Round Valley Loop
ElevationAscent: 788' 240 m
Descent: -792' -241 m
High: 8,987' 2,739 m
Low: 8,369' 2,551 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 24% (13°)
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“Enjoy a scenic run looping through the valley between Mt. San Jacinto and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.”— Ryan Dunn
- Access to this trail comes from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway; tickets cost $25 at the time of writing and the ride up itself is quite the experience and definitely worth it (those with a fear of heights might disagree!). The mountaintop terminal has many amenities including a cafe and gift shops.
- Permits are required on this run, but are available for free at the ranger station at the start of the run.
- This is a high altitude area. Be aware of the signs of altitude sickness and how to address it.
- The weather can change dramatically at this altitude. Pack appropriate clothing for any conditions and always carry the Ten Essentials when running in the wilderness.
- The Tram and State Park are open year-round, however, running in this area during winter months is recommended only for experienced winter runners/mountaineers due to possible heavy snow and harsh conditions.
From the ranger station, take the Round Valley Trail to the right. The trail follows a seasonal creek while also ascending through some light rocky areas. After approximately 2 miles, runners will reach the marked junction at Round Valley. Take the High Trail to the left to continue the loop (continuing straight on the Round Valley Trail from this point will take runners up Mt. San Jacinto).
The High Trail travels back to the east along the southern edge of the valley. The forest opens up a bit on this section to provide great views of Mt. San Jacinto and its neighboring peaks. After approximately 1 mile, runners will arrive at the marked junction for the Willow Creek Trail. Turn left at this junction and follow the Willow Creek Trail north as it descends back into the valley through meadows and pine trees with a few rocky sections.
After about another mile, the trail will bring you back to the Long Valley Ranger Station. (Don't forget to turn in your return permit!) Head east from the ranger station and back up the concrete switchbacks to the Tram Terminal.
Nearby Mt. San Jacinto is the second tallest peak in Southern California!
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