East Face

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hiking, Mountaineering
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Most of a day
Basic Snow Climb
Rock Difficulty:
Class 3

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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East Face
Created On: Jan 31, 2009
Last Edited On: Feb 21, 2009


The East Face is a straightforward route up to Marion Mountain in the San Jacinto Mountains. Many people use this route to bag the five 10K peaks in the San Jacinto Mountains. Most people who climb this route come up from Humber Park or from the Deer Springs Trail.

From both of these trails, you can access the East Face, which is under a mile long with 1250feet in elevation gain. In the summer, one has to deal with lots of manzanita along this route. However, with snow, this route is much more enjoyable. From the East Face, you can follow a ridge or climb the bowl that both lead to Marion Mountain's class 3 summit block. In the winter, you can also ski the East Bowl.

Route Description

Looking Up the South Ridge.Looking Up
Getting CloserFalse Summits
Two False SummitsMore False Summits
Past 10kPast 10K
There are two main ways in which you can access this route. From Humber Park or from the Deer Springs Trail.

Humber Park- to get to where the route starts, its about 9 miles round trip with 2,664ft in elevation gain. Head up Devil's Slide up to Saddle Junction. From Saddle Junction, you join to PCT. You stay on the PCT until you reach the trail junction to Wellman's Divide.

the Deer Springs Trail- its about 13.5 miles round trip with 3524ft in elevation gain. When you reach the PCT, head east. Follow the trail over the saddle between Marion and Cienaga Peak. The trail junction for the PCT and the trail to Wellman's Divide will be just beyond that.

From the directions just mentioned, you can pick and choose your route up to Marion. A good place to pick a line up is from Cienaga Peak. You can either choose to climb the SE Ridge or climb up the East Bowl of Marion. You will encounter a few (3) false summits along the East Face, but keep going past these.

The route begins to level out slightly just when you reach 10,000ft. From here, the three main summits of Marion come into sight, there is a West, Center and East Summit. The West Summit is the higher of the three and is the true highpoint for Marion Mountain. This summit block requires a little bit of climbing (class 3).

In the summer, you will have to deal with lots and lots of Manzanita. However, in the Winter, depending upon when you go, most of the Manzanita should be under the snow. People do this route in the summer, however, it is alot more enjoyable in the winter. Also, it is a bit more challenging in the winter as well, making some spots that would normally be easy in the summer quite tricky. The class three rating isn't just for the summit block because depending upon the line you choose, you could be in for some class 3 terrain.

The route up the East Face is just under a mile with around 1250feet in elevations gain.

Getting There

From Idyllwild:

To Humber Park- 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.

To the Deer Springs Trailhead- Head north on the Hwy 243 for about 1.3 miles. The trailhead will be on the right side of the roads with a sign telling you where it is at.

Essential Gear

Summer- Good hiking boots, sun protection, WATER, sunscreen, long pants (to protect against the Manzanita), map, compass and all of the other ten essentials.

Winter- The same stuff as mentioned above, plus crampons, ice axe, snowshoes (depending upon how much snow is up there), and definitely gaiters. Winter clothing would also be a good idea.

External Links

San 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
Idyllwild CA

Mt San Jacinto State Park

East Face

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