Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cactus to Clouds

Hike starts from Art Museum in Palm Springs, elevation is only 144 m (472 ft) above sea level and goes to Mt. San Jacinto 3302 m (10834 ft). Last year I did the first part of the trail, which called Skyline, because it ends in the upper Aerial Tramway station, elevation 2600 m (8530 ft).
Cactus to Clouds trail map
We spend night in Motel 6, alarm was set to 3:00 am and I start hiking at 3:30 am. It took me again 6 hours and 2.7 liters of water to complete Skyline, there was probable 100+ other hikers doing the same thing. Sunrise was gorgeous with purple clouds:
Sunrise on Skyline trail
Eat and refill my water bottles in Tramway station while waiting for my wife and son, they supposed to join me for easy part of the hike. We left Ranger station at 11:20 and hiked together to Wellman Divide where they turn around and I continue to the peak. I was on the top at 2:45 pm.
San Jacinto Peak
On the way back to Tramway station after 2 initial switchbacks I decided to take more direct route and go XC instead of following established trail. It worked out great in many aspects: distance 5 km (instead of 8 km), time 1:45, no other hikers, no dust, met 7 deer. Mission accomplished.

GPS Track Log