhaps 5 feet to the south. And Mike traversed across to the south end of the summit block to climb up.
Winston climbing up to summit base
Up the summit
It was easier getting down, as we could just jump off onto an adjacent flat big rock.
From there we descended back down. Those 3 went back down the same side but a less technical route, while I crossed over to the east side to check out that descent, where the others had come up. A nice scramble.
The three on the west side tried to avoid losing much elevation and traverse the ridge across to Miller, while we cut across SW to an unmaintained trail, which we stayed on for perhaps a mile, and then dropped off and headed north to Miller. While Miller is not very prominent is does offer some nice views. We rested a bit and then headed up to Jacinto.
We got lazy and took the normal trail up. It had taken us quite a bit of time to do Cornell and Miller so we took a few pics then headed down NW to Folly. The terrain is quite rocky and requires a good amount of bouldering, but nothing too difficult. After a 400 ft descent we traversed across to the highest point of Folly, which has a nice cairn.
After that, it was on to Drury Peak. We did a curved route to lose only a little bit of elevation before ascending Drury from the NE. This was nice cross country travel with a good assortment of trees, dirt, and rocks – but not much brush.
We then continued up to Jean Peak to the east. This was a steep ascent, and I think this was the point we getting worn out from the cross country hike. While this hike was only (only?) 5500 ft gain, the fact that so much of it was cross-country dealing with rocks made the energy expenditure more. We got up Jean and rested for a bit, then descended southwest veering toward our final goal, Marion Mtn.
Marion was billed and delivered as another fun peak. From a shallow saddle, Jay and Tina rest while Joseph, Steve, Mike, Scott, Winston and I headed up to Marion. The base of Marion’s summit block is pretty easy to get to. Here we found a register on the north side of the rock. We found a slot we could climb up, which I found easier to use more upper body pull.
The actual summit of Marion had another register. Interesting. I walked around the summit and found another potential route on the northeast side, and ended up descending that way. Probably an easier option.
Another fun peak. From there, we descended down to the shallow saddle, and headed east dropping down toward Wellman’s Divide. This descent was pretty nice on soft ground.
After that, it was a 3 mile hike on easy trail. Trail! We were happy to see it.
Except Tina who must have had too much sugar!
And back down we go!
This entry was posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2009 at 8:01 am and is filed under Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.