Leaving Idyllwild was no easy feat. Not because it was so cool, which it is, but because you gain altitude out of town quickly. I went a route called the Deer Springs Trail. The elevation at Idyllwild is ~5400, and I gained ~2600 in the first 3.5 miles. What does that mean? It means I went up quickly, lol. Plus when leaving after re-supplying, your pack is at its fullest it will be, because you are carrying All your food for the next set of days. Heavy pack, quick altitude gain=tired legs, and back. I had left in the afternoon so I stopped pretty quickly that evening and made camp. The next day was another quick altitude gain to the peak of Mt San Jacinto. At a side trail junction that takes you toward the peak I emptied several things out of my pack to make it lighter. That made it easier for the final 3 mile ascent up the last 2000 feet to the elevation 10,384 where that picture was taken. It took me nearly 3 hours, got lost at least 6 times, and there were snow patches everywhere. But what a view!
Several thousand feet above the clouds. The birds were hovering at this height right next to the peak. A helicopter passed under us. We took turns taking pictures next to the sign. One of the guys got naked and stood behind the sign for a pic! Apparently that’s his thing. It was hilarious!
Right below the peak there is this hut. Sorta out of place. It’s an emergency shelter and has a couple bunks inside with basic rescue equipment inside. Also inside is the trail registry, so it’s good to take a look inside and sign it while your there. One of the guys on trail stayed in it that night. He said it was really cold and had to wear all his layers, but it was pretty cool.