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 2 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Chaz on 1/2/2007
Caught the spectacular sunset early december 2006 on top with three fallen trees in my path took me 4hr.s up. Negotiated a little ice hoar last 500 meters up. Ski poles or hiking poles suggested.
Reviewed by Laura on 6/19/2006
OK, so the so-called marker-cairn really wasn't there, and, believe me, I was looking. I'm not a big fan of cross-country, especially when hiking alone, so the end of this one was a bit annoying, but the view was spectacular. Combined this with Tahquitz via the South Ridge Trail instead of Devils' Slide to get the isolation, which was wonderful. Would like to go back with someone who knows where they're going so I can find the best route up there! Great day otherwise, though.
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