Summary: Get a wilderness permit, and carry it with you. You are bound to come across a ranger on this trail (especially on the weekends.) The Devil's Slide Trail is overused and on a quota system, they will ask for it.
After Saddle Junction, you should have a lot more solitude, most people opt for Tahquitz Peak rather than Red, it's a little farther too, which makes it the thumb's up choice for me and anyone else who likes the wilderness to be wild. You might see a few campers, but the only people I saw on a Sunday were a father and his son.
Although, I also like to make a big loop out of the two and add 3 miles to this hike, plus another 900' of elevation gain. It's worth it, but I'd suggest doing Tahquitz first to avoid crowds (by getting there early) and the steep section of the PCT between Red and the Lookout.
Plus, the views from Red are better than from the lookout, shhhh, don't tell everybody!
Trailhead: It is very confusing to get to Humber Park. I get lost every time I go. You're supposed to drive 2 miles up Fern Valley Road from Idyllwild, and park at the immense parking area at Humber Park. There isn't a park, just a lot, or at least I've never seen a park.
Follow the Devil's Slide trail 2.5 miles to Saddle Junction. It is well-graded but a moderately steep climb of about 1600'. From there you will see five trails going in all directions, take the second trail on your right. It is marked Tahquitz Valley.
The trail descends and flattens out for 3/4 mile before you start ascending to the peak, turn left on the PCT and follow it for 3/4 mile as well. The peak trail is marked by a cairn to the left of the trail(although it ascends to the right), and it is pretty well worn for an unmaintained trail. You can't miss it. It is easy to follow and not much steeper than the Devil's Slide. It even switchbacks a bit. The register is well hidden in the far rocks. (Lat:33.7579 Lon:-116.65202)
Trail Guides for Red Tahquitz:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: SBNF Idyllwild (909) 659-2117
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by TD on 1/30/2013
Just want to point out that the alleged UTM coordinates for the turn-off for the peak are NOWHERE near the PCT path around the peak. They are, as best I can tell, the coordinates for the South Ridge trailhead. To put it another way, don't bank on using those coordinates to help you.
Reviewed by Late Hiker on 10/8/2011
I did this hike to add another peak from the Angeles Sierra Club Hundred Peak List on 10/7/11. A storm had just come through two days prior and there was a faint dusting of powdery snow. The turn off the PCT to the use trail is marked by a junction made of logs and rocks. Even with the snow the trail was easy to follow to the summit. I could not find the register log, but the views are amazing. You have great views of the snaking ridge line that includes Antsell Rock, Apache Peak to the south, as well views of the Salton Sea, Lake Hemet. Definitely leave early if possible to avoid the crowds on Devil's Slide if hiking on the weekdays.
Reviewed by KM on 5/26/2011
I hiked this on 5-22-11. I included Taquitz in the hike so it was a pretty good day. I found snow drifts higher up Taquitz and got a chance to use my micro-spikes. The turn-off from PCT to Red is easy to find as there are now some tree branches sidelining the start of the trail. I suspect the hiker who couldn't find it didn't go far enough down the PCT.
Reviewed by DG on 9/7/2010
Great views at stop, multiple creeks to cross, decent amount of shade
Reviewed by Anjana on 5/3/2010
Hiked this 5/1/10 but there was so much ice that it was impossible to hike beyond the saddle. The group didn't have cramp-ons and we had to turn around. Would love to do this again in the summer.
Reviewed by Bryce on 10/26/2008
This is a good hike if you like to get away from the crowd. The coordinates, below, for the turn-off are accurate. With no GPS, the turn-off is only marked by a few softball-sized rocks lining the trail. It's fairly easy to find if your really looking. Nice views.
Reviewed by mike on 8/19/2007
Did the hike from South Ridge - it was a total of about 6 miles from car to summit of Red. Here are the coordinates of the trail marker mentioned in an earlier review in Lat-Lon format: 33-45.78 N, 116-39.33 W. Cool hike, but remember that you have to go back uphill to get back to wherever you came from, and that wore me out.
Reviewed by Bob m on 6/5/2007
Hiked on 5/29/07 went up via south ridge trail. had a great time south ridge trail up to Tahquitz cutoff is steep but beautiful. The cut off for red is clearly marked as is the trail up the 400* ft elev. gain ascent. Maybe the person who couldn't find it didn't go far enough. Anyway here are gps coords for cutoff: utm nad 27 11 528245E 3732635N
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