Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in San Jacinto Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Let’s start by saying, Wow!!!!!! Spectacular! I can not believe to date there is only 50 reviews... I was very lucky that this late in the year the weather held up and it allowed me to make this trek. The weather was perfect and there were NO GNATS!!! If this trail had water (lakes, rivers, etc...) it would easily rank as my favorite. That being said, I still place it very high on my list due to the view at the lookout. Hands down, this is the best view I have seen in my time hiking. A sweeping 360 degree view you won’t want to miss! Having this be in the quaint town of Idyllwild makes it even more special. I highly recommend this trail!! To keep it a surprise, I am only posting 1 photo.

Did this hike yesterday. I am not in great shape so I found it fairly strenuous overall—not necessarily because of gain but because of duration. I clocked 9.5 miles on my pedometer including the bit of extra from my car. Beautiful summit and worth the climb. Leave yourself plenty of time to get back down, too.

Beautiful view on the top. Just right to challenge yourself. Is you want more, go down to Idllwild to take the Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail to see the fall foliage then go back to the parking lot. That would give you a total of 13 miles.

hiking
5 days ago

Really pretty veiws. Lake Hemet in the backround most of the trail. Three stream crossings starting at about mile 3.3. The trail starts to get steep after stream crossing. Trail from 3.3 on slightly overgrown but still easily passible. When you reach the pct trail splinter peak is to the right and apache peak is to the left. Start early if you plan to summit both peaks. We headed back down at 1:00 pm and reached the trail head by 3:30 pm. About 1 hour before the sun goes over the mountain. Happy Trails.

Trail is well-maintained and there are several places to do dispersed camping throughout. We hiked up four miles toward San Jacinto peak and camped overnight. The next day was a 12 mile day where we summitted and hiked back down. Absolutely beautiful this time of year. All of the deciduous trees are turning colors.

hiking
rocky
7 days ago

Awesome hike and potentially my new favorite in southern California. I really like the scenery here, it's very Sierra Nevada like. Tahquitz rock at the very start of the trail looks straight out of Yosemite - with a properly framed picture I guarantee I could fool most people if I told them it was from there. Very different from the San Gabriels where I normally hike in a good way. I did this route to avoid paying for the tram - if you can stomach the 16 miles (I think this is the longest day hike I've ever done) it's awesome. It gets busy once you pass Wellman Divide but the middle third of the hike is a very nice, essentially deserted part of the PCT. Views at the top are extremely good. Be sure to climb on the rocks to get a good view of San Gorgonio across the pass. If you are ever desperate for water (or not and have a water filter) there were a few very active springs about half a mile before Wellman divide (I believe they're called Wellman Cienaga).

hiking
bugs
8 days ago

Great loop. Long uphill but it’s mostly very well graded and the view from the top is well worth it. I did the route counterclockwise: downhill from the trailhead, up to the peak, and then back down to the trailhead.

Great views at the end. Nice folks Manning the fire lookout. Trail is in excellent shape.

For context, my wife and I are from Michigan, mid-50’s and in decent shape for our age. We’ve hiked in Colorado, Washington, Tennessee, Arizona and Switzerland. We like moderate hikes in the 4-8 mile range. We LOVED Tahquitz Peak for the following reasons: level of difficulty, spectacular views, diversity of trail (shade, sun, short excursions, trees, foliage). One of our top ten best overall hikes. My Garman Fenix 5 tracked our hike closer to 9.5 miles. Don’t miss this one and give yourself 5-7 hours to fully experience the journey, summit, lunch at the top, pictures and a dose of soul restoration.

Awesome day hike. Gorgeous views the entire way. Not too steep and the trail was maintained very well. Took us about 3 hours up and 2 hours down and we went at a casual pace. Make sure you have a permit there was a ranger checking!

Went 10/19-10/20 and had great weather. Well maintained trail with some great views. No water anywhere along the trail so come prepared. Also very dusty. Camped along the ridge and had a phenomenal view of sunset

This trail is breathtaking. And easy start graduates in difficulty the closer you get to the summit. There are several amazing rocks and boulders to stop for a rest or a bite or some bouldering. The views towards the top are epic.

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
snow
26 days ago

What an amazing ride and the views are breathtaking; maybe it was the elevation change that took my breath. A nice moderate day hike. I took the loop back and it was worth it to see the valleys full of ferns; mostly dried up from lack of water. Highly recommended!

Nice short little trail. Great views of tahquitz and suicide rock on the way. Watch out for snakes!

The day was Fall-perfect! The trail led us in and through wooded stretches. Bugs weren't a problem. Taking our time to take in the scenery, we were in and back in 3 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

Shaded, great views. Easy trail to follow and the length makes it a great workout.

Fantastic hike, beautiful views all the way with plenty of overlooks to enjoy. We added the loop down through the meadows which added a couple of worthwhile miles. We ended up with 10.5 for the trip.

The trail starts on the NORTH side. We went to the south side and there was no parking. Everything scenic is within the first mile of the north side. Nice, easy trail, almost no traffic.

hiking
private property
rocky
1 month ago

Make sure you go the Ranger Station to get a permit for this specific trail. The permit is free and is for your safety and to be allowed to the peak of the mountain. You can also camp and the view is beautiful. Also this trail is steep and very rocky. Bring alot of water and bug spray.

Gorgeous trail with almost constant beautiful views on either side of the ridge. There is a semi-paved road that you could drive to the trail head, but beware: low clearance vehicle (like my Prius) can bottom-down! I drove for a bit and then pulled-off and parked when it became uncomfortable. Vehicles with bigger clearance should not have issues. There are no water on the ridge, so bring plenty. It is declared to be hard, but my 10 yo made it up and down w/o problems. Permit to hike is required. No permits to park a vehicle.

Love this one. I'm too cheap to pay for the tram! Views when you start from Humber are lovely. Two things I don't like about San Jacinto are 1)Crowds because of the tram. 2)The actual peak is not a spot where you can hang out and enjoy. Which, when I think about it, is probably a good thing considering the crowds that converge on it. But the hike itself is awesome.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Great trail! Very steep but worth the view

honestly really pretty, but the bugs were all up in my face. I would love to come try it again in a less buggy season. Bring OFF or something similar.

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