A FREE Class and Field education series offered by
Mt. San Jacinto Natural History Association
in partnership with
Mt. San Jacinto State Park
Palm Spring Aerial Tramway

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. John Muir 1915.

Getting In Touch With Nature, summer Class and Field programs offer participants the opportunity to cultivate a more intimate connection with nature through education and immersion in the magnificence of Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Taught by highly qualified and passionate educators in their respective fields, the class sizes are limited to optimize the experience for each participant with personal care and attention. These free offerings may be the opportunity you have been looking for to enrich, through knowledge and experience, your appreciation of this very special high mountain wilderness, each and every time you visit Mt. San Jacinto or indeed any wilderness environment. This is knowledge that keeps on giving.

Class & Field, Summer 2017

The Ten Essentials of Wilderness Travel & Special Undisclosed Hike
Saturday May 20, Senior Wilderness Patroller Carl Maple and assistants.

Visit a Pluton, Origin & Geology of Mt. San Jacinto, Long Valley Walkabout
Saturday June 17, Robert Pellenbarg, Ph.D. Geology and Oceanography, College of the Desert

CLOSED OUT.  SORRY  Map & Compass, Hike to Yale and Harvard Peaks  
Saturday June 17, Senior Wilderness Patroller Carl Maple

Spring Wildflowers & The Changing Environment, Long Valley Area
Saturday June 24, Colin Barrows, B.S., Biology, Northern Arizona University, Conservation Coordinator, Friends of The Desert Mountains

The Cassini Mission: Up Close and Personal with Saturn, Under Night Sky, Telescope Exploring the Night Sky at 8,500 feet
Saturday July 15, Ali Barnes, B.S. Geology, Astronomy, Mt. San Jacinto State Park Interpreter

CLOSED OUT.  SORRY GPS & UTM Coordinates, Hike to Pine Bench
Saturday July 22, Carl Maple, Senior Wilderness Patroller

Birds of Mt. San Jacinto State Park & Long Valley Walkabout
Saturday August 5 Kurt Leuschner, Professor of Natural Resources, College of the Desert

CLOSED OUT,  SORRY Overnight Campout at San Jacinto Peak, Stars, Planets and Astronomy
Saturday August 19 to Sunday Aug 20. Wilderness Patrollers w/Carl Maple & Park Interpreter Ali Barnes and telescope at 10,834 feet!

Class & Field, Summer 2017
Information and Registration

Reservations are required for all Class and Field programs at least three (3) days prior to the event. Each individual wishing to attend one or more classes must make a separate reservation. Reservations may be made on line at Click on the highlighted title of each program(s) you wish to attend and simply fill in the booking form with your full name, phone number, and email address. Class size is limited. Register early to reserve your place. Questions? Email us at See below for class description. 

You will receive confirmation email of your booking and, subject to approval, a confirmation of your reservation with any additional pertinent information related to the conduct of the class.

Release of Liability:  (To see the document click on the highlighted text)
When signing up for any program which includes any physical activity, it is implicit with your enrollment that to the best of your knowledge you are physically fit able to undertake the physical demands prescribed for the program, notwithstanding changing weather conditions or route difficulties that may arise.. A Release of Liability form will be provided with the class confirmation which must be read, signed and submitted to the class instructor at the beginning of the program. If you have any concerns about the demands of the any of the hike programs let us know by email We will be in touch to address your concerns.

Clothing and water are paramount. Be prepared for the unexpected. There is no place like the mountains for sudden changes in the weather. Snacks, lunch, water, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and plenty of water for energy and personal comfort. See requirements for each program to make sure you are properly prepared, especially for the Hike series!

Palm Spring Aerial Tramway:
The Adult fare is $25.95, Seniors $23.95, Summer and annual passes are available. Current members of the Mt. San Jacinto Natural History Association (NHA) are eligible for a 20% discount for themselves and 6 family/friends for each tram fare. Additionally, there are discounts offered for the cafeteria food and beverage and the tram gift shops ( see below for discount details.)
Tram Departures: Arriving on time for classes – See schedules for each class.
We recommend arriving at the Valley Station 45 minutes before class time to allow for ticket purchase and possible wait line for boarding the tram. It is now possible to buy a tram ticket on line in advance for a specific day and time. Schedule the tram departure one half hour before class time. By doing so, arriving on time for your reserved place on the tram is assurance for arriving on time for the class. Go to

NHA membership and discounts:
If you wish to join the NHA visit our website at . Click on Membership Application, then By Mail or Pay Now by Credit Card PayPal. Annual membership is $25 adult (18 yrs +), $20 senior 55 and over, $20 student, $35 live in family. Again, current members of the Mt. San Jacinto Natural History Association (NHA) are eligible for a 20% discount for themselves and up to 6 family/friends for each tram fare. Additionally there is a 10% discount offered for the Peaks Restaurant and Pines and Cascade Cafes and the Valley and/or Mountain Tram gift shops. These additional discounts are limited to NHA members only. Some restrictions apply. A 30% discount is offered at the NHA Visitor Center on the first floor.

Summer Hiking Series
Class and Field combined

Summer Hiking Series width=Lessons and Hikes will be led by Senior Wilderness Patroller II, Carl Maple along with other highly qualified members of the Mt San Jacinto State Park Wilderness Hasty Search and Rescue Team. Join them for the summer hiking series Getting In Touch With Nature. Each month, while hiking to seldom seen backcountry splendors of the Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness, the experts will share with you knowledge and new skills gained from their years of experience on the mountain. This is the perfect outdoor activity for hikers and backpackers of all levels!

The informational class and hikes will increase in difficulty, but don?t let this scare you away. These events are designed to prepare you for the overnight hike to Mt. San Jacinto Peak where Park Interpreter Allison Barnes will guide you through a night of telescope star gazing. Anyone wanting to join in the breathtaking overnight hike to Mt. San Jacinto Peak must first be qualified by participating in at least one of the previous summer hiking series events. This final hike is a special permitted hike that will require a camping fee of $5.00 for each participant.

If you are already an NHA Member, you (and up to 6 in your party) will receive a 20% discount from tram fare when you show your membership card.