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Ernie Maxwell Trail

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Easy family hike, lovely forested trail, great views of Tahquitz/Suicide Rock
Near:Idyllwild, CA
Distance:5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:400 ft
Hike Time:2.5 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: This is a perfect setting for a leasurly family hike. The trail acends very gently from the south end of Idyllwild to Humber Park, passing through a wonderful dense forest of pines. As you approach Humber Park, spectacular views of Suicide and Tahquitz rocks come in to view. Once you reach Humber Park, walk up the road a few hundred yards to the Devil's Slide Trail head and find a peaceful spot for a picnic lunch.

If you still have some energy left, hike a half mile or so up the Devil's Slide trail for unbelievable views of both Tahquitz and Suicide rock. Return the way you came.

Trailhead: From the 10 near Banning, take highway 243 to the town of Idyllwild. On the south edge of Idyllwild, take Saunders Meadow Road past Desert Sun School, turning left on Pine Avenue, then right on Tahquitz View Drive. Drive past the South Fork Trail junction to the start of the Ernie Maxwell trail. There will be a trailhead marker on the right side of the dirt road. Note that you can also start the hike from the opposite end just below Humber park, but you wind up walking uphill on the way back (not my preference!) (Lat:33.74022 Lon:-116.7024)
Trail Guides for Ernie Maxwell Trail:
100 Great hikes in and near Palm Springs
by Philip Ferranti  (Westcliffe Publishers)

California Hiking
by Tom Stienstra & Ann Marie Brown  (Foghorn Press)

San Bernardino Mountain Trails
by John W. Robinson  (Wilderness Press)

Best Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs
Ranger Contact: USDA Forest Service
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 LD on 6/11/2012
Ascended Devil's Slide to grab Red Tahquitz and Tahquitz. Descended the South Ridge Trail to where it joined with the dirt road. Took the dirt road to the Ernie Maxwell trailhead. Great return instead of coming back down Devil's Slide! A word to the wary: According to the TOPO program map, the elevation gain is 700 feet to Humber Park, not 400 as stated.

Reviewed by Mark on 9/25/2011
This is a great family trail. With minimal inclines the trail is great for kids that might not enjoy long grades. We did come across two rattlesnakes on our trip, so keep an eye out for them...they are there!

Reviewed by Coe on 6/2/2011
I gave this a "personal favorite", as it is the only hike me and my wife have done the last 20 or so years. It was a perfect hike for us. Not too difficult, but still a "hike", not just a nice walk in the woods. So many beautiful moments to just stop and say "Thank you God". There were 4 little streams that we can't beat the sound of a stream. The trail is highly recommended and would definitely do again.

Reviewed by Bear on 3/20/2011
Just hiked the trail today before the rains. It was a brisk morning and if you're not use to altitude, it might be a bit more difficult. Nice views and good people on trail.

Reviewed by Viewer on 4/12/2010
I just got back from Idyllwild, I rented a cabin for a few days just below the trail. What a nice hike. I walked it four times while I was there. On the last morning a large pine tree had fallen across the trail. Good thing no one was there. I will be heading back. Good fun. My dog loved it to. Eric Hildebrandt Oceanside Ca.

Reviewed by S.L. on 1/31/2010
very beautiful mountain view. A little crowded.

Reviewed by Anjana on 11/16/2009
Nice easy hike - definite plus if you have small children. My husband & I were a little bored towards the end, but it's good scenery.

Reviewed by Curt on 11/4/2009
I was on this very nice trail and enjoyed the good weather and great photo opportunities. Seeing a cyclist on it was a bit of a surprise.Strawberry Creek was completely dry but the fall colors were superb October 18th, 2009

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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