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#54481 - 11/04/18 03:35 AM C2C hike
nyker Offline


Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 203
Loc: New York
For those of you who have done this from the desert floor, what time of year did you do it and how hard was following a route up there in the dark? Assume Shoulder seasons are best after the heat and before the snow. Where can I find a reliable gpx file out there?

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#54484 - 11/05/18 07:50 AM Re: C2C hike [Re: nyker]
RichardK Offline


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 92
Loc: East Coast Florida
There is a board where this hike is frequently discussed. Someone there can answer your question:

http://www.mtsanjacinto.info/

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#54489 - 11/08/18 07:03 AM Re: C2C hike [Re: nyker]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 594
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: nyker
For those of you who have done this from the desert floor, what time of year did you do it and how hard was following a route up there in the dark? Assume Shoulder seasons are best after the heat and before the snow. Where can I find a reliable gpx file out there?


April's a good time, and sometimes earlier IF you have solid information that's there NO snow/ice on the upper part of the trail - the section below the tram. It's a deadly section with snow & ice.

I used to live in Inyokern for 7 years, and did the Cactus to Clouds hike a few times. If you PM me with your email, I'll send you a GPX that will include the section from the Museum to the tram, and tram to the summit.

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#54490 - 11/08/18 09:55 AM Re: C2C hike [Re: nyker]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 543
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
If you have a problem hooking up with Kevin another web site with good information is:
https://hikingguy.com/hiking-trails/best-la-hikes/cactus-to-clouds-hike/

If you scroll down this page there is also a link to download a gpx file (I've not tried it, but guess it will work)


Edited by John Sims (11/08/18 10:17 AM)

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#54491 - 11/08/18 11:17 AM Re: C2C hike [Re: John Sims]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 594
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: John Sims
If you have a problem hooking up with Kevin another web site with good information is:
https://hikingguy.com/hiking-trails/best-la-hikes/cactus-to-clouds-hike/

If you scroll down this page there is also a link to download a gpx file (I've not tried it, but guess it will work)


I skimmed his page, and while I don't want to say C2C is a walk in the park, if you're a regular hiker, start early (4AM isn't too early), eat & hydrate regularly, most make it fine. Keeping in mind that Palm Springs is about 500', and the tram is 8400', the goal is to get part way up by mid-morning so you're not caught low in the heat. But, it's not an epic. If you live or have access to the mountains in the East, a Presi traverse, a Pemi loop, or the Devil's backbone, or the Great Range traverse are much more demanding.

Most people (in my experience) take the Palm Springs tram down. Getting back to the museum is a pain as it's 7 miles away. I've either 1) hitched a ride with other hikers who gave me lift or 2) taken a cab and sometimes shared the fare. A few people continue on 5.5 miles to the summit. A few turn around at the tram and hike back down to the museum.

In my experience, one of the toughest aspects of going from a temperate climate to an exceptionally arid one like Palm Springs (maybe 5% humidity mid-day?) is acclimatization, and not so much to altitude. Most of us acclimate to altitude faster than adjusting to the extremely dry temps. I don't know if the local SAR unit (Riverside County) still does it, but around 2007 or so they started to stash water in emergency caches as dehydration was a major cause for rescues. What works for me on this hike is to super hydrate before starting, and lug a 100oz bladder of water. If memory serves, NYKer has posted about other hikes he's done in the West, so I doubt he needs the advice re: hydration.

Oh, before I forgot - the tram station has some mighty fine cold beer. Not too many hikes have a cold adult beverage available up top, at least one you didn't lug yourself.

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#54492 - 11/08/18 02:36 PM Re: C2C hike [Re: KevinR]
bruce Offline


Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 94
Loc: Novato, CA
My brother, a friend of his and I did this two years ago last October. That I think, like the Grand Canyon RTR hike, is the best month to go. Won't be any snow and it won't be that hot either. As mentioned above, start predawn, preferably by 5:00 am, because even in October it will be hot in Palm Springs in October once the sun comes out. You want to be at least 2-3 thousand feet of vert into the hike before that happens. Otherwise it makes for a miserable start to the hike and most important, you'll need more of the valuable water you're hauling along.

Very advisable to bring along a GPX track of the route because it's easy to lose track of the trail. We did the complete hike, from museum to peak and back to museum. Going down at night was a challenge navigational-wise and 100% concentration was required from the point man. My hiking partners have sworn they'll never do it again (at least going back down to the museum) but I thought it was pretty cool seeing the Palm Springs lights become more prominent as we descended and I have good memories of it. This hike CTCTC compares with RTRTR, but I think the latter is harder. The main difference is that RTRTR is longer (43-48 miles, depending on which route you choose) and that CTCTC is all UP then all DOWN. But many people are afraid of the stress on their legs of 10k of continuous downhill and I don't blame them. Fortunately it wasn't an issue for me like it was for my hiking partners.

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