Castle Rocks via Pacific Crest Trail

based on 6 tracks & routes #14 hike out of 27 in
1.9 mi
52 min
691 ft
Elev Gain


This is a easy one way trail to Castle Rocks in San Jacinto Wilderness.

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    3 months, 3 weeks ago
    Solo day hiked Weds 12/20/23 – Parked on the side of 241 and walked up Black Mtn Road since it was already drizzling and I didn’t bring the 4x4. Was amazed that the road held its June regrade better than most others after the Hilary storm. Wouldn’t normally hesitate driving this in dry weather with a sedan or minivan but the mountain forecast was calling for noon rain and I didn’t want to get stuck in either of the 2 washout areas. Black Mountain Road is well routed. Making for an easy walk, even with a heavy pack. Once at the Fuller Ridge Trailhead and heading southbound on the PCT, the drizzle stopped and it was perfect hiking weather. After crossing into the state park, there were several large trees to contend with as expected from local guide John King’s very detailed and always up to date trail report ( Went down PCT far enough to make an east cross-country ascent of Castle Rocks with some ice on the granite but easy to work around. The sun came out and the clouds dispersed on the way up Castle Rocks, making for spectacular views off the summit of San Jacinto’s northwest face, Palm Springs and the lower west ranges. Traversed eastward along Fuller Ridge to the CT Overlook summit which has a sharper, taller summit block resembling some of those found in the Eastern Sierra. Easily my favorite summit of the 3. From there, it was down to the saddle shared with Fuller Ridge Peak and some bushwhacking to connect animal use trails up to its summit. Once at the summit, the clouds moved in and it rained lightly for 20 minutes with the views completely obscured by a temporary whiteout. The northwest cross-country route back down to PCT involved route finding through dense, old growth Manzanita, Chinquapin and some Whitethorn which was quite a challenge. Probably should have descended using the previous ascent route. Met up with several nice 4x4 parties on the way out with no rain along the way. Second time this year helping a deer off Hwy 241 that was confused by the steel guardrails. Highly recommend Castle Rocks and CT Overlook summits for their perches that offer excellent long distance panoramic views on clear weather days. Logged 18.7 miles/3662 vertical ft. with Gaia.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Public Tracks

Jerry Grenard 6 years, 6 months ago
jaeckim56 1 year, 7 months ago
Big H 2 years, 10 months ago