Trip Report    

Day Hike - Mount Jupiter

Excellent hike with great views, but even more strenuous on a very hot day.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Trail is in generally in good shape with small loose rock in places. Many overgrown sections, especially on the upper trail, but it is easy to follow. Also several partial trail washouts, careful footing needed.

After the turn from 101 onto Mt. Jupiter road, it quickly becomes rocky with holes and some ruts. High clearance is not needed, just slow careful driving.  It becomes one lane with not much room to let someone by. Parking is tight on a one-lane road at the trailhead (no pass needed). My car's bumper was scraped by someone apparently making a u-turn. Additional parking for a couple of vehicles is available if you bear right just before the trailhead sign.

We spotted a bear along the road approaching the trailhead, then again on the way out. So, they are up there - be bear-aware. Lots of blooming pink rhodies and other flowers: paintbrush, avalanche lilies, phlox, bear grass, twin flowers, others.

I do not recommend this trip on a hot day. There is zero water and the trail is bone dry. We each brought at least 3 liters and drank it all. I brought a gallon, drank it all, and was still dehydrated. Do it on a cool, clear day  to thoroughly enjoy the fabulous views. Trekking poles are highly recommended. I also do not recommend it for beginner hikers; it is long, demanding, and the trail is rough in places with occasional exposure on the upper slopes.

Made the summit in 4.5 hours, down in 3.5.  Note that the return trip involves more up and down, total el. gain is likely 4,000' plus. Also note that the default Mountaineers photo for Mt. Jupiter is NOT the summit - it is a photo of a view from the ridge quite a ways down from the summit.  Overall, great hike!  Would do it again on a cool day!