This out and back hike is a strenuous route, but a rewarding one. You'll make your way up two popular and well-marked trails, and will enjoy stellar views in both directions.
This route is the shortest way to get to San Jacinto, but one of the steepest at 17% average grade. Trekking poles are recommended. There's great scenery throughout, making the work worthwhile.
You'll start off by heading out on the Marion Mountain Trail
, singletrack trail that will lead you from the Marion Mountain Campground to the PCT. It has a decent, sustained grade throughout. This trail is fairly straightforward, so there are few opportunities to get lost. Some sort of thicker pants are recommended for this trail due to some prickly vegetation overgrowing the trail. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for a few picturesque boulder piles. As the Marion Mountain Trail
comes to an end, you'll find yourself on the PCT for a brief section, before making your way to the Deer Springs Trail
Th Deer Springs Trail
starts at a junction with the PCT. After some switchbacks, the straightaway, and then some more switchbacks, you'll find the Little Round Valley campgrounds, which have restrooms. Get through the switchbacks and meet up with the Tramway Trail to make the final push to the summit of San Jacinto Peak.
Watch your footing on this trail, as the tread can be a mix of dirt and rocks.
Once you've reached the peak and have enjoyed your time at the summit, simply return the way that you came to make your way back to your vehicle and the campground.