Our destination was Mt. San Jacinito Mountain via the Palm Springs Aerial Tram. Several of us dads were taking our younger sons for their first backpacking trip. In all, there were 9 of us. Three dads, three sons and one grandfather. The hike would take about 2.5 miles to the camping area.
We all took Friday off from work and drove up to the Palms Springs area and got some lunch just before heading up to the tram. It was already getting pretty hot in the desert as we bought our tickets. We knew there was still snow up on the mountain so we were very excited to get up there.
We all bought out tickets for the tram and enjoyed the ride up. The tram ascends 5,800 feet in about 8 minutes. The tram car spins as it heads up and you can see the different eco zones as we ascended in elevation. Once on top we hiked in 2.5 miles to round valley camping area. We found some snow in patches on our way in. We got to the camping area and picked a nice area off the trail. We set up camp and then a few of us went to get some water from the spring. We pumped it for precaution. None of us wanted any GI problems back at work.
We enjoyed the evening and the next day after breakfast, we all headed out towards San Jacinto Peak. We reached the ridge and took a rest. Since there was snow around, we made some slushies with some powdered mix. Nice treat. Next, a few of us attempted to hike to the peak while the others hung out for a while. Peter and I led the way and made some good time to the top. There is a nice hut and many people on top. It was a great sunny day for the top. We took some pictures. Next, Jake and Alan made it up. Behind them was Fred. We were proud of Fred for making it to the top. We headed back down and joined the others and then made our way back to camp.
That night after dinner, a few wanted to sleep under the stars.
The next morning we broke camp and head back to the tram. The boys bought a few souvenirs and then we descended via the tram to the cars and the desert heat.
This was a great trip for first time boys. There is a lot of variety for them and the hike is not too long.