6,191 ft / 1,887 m


440 ft / 134 m


6 summits

Top climbing months

April   33%

May   33%

March   16%

Most climbed route

Use trail from McKinley Saddle

"I hiked the Big Three as an overnight backpack - San Rafael and McKinley on Saturday, Santa Cruz and Cachuma on Sunday. It rained the night before and there were fresh mountain lion and bear prints everywhere in the mud. Combined with 50 mph gusts and an unexpected hail storm, I had a somewhat uneasy night camped at McKinley Spring. " - klotito, Apr 8, 2017
"This weekend's hiking was devoted to the HPS "Big Three," with a couple of add-ons (an extra ascent of McKinley, plus Cachuma Mountain). I had done two of the three, but needed Santa Cruz Peak. After solo hiking Cachuma, San Rafael and McKinley on Saturday, I met up as planned with an HPS group led by Ignacia Doggett on Sunday morning at my campsite. The group was doing all three of the "Big Three" in one day as a bike-and-hike, and started by the short-and-steep McKinley Mountain. I was happy to do this lovely summit again, two days in a row. (In retrospect, given my exhaustion at the end " - HikerMark, May 17, 2015
"This weekend's hiking, which ended up being just under 37 miles in total, was devoted to the HPS "Big Three," with a couple of add-ons (Cachuma Mountain plus a bonus ascent of McKinley). On Saturday, I started from Cachuma Saddle, then hit Cachuma Mountain on the way to my campsite at McKinley Springs. After setting up camp, I went up to San Rafael Mountain, came down and had dinner at McKinley Saddle, then went up McKinley Mountain to watch the sun set." - HikerMark, May 16, 2015
"On a backpacking trip, our route went right by the trailhead for McKinley. This was an unexpected bonus for me...I hadn't expected to do any peak bagging that weekend. So I scampered up and down as fast as I could, while my buddies rested at the saddle below." - HikerMark, Mar 22, 2014



Nearest peaks