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Mount San Jacinto State Park is the highest state park in California, at up to 10,804 feet above sea level! It was once used by native Cahuilla peoples, followed by European settlers, as seasonal hunting grounds for deer and gathering resources. In time, loggers came into the area, cutting down trees and introducing sheep and cattle that began to strip the meadows and hillsides.
In 1897, the San Jacinto Forest Reserve was created by President Grover Cleveland to stop the logging and land destruction. This beautiful high country is now part of the state parks system and has been made easily accessible by either driving on HWY 243 or taking the 10 to 15-minute Palm Spring Aerial Tram ride to the top. The aerial tram is one of the longest single-lift tramways in the world and carries visitors 2.5 miles up to Mountain Station in Mount San Jacinto State Park (at 8,516 feet in elevation).
Mount San Jacinto State park is a unique place to escape the desert heat of the valley below. In the winter, when the Coachella Valley is still experiencing hot days, Mount San Jacinto has snow! There are only a few such places in Southern California. Spring through autumn in the state park offers many miles of hiking.
Year round, you will see fantastic views of the valley below. Looking down at the valley, your children might ask, “Why is there snow up here when it's so hot down in the valley? Shouldn’t it be hotter up here since it's closer to the sun?” Mount Jacinto gives you a great opportunity to discover why it's not hotter at the top of a mountain by learning the secret of air pressure.