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Mt. San Jacinto towers over the town of Palm Springs in the Mojave Desert in Southern California. Its height of 10,804 feet ensures that the weather at the top is completely different than that at the bottom, making it a fun way of escaping southern California into what feels like a completely different world.

If you live in LA (or, god help you, Palm Springs) it is fantastic weekend trip. There are two ways into the wilderness surrounding the mountain, the scarily named Devil's Slide Trail, and the more forgiving (to everything except your wallet) Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Once there you can find babbling brooks, nice campsites where it is legal to build a fire, and some of the best snow camping in SoCal. To camp overnight you need a permit. Call the local ranger station or the National Park Service for more info.

A wonderful adjacent mountain is Tahquitz Peak which has a fire tower and fantastic views. Either of the two mountains can be reached in a pleasant 2 day trip, or a one day gonzo dayhike - but you should really take the long way. Spend some time up there. Camping keeps you human, and where else in the area could you take someone snowcamping for the first time? Nowhere; that's where.

This mountain is one of the Southern California triple crown. The other two are Mt. San Antonio and Mount San Gorgonio.

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