On the way to Indian Wells last week I decided to stop for a hike in the Santa Rosa mountains. The book said Santa Rosa peak was a good one. Distance (book 16 mi -- actual 19 mi), time 7.5 hours, elevation gain 4,000'. Water, some.
The hike starts at a well marked parking lot off of the 78.
The first part of the hike is on a more or less good jeep track with a fair amount of elevation gain over 5.5+ miles. You end up at a kiln with good views of the San Jacinto massif and the valley below
Beyond the locked gate the trail seems to go up, but in fact it is a very messy overgrown old jeep track that goes down to the right and traverses.
The jeep track turns up the mountain in a mile and enters a really nice oak and pine forest and from there to the top is forested.
and some patches of thin snow on the ground
finally a view of the peak. the light patches on the trees are ice covered branches. They will soon become a problem as they were crashing all around me in very large chunks. I fashioned a helmet out of my spare layer to protect my head from an iceberg falling 50'.
A little ridiculous but necessary. I was hit by a few chunks of ice, luckily not big and only in the shoulder and calf. The pelting went on for about a 1/2 hour of the hike.
I returned to the car after 7 1/2 hours happy about my first hike in the Santa Rosa Mountains.
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