Visiting Mt. San Jacinto State Park

Mt. San Jacinto State Park is part of the California State Park System. It is located within the San Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Click here for a copy of the park brochure.

About 30,000 acres of the high country of Mount San Jacinto is designated as wilderness. The California Department of Parks and Recreation manages about 10,000 acres (15.6 square miles) of Wilderness and another 4,000 acres (6.25 square miles) classified as State Park. To the north and south is the San Jacinto Wilderness managed by the United States Forest Service.


The National Wilderness Act and the California Wilderness Act define wilderness as “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain;” in contrast to those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape. The managers of wilderness are charged with the task of securing for present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness. For this reason regulations have been established to control public use of the Mount San Jacinto Wilderness.

The regulations in the State and Federal Wilderness vary to a degree, but they are managed with the same objectives in mind:

1- Limit the impact of people so that the wilderness resource remains basically unaffected by man.
2- Assure that the opportunity for solitude exists for those who visit the area.

In general, you should expect a primitive experience. The Forest Service Wilderness has no facilities of any type. Water is obtained from springs and streams that may go dry in late July or August. In the State wilderness there are designated campsites and pit toilets. At Round Valley there is a developed spring with water all summer. The other camping areas (Strawberry, Tamarack and Little Round Valleys) depend on intermittent streams for their water supply. At Round Valley there is a developed spring with free flowing water from a pipe. In most years, water flows from the pipe all summer. All water sources should be treated prior to use, for both drinking and cooking. In the summer, consult with the rangers for water availability updates.

Visit Palm Desert, California

Skip to toolbar