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Devils Slide to Saddle Junction

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Breathtaking views of Tahquitz and Suicide Rocks, wonderful pine forest
Near:Idyllwild, CA
Distance:5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:1700 ft
Hike Time:3 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: This is a great introductory hike into the San Jacinto Wilderness, with spectacular views of both Tahquitz (also known as Lily) and Suicide Rocks. Both these spectacular granite formations are popular rock climbing destinations. The trail moves steadily up 1700 feet over moderate switchbacks and a mostly pine shaded trail. The trail levels out near the top as you enter into Saddle Junction, a gateway leading to many other trails in this lovely wilderness area.
Trailhead: From Idyllwild, turn east on North Circle Drive. Proceed north for over a mile until you reach South Circle Drive. Turn right, and then take your first left onto Fern Valley Road. Take the Fern Valley road to Humber Park, about 2 miles from downtown. (Lat:33.765941 Lon:-116.685083)
Trail Guides for Devils Slide to Saddle Junction:
100 Great hikes in and near Palm Springs
by Philip Ferranti  (Westcliffe Publishers)

Best Seasons: Summer, Fall
User Groups: Hikers
Ranger Contact: US Forest Service, 909-659-2117
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted  104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 3   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Hikin chick on 3/5/2012
Hiked up to Tahquitz Valley via Devil's Slide on March 2. Started at 8AM and there was ice and lots of snow on trail. I've never seen that much snow on the slide. Coming back that afternoon, most of the snow had turned to slush. If you're starting early, I recommend some spikes or other traction device. With the warm weather, there's parts of the trail that's iced over. Have fun!

Reviewed by Holly on 10/23/2011
Great views, very few people in the middle of the day in mid October, trail is in great condition and is steep but not unmanageable. Be sure to get BOTH an adventure pass for your car ($5 for 1 day) and a wilderness permit (free) as there are many rangers walking the trail checking permits. We continued on to loop around Skunk Cabbage Meadow and to Law Campground then back to Saddle Junction.

Reviewed by Rice & Bean on 9/12/2011
everything perfect. ran into about 10 groups of 4 people. 40 people is a lot, but still enjoyable. I was fine because I wore long sleeves and big hat, my buddy wore shorts and tank top so he got sunburn and dinosaur mosquito bite. Lunch at the saddle junction, then headed back down.

Reviewed by Dilbert & Curly on 6/5/2011
Free overnight permit from ranger by mail, went up Humber Park Devils Slide to Junction, then to Laws Camp junction, camped, returned next day June 3-4, 2011. High 67F Low 37F. Mule deer. log bridge. someone had built a lean-to shelter from pine tree branches at Laws Junction. creek flowing strong. filtered drinking water. A couple with the off-leash labrador dogs invaded. Dogs were chasing and hunting the deer. Owners yelling at dogs to return. It was sudden chaos for 15 mins. Stupid people KEEP YOUR DOGS ON A LEASH. On our way down large groups of boyscouts were coming up, glad we had a zen Friday because Saturday was a zoo. there were minor insects but luckily there were not biting. Next time I'll go further and explore Caramba Overlook

Reviewed by AndrewS on 4/5/2011
I went in March, and about halfway up the trail, the snow was a couple feet. I think it's the perfect time to go, assuming you have snow shoes. There's a couple pretty streams along the way, and the views are incredible. At the junction, mine were the only footprints, and you couldn't see the trail, but just follow Willow Creek on your right to get toward the meadows. I camped overnight, and, reasonably so, it got chilly, around the teens. Bring a 4-season tent at this time. Took me about 2 hours to get up with all my gear and less than an hour down. Make sure you have your permit, got stopped by ranger. Can't wait to go again, hopefully with more snow.

Reviewed by steve on 11/16/2009
we hiked this trail last thursday. great day for a hike. we started out at 8:30am and tried to make the SJ summit and return before it started getting dark. no luck. after about 4 hrs. we started heading down. saw 2 groups of 2 hikers the whole day. it was very cold and a threat of rain most of the morning. still had some great views. this trail is less steep and easier than marion trail. make sure you have your permit with you. we were stopped and asked by a ranger.

Reviewed by Shane L on 7/18/2009
Absolutely great hike. After you reach Saddle junction you have 4 different trail options to take. I have come back to take each just to see where they lead. Now i just need to get enough nerve up to do an over night or weekend hike here. You can hike anywhere from 5 miles to over 30 depending on how you route your trip. the views and solitude are hard to describe. Getting to the peak is a very rewarding accomplishment and one you will cherish.

Reviewed by JeffR on 10/13/2008
10 of us Boy Scouts and adults hiked this on 8/10/08. This is a great trail and much better, although considerably longer than the tram route to the San Jacinto summit. The route to the summit is roughly 3 equal parts. This is the most demanding, but is not too bad. The 2nd section to Wellman divide is easier with beautiful views. The last is quite easy except for boulder hopping the last bit. This is maybe 1/2 as difficult as San Gorgonio, while a similar length hike at about 15-16 miles. No water on the way so make sure you have plenty.

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Riverside County Hiking, Riverside County Trails, Riverside County Hikes

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