A unique park known for its spectacular scenery and magnificent hiking trails, Mount San Jacinto State Park is well worth visiting at any time of year. Located in the San Jacinto Mountains, roughly 25 miles east of Hemet, the park centers around the 10,834-foot-high peak of Mount San Jacinto.
Covering some 14,000 acres in total, this beautiful state park is surrounded by untouched wilderness. It's a landscape of rugged snow-capped peaks, breathtaking forests, and mountain meadows, not to mention an extensive trail network that's big and diverse enough to put a smile on any hiker's face.
Best of all, Mount San Jacinto State Park boasts two drive-in campgrounds, so it's an idyllic spot to camp in an RV for a few nights or more. To help you plan the perfect stay, let's take a closer look at what the park has to offer.
When a park covers 14,000 acres of terrain, it can be a little difficult to know where to start your RV camping adventure. However, if there's one feature that entices visitors to Mount San Jacinto State Park year after year, it's the hiking.
The park boasts 54 miles of wilderness trails to explore, so there's something to suit a wide variety of fitness levels. The most popular trek is a four-and-a-half-mile loop that leads walkers to Round Valley, where a pristine alpine meadow and a ranger station dating from the 1930s lie in wait.
If you're looking for something much more strenuous, the 12-mile hike from Long Valley to San Jacinto Peak will be high on your to-do list. However, with this route involving an elevation gain of more than 2,400 feet, you'll need a high level of physical fitness if you want to tackle it.
Whichever trail you choose to tackle, you'll need to keep your eyes peeled for native birdlife along the way. Mount San Jacinto State Park is a hugely popular destination for bird watchers and is home to a wide variety of rare and unique species. From red-tailed hawks and golden eagles to white-headed woodpeckers and Noisy Clark's nutcrackers, there are plenty of fascinating feathered creatures on display.
If hiking isn't your thing, you might prefer to take a slightly more scenic route. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway takes its passengers on a spectacular two-and-a-half-mile journey from the Valley Station in Chico Canyon to the Tramway Mountain Station in the park's northeast. The views from Mountain Station out over the golf courses of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley are quite breathtaking, and you'll no doubt want to stop here for a while to take everything in.
Camping at Mount San Jacinto State Park
If you want to go RV camping at Mount San Jacinto State Park, rent an RV in Riverside County and then decide where you're going to stay. The park offers two drive-in campgrounds, both of which are found near the town of Idyllwild.
- Idyllwild Campground. Idyllwild Campground offers 31 developed campsites, three of which are full-hookup sites and another four of which have electricity only. Open all year round (snow chains recommended in winter), the campground features clean restrooms, hot showers, and fresh water. Three sites are also designed to be accessible to people with disabilities. Trailers are limited to 24 feet.
- Stone Creek Campground. This primitive campground boasts 48 sites, but there are no showers and only vault toilets are available. Six sites come with electrical hookups, and three sites are accessible to people with disabilities. Stone Creek Campground is open all year round, but trailers are once again limited to 24 feet.
Finally, if you're thinking of roughing it away from your RV for a night or two, there are also four hike-in campgrounds spread throughout the park.
Exploring the Area
When you've finished exploring Mount San Jacinto State Park and you're ready to hit the road once again, you won't have to drive your rental RV too far before you find other destinations and attractions worth checking out.
For example, if you love winter sports, you might want to make the drive north to Big Bear Lake and have some fun on the slopes at Big Bear Snow Play. If you're more of a culture vulture, the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art is just an hour and a half away in San Bernardino.
But if it's sun, sand, and surf you're after, you could be in Long Beach in a little over two hours. While you're there, make sure to visit the spectacular Aquarium of the Pacific.
Whatever type of vacation you have planned, Southern California has experiences to suit all tastes. So why not rent a camper near Mount San Jacinto State Park and start planning your next outdoor adventure?
Mount San Jacinto State Park, CA is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Mount San Jacinto State Park. Outdoorsy's Mount San Jacinto State Park RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.