"Cienaga Point" (technically Pt. 9,144ft) is an unnamed peak located within the San Jacinto Mountains in the Peninsular Range of Southern California. It is located on the southern ridge of Marion Mountain. At an elevation of 9,144ft, Cienaga Point technically isn't a real peak because it doesn't meet the 250ft of prominence rule that generally defines a peak. It's saddle is around 9,055ft giving it around 90ft of prominence. Peaks located in the same range like Folly Peak, Miller Peak, and Drury Peak all are considered peaks and have even less prominence then Cienaga Point. Also, Cienaga Point appears prominently when viewed from the west and can easily be seen from Southwest Riverside County. Its west face is very striking with numerous couloirs that would offer ample climbing. These reasons compelled me to put together this page. This peak can be easily reached from the Pacific Crest Trail.
The views from this peak are amazing. One has great views of Idyllwild, the Inland Empire, the Desert Divide Peaks, Salton Sea, the Pacific Ocean, Marion Mountain and much more of the high San Jacinto Mountains.
About the name. Since this isn't an officially named peak and because information was hard to find regarding it, I gave it the name "Cienaga Point" temporarily. The name comes from Strawberry Cienaga which lies just west and from Wellmans Cienaga which lies just north of the peak. A cienaga (or cienega) is a Spanish word term for a spring. A cienaga usually is a wet, marshy area at the foot of a mountain or in a canyon where groundwater bubbles to the surface. Often, a cienega does not drain into a stream, but evaporates, forming a small playa. Supposedly there is a benchmark atop the peak, but I could not find it.
RoutesAs said before, this peak can be easily accessed from the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail switchbacks up Cienaga Point's southern face and then traverses about 300ft below its east face. The PCT then crosses the saddle between Cienaga Point and Marion Mountain on Cienaga Point's north face. After this, the PCT then continues along Marion Mountain's west face. From the saddle, Cienaga Point is around .30 miles. The two easiest routes to this peak are from Humber Park (Devil's Slide) or from the Deer Springs Trail.
From the Deer Springs Trail- its about 13.5 miles round trip with 3524ft in elevation gain. The only difference from the Deer Springs Trail page is that instead of heading north on the PCT, you head east. Then, once you reach the trail fork for Wellman's Divide, you head south up the ridge which leads you to Cienaga Point.
From Humber Park- its about 9 miles round trip with 2,664ft in elevation gain. You stay on the PCT until you reach the trail to Wellman's Divide. Once you reach here, you head south on the ridge line, which leads to Cienaga Point. Obviously the Humber Park route is shorter, but the Deer Springs Trail is a little more scenic.
HERE for more info about the routes.
Camping is plentiful around this peak. If your coming up from Humber Park, you can stay at designated camp grouds like Skunk Cabbage Meadows, Tahquitz Valley, Little Tahquitz Valley and Chinquapin Flat. If your coming along the Deer Springs Trail, the only developed camp is Strawberry Junction. Aside from these camps just mentioned, you can camp pretty much anywhere you want as long as you are 200ft from any trails, streams, meadows and lakes.
hikin_jim says "Camping is a little tricky: In the State Park, camping can only be done in designated camps with a permit for that camp. The State/National Wilderness Boundary basically goes right through the saddle north of Cienaga Pt. If you camp on the northern part of the saddle, you might be in violation.
In the Federal portion of the wilderness, you have a zone permit. You may camp in the zone designated on your permit only. There are a few established campsites, mainly intended for groups. Generally, you can camp anywhere you like in your zone as long as it's not violating some other rule (such as being too close to water, etc.). The zone map can be seen here HERE. I'm not sure how detailed the zone map is supposed to be, but it looks like you have to camp east of the PCT. The North Rim Zone would stop at this point ("A") on the map if the zone map is accurate."
Red TapeThe only red tape is that you need to get a Wilderness Permit. Also, to park at any of the mentioned trailheads, you need an Adventure Pass.
Getting ThereFrom Idyllwild
Deer Springs Trail- Head north on the Hwy 243 for about 1.3 miles. Trail head will be on the right side of the roads with a sign telling you where it is at.
Humber Park (Devil's Slide)- From Hwy 243, take a right (if your heading north) and take a left (if your head south) onto Pine Crest Ave. Then take a small right at S. Circle Dr. Then take a left at Fern Valley Road. Follow Fern Valley Road all the way to Humber Park.
External LinksSan Bernardino National Forest
San Jacinto Ranger District
54270 Pine Crest
P.O. Box 518
Idyllwild CA 92549
Mt San Jacinto State Park
29505 Hwy 243
P.O. Box 308
Mt San Jacinto State Park
For info on current condition, check out the Mt San Jacinto Message Board.
For current weather conditions on Cienaga Point, click HERE.