2020 Summer Season

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


from the Board of the Mount San Jacinto Natural History Association

COVID-19 PANDEMIC:   April 24, 2020  As you may know all California State Parks remain closed. At this time social distancing remains the crucial and only strategy for managing the spread of infection of this very contagious and deadly virus.  Virtually all authoritative public health sources anticipate at least months before social distancing practice can be safely and significantly relaxed. Therefore we are cancelling all the 2020 summer Class and Field programs. Stay Well!

The following copy is retained in anticipation of the new Class and Field programs in the 2021 summer season. 

Getting In Touch With Nature 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 dedicated 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 are a rare opportunity to enrich, through knowledge and experience, your appreciation of this 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.

Instruction and hikes will be led by  Wilderness Patrollers and other highly qualified members of the Mt San Jacinto State Park Wilderness Hasty Search and Rescue Team.  While hiking to seldom seen backcountry splendors of the Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness, the experts will share with you their knowledge and skills gained from years of experience on the mountain. The Class and Field programs are a great opportunity for hikers and backpackers of all levels to hone their skills and, incidentally, meet others with shared interests.

About Hiking Safely

We encourage everyone who goes into the wilderness anywhere to be well prepared. Two classes are offered every season to help you accomplish this.  If you are a novice or have never taken these classes, now is the time. For those more experienced, perhaps a review is in order. The Ten Essentials of Wilderness Travel are always a must. Map and Compass skills are especially vital when traveling unfamiliar undeveloped terrain. You can register for these classes right here:

Class & Field
Information and Registration

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 online 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  

Confirmation: You will receive an email confirming receipt of your booking. Subject to approval, your reservation will be confirmed by email  including  any additional pertinent information related to the conduct of the class. For some more demanding hikes, it is required that enrollees be pre-qualified for physical fitness before approval to participate.  This procedure may be simply an interview by phone or require attending, in advance,  a less demanding hike program to determine qualification.

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  provided on line with the class confirmation must be read, signed and submitted to the class instructor at the beginning of the program. Alternatively, if necessary, a form can be provided, read and signed when the event convenes.

If you have any concerns about the demands of any of the hike programs please don’t be shy to let us know by email,   We will be in touch to address your concerns.

Class Cancellation Policy:  Minimum enrollment policy varies with different classes. Any class with less enrollment than the minimum required may be canceled. Those enrolled will be notified by email or phone at least five (5) days in advance of the class date. While we expect such a cancellation will be rare, to minimize premature cancellation, we do advise early enrollment for any class.

Preparation: Proper clothing and sufficient water are paramount. Be prepared for the unexpected. There is no place like the mountains for sudden changes in the weather. Always carry 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 more demanding hike programs!

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 by the cafeteria  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 1 hour before class time to allow for ticket purchase and possible wait line for boarding the tram. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED  to buy a tram ticket in advance, online or at the ticket counter for all departures. Weekend tram service begins at 8 a.m. with departures thereafter usually every 12 minutes or so. Depart from the valley station at least one-half hour before class time. By doing so is assurance for arriving on time for the class. Online tickets are limited so  order early!  Go to  If online tickets are not available many tickets are still available for walk-ins if the next tram(s) are not already fully booked.   Note, if for any reason you are unable to use the ticket on the day reserved, tickets purchased in advance at the tram website, or on-site, are good anytime for 1 year from the date of purchase.
Tickets purchased from 3rd parties are only valid on the reserved date.

NHA Membership and Discounts:  If you wish to join and support the Mt. San Jacinto Natural History Association visit our website at . Click on Membership Application, then choose By Mail or Pay Now by Credit Card or PayPal. Annual membership is $25  per 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,  Pines and Cascade Cafes and the Valley and Mountain Tram gift shops. These additional discounts are limited to NHA members only. Some restrictions apply. A 30% merchandise discount is offered at the NHA Visitor Center on the first floor.






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