Cactus to Clouds


May 8th, 2021

People die on this hike, especially in the summer. October is the best month for C2C. May is also decent, but we had a few snow patches blocking the trail.

Palm Springs

5:30 AM

Mount San Jacinto Peak

4:15 PM

Health, Hydration and Elevation

4:30 AM to 6:30 PM was our total hiking time, or 14 hours. We planned to turn around at the tram, but were lucky the tram was running until 8 pm on our particular day.

I was in moderate health, doing mild cardio several times a week. This hike still hurt. We passed several groups who were attempting to summit, but were moving too slow to catch the tram back home.

I carried 7 liters of water. I dropped 1 L in the first rescue box, which was pretty full; the second rescue box was almost empty. I drank the rest by the time I reached the ranger station. They have a hose to refill, but it has a warning of a high exposure to a carcinogenic chemical and the water tastes unusual, but was palatable.

I experienced elevation sickness as a mild headache starting at about 9,000 feet. This made for a slow climb up the peak. The headache resolved after descending below 9,000 feet. I had been living in Los Angeles at sea level before the hike.

Research and Links

Helpful links we researched before doing the hike.

Trail Report

Know before you go




Below is a fast timetable by the HikingGuy. This crew was in shape and had done training hikes. We took 3 hours longer to complete the hike than them.

“It helps to mentally break the hike into sections and tackle one at a time. Here’s the skinny. Distances are approximate and will change depend on how many wrong turns you make (if any). I’ve seen some mileage charts online that had different (and lower) milage values. Take them with a grain as salt and use it as a rough guide.”

Palm Springs Art Museum Trailhead04700200BeginStart at 0200 Sharp!
Picnic Tables0.813400220HikeThru Hike -Tables for reference
Rescue Box 1 2.623400305Break (5)Health Check. Point of no return. Snack
4,300 ft Rocks 5.144000410Break (15)2nd Food Stop, push for daylight lunch
Rescue Box 2 7.454000520Break (5)Snack, Regroup
Flat Rock 8.459000550HikeThru hike
Start of Traverse 9.574000620Break (30)Breakfast/Lunch. Mandatory 30 min, feet up
Grubb’s Notch – Ent. To Long Valley10.584000820HikeThru Hike – Ranger station is very close
Long Valley Ranger Station 10.884000825Break (10)Permits and re-fill H20
Round Valley Campground12.394000910HikeThru Hike
Wellman Divide13.197000930Break (5)Snack, Regroup
San Jacinto Peak 16108341045Break (15)Summit time
Tram Station 2184001300Party!We did it!

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