Day 13 – Devils Slide Trail Head to San Jancinto Summit – 8.5 km

Tomorrow will be two weeks on the trail and we climbed 5000ft today! We set out from our plush abode in Idyllwild at 9am and got a lift to the trail head. A man (Bruce?) from the hotel gave us a lift in his pick up and we all sat in the tray at the back. It was very exhilarating and we met Joe our new hikin buddy! 

Tarquitz rock through the pine forest

Pine Cone under a pine tree


The trailhead ascended rather steeply up a pine forested Spurr, the air was thin and we immediately felt the affects of the altidide. I ($$PineCone$$) have never walked this high before and hadn’t really estimated how hard it would be. Tight chests and short breaths later we walked the first 2.2 miles up to where the trail met the PCT. There has been quite a discussion around skipping sections of the trail due to closures and alternate routes. Today I made up a saying:

No pride in a road walk.

No shame in a hitch.

I guess that’s my priorities for trail. 

After a short break we set foot toward San Jancinto Summit. The snow appeared gradually in large mounds around the base of trees. Soon we pull over and put our micro-spikes on as the snow gets thicker and thicker. The path also gets harder to define and you have to keep on checking the gps to stay on track. We climb more steeply towards the top of the ridge of the mountain. It’s now 3pm and the snow is slushy as hell! It’s quiet a trecherous climb as we all experience sliding and post hole-ing*. It was a very intense hike to the hut at the top of the mountain indispersed with breath taking views of the Salton Sea, Palms Springs and finally the I10 interstate freeway. 

Dave perched on a rock

Views south east

The snowy trail to the Summit


At the hut at the Summit of the mountain we dumped our stuff and felt so exhausted but so ecstatic to be there. 

Views from the Summit

It’s a cute hut made of stone with windows, 4 bunks, and a filled in fire place. We bags our bunks make dinner and Joe comvinces us to put on our wet sodden shoes and walk  up to Summit for sunset. It was definitely been my most magical moment on the walk yet, as cliche as that is, the expanse of Southern Californian desert all around you is just astounding and facinating. 
Back at the hut at around 8pm, Phoebe, Meg, Myself, Dave, Tamika and Joe are joined by 4 new hikers; Fibs, Young Gun, Butcher, Rope Burn and Boots. They all packed in and we fit 11 hikers in the hut tonight. It makes for warm air in all this freezing snow but it’s also gotta be pretty stanky-stank in here! 

* Post hole-ing: sinking through melted snow. 

5 thoughts on “Day 13 – Devils Slide Trail Head to San Jancinto Summit – 8.5 km

  1. Sounds like you snakes are going’ well and tomorrow the snow will have iced up and your crampons will safely get you out of the snow again. Looks like beautiful country! Hope there’s not too much postholing!


  2. Breathtaking and beautiful!!! Your sleeping arrangements sound cosy….strength (and warmth) in numbers. By the names of your companions I think you ain’t an Aussie Eleven?? Sleep well, Gayl xxx


  3. I’m with you Pine Cone. Can’t stand road walking and look at all the great people you’re meeting when you hitchhike.


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