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South Peak via Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail #2000

based on 4 tracks & routes
15.8 mi
Distance
7 hrs 48 min
Time
terrain
3,392 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

This is a moderate one way trail in San Jacinto Wilderness.

This trail goes by Jolley Spring, Powderbox Spring, South Peak, and Fobes Saddle.


Sights to See


    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    2 months, 3 weeks ago
    Solo day hiked Tues 3/5/2024 – Even after a few days of rain, the Spitler Peak and PCT trails were relatively dry and in great shape up to Apache - a few blowdowns and rime ice piles but no real mud. But of course things changed quickly on PCT at mile 169.5, north east of Apache where the steeper slopes were iced over with the snowfall having sloughed across the trail before the freezing rain iced over all of it. Good day for auto crampons for the “crampon/crampoff” march out to South Peak. Same 45-55 degree ice slopes as those encountered last year, here, and at Baldy/Cucamonga where there’s a long runout and very little chance of self-arrest, even with the best axe and technique. There were 3 traverses like this to be carefully crossed 2X, slowing things down a bit. The rest of the way along PCT out to South Peak had so many blowdowns over 4.5 miles that I lost count after the first 20. Most were at the 3-1/2 foot high level with multiple branches where it’s just as hard to crawl under with a winter climb pack as it is to hop over. Some had to be widely bypassed upslope for extra fun, 2 were cleared for extra credit. After getting near mile 174, there was a 2-1/2 foot diameter tree perched above the trail so I directly ascended the east slope of South Peak from there, relaxing fun with little snow. Awesome views from South Peak of Garner Valley, Tahquitz, Red Tahquitz, Antsell Rock and the desert floor. Had some fun bouldering at the South Peak/Antsell Rock saddle on the way back before climbing the east gully route to Antsell Rock which was still frozen enough to front point all the way up to the rock base. That’s when I noticed how shiny the rocks were with a nice, clear, verglas layer of ice still being actively chilled with the wind picking up. Easy decision to bail and descend back to the PCT and back to Apache. Was glad to cross the ice fields before dark and then go up Apache Peak to see the Palm Springs light show and last of a beautiful sunset. I had read Jon King’s always meticulous San Jacinto Trail Report before the trek and knew about the ice but didn’t plan on all the blow downs. Incredibly long day with some brutal stretches but still a lot of fun. Highly recommend Jon King’s incredibly detailed daily reports, https://sanjacjon.com/, and YouTube channel before heading out in the SJ Wilderness. Logged 20.0 miles/4374 vertical ft with Gaia.
    ★ ★ ★ ★


Public Tracks

There are no published trips for this hike. There are 4 private trips.

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