Summary: This is the most heavily used trail in The San Jacinto Wilderness, the parking lot is right on the border. You will see lots of people on the weekend, the trail quota fills up fast.
You might see rangers on this trail, I saw two sets and they told me they are up there every weekend, so do get a permit, this isn't the south ridge, or Marion Mountain, and if you're like me, you'll pass them on the way up.
This is an elevation gainer, no question about it. You will know that you are climbing a peak. If you are a novice hiker, it will definitely border on strenuous, but the experienced hiker will rough it out in nothing flat. It takes me right around two hours to do it.
It's a beautiful trail, though, and as long as no one is too obnoxious, you should enjoy relative peace and tranquility.
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 PCT to Tahquitz Peak, the first trail on your right. The PCT is frequently marked with a square post. It is here. Follow this to the junction with the incredibly steep and short Tahquitz Peak Trail, turn right.
You can make this a loop through Tahquitz Valley, which is worthwhile for the lovely meadows and views of peaks, not to mention relative solitude. I wouldn't recommend it on the way up though, because the PCT from Tahquitz Valley is a very steep section. Take this route on the way out. (Lat:33.75528 Lon:-116.67696)
Trail Guides for Tahquitz Peak via Devils Slide Trail:
San Bernardino Mountain Trails - 100 Hikes in Southern California
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)
by Tom Sinestra and Ann Marie Brown (Avalon Travel)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: SBNF (951) 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 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Jessica on 7/19/2012
Did this hike yesterday by myself. I loved it. Hadn't done it in a while. Enjoyed the solitude. Was shy by 1.3 mi to Wellmann's Divide. Will do it again to Tahquitz Peak. No rangers on the trail. Ranger Station closed on Wednesday.
Reviewed by Duncan on 2/4/2012
We are avid hikers and enjoy long, strenuous and adventurous hikes. We climbed this on 3 Feb 2012 during an unusually warm winter. There was snow in Nov 2011, but none since then. We decided to take Devil's Slide trail up to the junction with the PCT, then took the PCT to the Tahquitz Peak Trail, then to the lookout. Unfortunately, we never made it to the lookout. Though we found patches of snow & ice just shy of the junction, it was passable. We were forced to turn back due to the ice on the steep section on Tahquitz Peak Trail. Crampons were definintely needed to pass here, as any slip meant a long fall off the cliff. Even the rangers were unaware of this, so be prepared for icy conditions or to turn back.
Reviewed by SierraCJ on 12/2/2011
Very nice hike from Humber Park. Well defined trail with great views in all directions. Final ascent to peak was a little steep but very manageable for most all hikers. Fire lookout very cool. Hike done on 9/17/2011.
Reviewed by 83 is da new 38 on 10/4/2011
we did a grand loop in the fern valley, chinaquin, and up to Tahq peak, then back to the saddle and down to devil slide humber park. about 11 miles. weather forecast was for thunderstorms, but the forecast was wrong, had great weather and the whole mountain almost to ourselves. ran into 10 people max on the trail. of course the tahq tower had a lot of peeps. great adventure. Ranger on the trail asked for the permit.
Reviewed by McHiker on 8/21/2011
This is one of my top three trails in SoCal. Note: You'll probably see a Ranger and if you don't have a pass you WILL receive a gift in the mail. While I'm not usually on board with restrictive hiking in the case of this trail I am. What I most enjoy is after the steady climb to get to the first junction you have options on where to spend your day or night. My personal favorite is the trail to Reeds Meadow. After around a mile or so you're treated to yet another junction with three more options. I was on it yesterday and caught a PERFECT day (other than a handful of those who felt it necessary to talk loudly on the trail.) The big score? Two timber rattlesnakes mating in the middle of the trail. AWESOME!
Reviewed by Tim S. on 6/12/2011
I just did this hike yesterday. I will for sure keep it at the top of my list of hikes to do. It was a beautiful day and the hike offer amazing views all along the way ... not to mention a great workout. Enjoy!
Reviewed by JB on 5/30/2011
Hiked Sunday 5/29/11 for the third or fourth time. Freezing cold with gusty winds, almost lost our hats a few times. Patchy ice and snow on the trail between Saddle Junction and Tahquitz Peak, but passable. Will likely be completely melted in a few weeks. Fire lookout building was closed and covered in frost. Views were limited because of clouds, but trees and rocks were beautiful covered in ice.
Reviewed by David L. on 7/27/2010
This is a great Idyllwild hike, with scenery that arguably rivals that of San Jacinto. It is challenging, but after you reach the P.C.T. it gets easier. Although the smog was pretty bad on the day we went, the views on the P.C.T. were still dramatic. You can see some pictures from my trip here.
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