San Jacinto Peak
February 23, 2011
Photographer: Kelly Fast
Summary Author: Kelly Fast; Jim Foster
The photo above showing a portion of the trail to San Jacinto Peak in southern California was taken while hiking from the Valley Station of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the 10,834 ft (3,302 m) summit. The contrast of the cerulean blue sky, green conifers and white granitic boulders was quite stunning. Composed largely of granite and sculpted by wind and water, the San Jacinto wilderness area is a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts – it’s just a two hour drive from both San Diego and Los Angeles. San Jacinto Peak was thrust upward when the Pacific Plate and North American Plate slammed into each other. The San Andreas Fault extends between Mt. San Jacinto and nearby Mt. San Gorgonio (the highest peak in Southern California at 11,503 ft or 3,506 m). Though not nearly as lofty as peaks in the Sierras and Rockies, it’s nonetheless one of the more notable peaks in the contiguous U.S. in terms of relative relief.
The blue color of the sky will be deeper as you ascend higher up a mountain since there are fewer air molecules to scatter the blue light out of your view. To find the deepest blue colors, look about 90 degrees away from the Sun. Photo taken in the summer of 2010.