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San Jacinto Wilderness

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A massive round gray rock outcropping, towering high above the trees below.
Library image #623: Huge rock face


The United States Congress designated the San Jacinto Wilderness (map) in 1964 and it now has a total of 32,186 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Forest Service.


Unique among designated areas, San Jacinto Wilderness, managed by the USFS, lies split in half by the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness, which is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The Boundaries embrace the grand San Jacinto Mountains (elevations from 6,000 feet to 10,000 feet), and the flora and fauna varies from desert to alpine. Steep cliffs and ridges descend dramatically from pine-covered peaks in the northern half of the Wilderness. In the central section, high mountain plateaus shelter lush, stream-splashed meadows surrounded by magnificent forests. In the south, a section known as the Desert Divide lies densely covered with stands of chaparral. On this divide's eastern flank, you'll find several deep, eroded, boulder-strewn desert canyons. Near the center of the Wilderness, two exceptional rock-climbing areas exist: Lily (Tahquitz) Rock, with sustained routes of up to 1,000 feet, and Suicide Rock, with routes up to 400 feet. There are 48 miles of trails in the San Jacinto Wilderness including 28 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Planning to Visit the San Jacinto Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the San Jacinto Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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