Scramble Cornell Peak

Palm Springs Aerial Tram - Search Nearby - Added by Matt Huber

Off-trail day hike requiring route finding and scrambling to the best views in San Jacinto State Park.

Entering Mt San Jacinto State Park via the Palm Springs Aerial Tram is one of the easiest ways to get into the wilderness area.  Purchase your ticket and ride to the station where you'll be able to walk out the backdoor and onto the trail. In order to get to Cornell, your route finding skills will be put to the test.

Upon exiting the tram station take the concrete path down to the Long Valley Ranger Station and check in/obtain a wilderness pass (required).  From the station, follow the signs for San Jacinto Peak.  During the first 1/2 mile on the trail you will be able to clearly see the unnamed peak directly in front of Cornell Peak.  It is pretty prominent (picture included) and will be what you use to get your bearings. 

After that first 1/2 mile, you will come to a small foot bridge. Stop short of crossing the bridge and veer north, keeping the peak to your left.  Use the peak to navigate the easiest route over to it.  You will want to end up on the north side of it on a saddle between the unnamed peak and Cornell Peak.  From here you can easily get to the top of Cornell and back.  The real fun is the scrambling that the unnamed peak provides.  There are multiple routes and chutes you can follow up to the top.  The top provides fantastic views of the park and of Palm Springs.  

Retrace your steps back to the lodge for a beer and to catch the tram back down.

My Caltopo map of the route can be found here:


3.5 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1000 ft Gain




Rock Climbing, Photography, Hiking

Adult Beverages

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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