How Tall Is California’s Mount San Jacinto?

Tall mountains tower above the eastern part of the state of California in Southern California. One of the tallest mountains in the San Jacinto Mountains towers over the surrounding desert. How high is Mount San Jacinto in California? Now let’s have a look.

How Tall Is California’s Mount San Jacinto?

Standing 10,834 feet tall in Southern California is Mount San Jacinto. It is the highest point in Riverside County’s San Jacinto Mountains.

At its highest point, successful hikers like to take pictures under a wooden sign. Mount San Jacinto’s peak is composed of bare rock. It is the focal point of Mount San Jacinto State Park and is located alongside the Pacific Crest Trail.

How Tall Is It Really: Mount San Jacinto Compared to Other Mountains

It’s useful to compare Mount San Jacinto’s height to other well-known mountains around the world in order to appreciate how distinctive it is to the American landscape. Thirty-ninth tallest peak in California and the second tallest mountain in Southern California is Mount San Jacinto.

Mountain Name Mountain Elevation Location of Mountain
Mount San Jacinto 10,834 Feet Southern California
Mount San Gorgonio 11,503 Feet Southern California
Mount San Antonio 10,068 Feet Southern California
Mount Whitney 14,505 Feet East Central California
Mount Lassen 10,462 Feet Northern California
Mount Shasta 14,179 Feet Northern California
Mount Hood 11,239 Feet Oregon
Mount Rainier 13,123 Feet Washington
Mount Baker 10,786 Feet Washington
Mount Denali 20,310 Feet Alaska
Mauna Kea 13,803 Feet Hawaii
Mauna Loa 13,679 Feet Hawaii
Mount Fuji 12,388 Feet Japan
Matterhorn 14,690 Feet Switzerland Italy Border
Mount Kilimanjaro 19,341 Feet Tanzania
Mount Everest 29,031 Feet China Nepal Border

Wildlife on California’s Mount San Jacinto

The range that includes San Jacinto Peak is a sky island. This implies that the adjacent desert floors are uninhabitable for both flora and animals that are adapted to the range’s elevation.

Because the San Jacinto Mountains offer unique environments, there are indigenous species there. The San Jacinto shieldback katydid (Phymonotus jacintotopos) is one such animal. Situated in the mountain’s mixed conifer forests is this uncommon black and red katydid.

The woodlands of Mount San Jacinto are harmed by bark beetles. They are particularly common when there is a drought.

Rainbow trout inhabit Strawberry Creek and Lake Fulmor, which are close to Idyllwild. There are also many squirrels, chipmunks, and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in the area.

Plantlife on California’s Mount San Jacinto

Coulter pines and California black oaks are widespread at lower, drier elevations. On the other hand, manzanitas, ponderosa pines, red firs, white first, Jeffrey pines, incense cedars, and lodgepole pines can be found higher up the mountain.

Heuchera hirsutissima, the shaggy-haired alumroot, is native to the region. This perennial herb grows naturally on the stony mountainside cliffs. Its attractive flowers have led to its cultivation for gardening and ornamental purposes, despite its difficult identification in its native habitat.

On the northeast slope of Mount San Jacinto, more than 150 Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) were planted during the introduction era in 1974. The U.S. Forest Service planted these trees, even though they are native to the Sierra Nevada range, which is hundreds of miles distant.

Wild strawberries thrive in the town of Idyllwild, which is located somewhat less than halfway up the mountain’s western face. Because of these fruits, the area was formerly known as Strawberry Valley, and Strawberry Creek, the creek that flows through the town, is still named for them.

Towns on Mount San Jacinto

There are villages on Mount San Jacinto itself, at a significant elevation above the surrounding desert plain, in addition to the several cities that encircle the mountain’s foot. Mountain Center, Idyllwild, Pine Cove, and Fern Valley are some of these towns.

Mountain Center

Situated at the junction of State Routes 243 and 74 is the town of Mountain Center. It is roughly two square miles in size and is located at an elevation of 4518 feet. It is unincorporated but maintains its own post office and zip code.


Pine Cove and Fern Valley flank the town of Idyllwild, which is perched on Mount San Jacinto at an elevation of 5413 feet above sea level. On the census, the three unincorporated localities are referred to as Idyllwild-Pine Cove. There are slightly under 4,000 residents in the Idyllwild region.

Despite the arid surroundings surrounding Mount San Jacinto on all sides, Idyllwild receives approximately 27 inches of precipitation annually. Wintertime snowfall is erratic and occurs only sometimes.

Things to Do at Mount San Jacinto

In addition to being stunning in and of itself, Mount San Jacinto offers several activities that are well worth doing once you arrive. Palm Springs and Palm Desert are the best routes to reach the mountain from the east. But it’s also reachable through Banning and the Hemet Valley.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

A ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway raises guests to 8516 feet atop Mount San Jacinto. At an elevation of 2643 feet, it starts at Valley Station in Chino Valley, close to Palm Springs. The tram journey costs approximately $30, though there are upgrades and exclusive deals available.

Cactus to Clouds Trail

After climbing 10,300 feet, the Cactus to Clouds Trail ends at San Jacinto Peak in Palm Springs. It is one of the world’s hardest day walks because the rise covers a distance of 16 miles. The Palm Springs Art Museum is the trailhead.

It’s just over thirty miles total, round trip, for the full hike. The majority of hikers, however, ascend the trail and descend using the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The trail essentially follows the same route as the tram, making it simple to board it and head back to the desert floor.

Rock Climbing: Tahquitz Peak and Suicide Rock

A well-liked location for rock climbers is Mount San Jacinto. Depending on the precise location, these places offer granite crags that climbers of all skill levels can attempt.

Perched above Idyllwild on the western flank of Mount San Jacinto, at an elevation of 8946 feet, is Tahquitz Peak. Its face is almost a thousand feet high.

Suicide Rock, which is situated at an elevation of 7510 feet, is also close to Idyllwild. Compared to Tahquitz Peak, this location is more well-liked, with about 300 climbing routes available. Because Tahquitz Peak is reputed to have more loose rock than Suicide Rock, climbing there is a little bit riskier.