Mt Jupiter had been on the radar for quite some time. It seemed like every time I was ready to go hike it, the gate to it was closed. I know some people parked at the gate and hiked up anyways but it adds quite a bit more elevation to an already hard day. I figured I would just be patient and wait for a good day when I knew for sure the gate was open. Well that day had come and I was determined to check Jupiter off the list.
When the gate is open and you do make your attempt to find the trailhead, note that it is a little obscured and not exactly easy to find unless you know what to look for. From the WTA website "Follow Mount Jupiter Road for 3.5 miles and turn left on FR 2610-011. Continue on this steep and rough road 3 miles to the trailhead." What those directions don't tell you is that the trailhead is on a side road. Once you go the 3 miles on 2610-011, you'll be at a sharp bend in the road that goes up steeply. At the bend, you'll see a side road on the left. The trailhead is just down that side road less that a tenth of a mile. I've heard of some folks going right past the side road - even folks hiking up from the seasonally closed gate only to find they've missed the trailhead altogether.
The trail itself was in pretty good shape, at least the lower section was. The upper section could use a little attention as it was becoming a little bit grown over.
The only thing else I'll add, other than it being a long and difficult hike, there is also not any water anywhere to be found on the ridge so be sure to bring plenty. I did OK with three liters and a fourth stashed in the car for the ride home. I hid one of the liters about half way up the trail so I'd have something on the way down. It was a nice day, not particularly hot out and I drank all three liters. I was happy to have something in the car.
Check it out, he flew right over me. Really added to the excitement of being on the summit.