Explore the most popular hiking 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.

So someone’s review said to start at the trailhead where the parking is and my friend and I think they are completely wrong. If you start from the dirt road entrance which is off of Taqhuitz rd I believe that is uphill. You finish the trail at the parking lot and if you follow the road a little up and to the right you find restrooms and picnic benches. When you go back down there is only a small part that is up hill but then the rest is downhill. We both hiked with our babies in baby carriers. Trust me when I say start from the first road.

The hike itself of course is beautiful because you are going through a beautiful forest and beautiful sights as you go higher and higher. However The end isn’t as rewarding as Taqhuitz peak. When Taqhuitz peak opens again from Southridge, I would suggest trying that one. It is a moderate to hard hike due to the switchbacks but it is very beautiful and so worth it when you get to the ranger tower.

Great hike! Clearly marked, beautiful views, steady climb and well maintained!

Great hike, nice views, not too strenuous and beautiful weather

I definitely suggest starting from the bottom. When I did the trail I only knew of starting at the trailhead . My friends and I hiked through and realized there was parking on the street to start from the opposite side. Hiking back was mostly uphill and we would have preferred to do it the other way around. To hike uphill first (out) and comeback (back) downhill , park on the street end of the trail not the trailhead end of the trail.

Great hike. Beautiful with different views that are amazing. Trail is not rocky which I love. Some switch backs but not many. The peak is incredible. It can get windy but we got lucky and it was calm. The tower allows you to see forever views.

walking
14 days ago

Nice scenic lake. Very short walk. Good spot for a picnic.

Just came off this trail. it has a well earned "moderate" rating as it is approximately 2.6 miles of constant grade from the trailhead the saddle.

Trail is well maintained, switchbacks are well graded. All in all, this is a great hike with nice access to the PCT, Taquitz Peak (1.4 miles south from the saddle), and San Jacinto peak via the PCT (7 miles north from the saddle).

Nice views. Dogs liked it too

Such a great hike. I did this in June. I was just starting out for the season. Was hard for me to the meadows. Meet PCT hikers at the meadows. Will be back to go up go the peak

Trailhead difficult to find, completely exposed the whole way up, first three miles moderate, last 2 miles strenuous.

beautiful hike and a great place to have a picnic. no hiking gear needed for this Trail

Great hike to take my wife and dogs on.

Great day hike to beat the heat and get active. Lots of shade on the trail so it's ok to go in the middle of the day. Good for all fitness levels. Disappointing thing is there is a parking lot at the top of the trail which takes you out of the wilderness

Got the last permit and hiked to the fire lookout via Devil’s Slide on Saturday, Sept 1. Didn’t see a lot of people on the way up, but saw quite a few on the way down. The volunteers arrived just after we did and unlocked the fire lookout. It’s a great view, and well worth the hike. On the ridge top you will see where the firefighters stopped the fire this summer.
It took us just over 5 hours round trip including 30 minutes to enjoy the view on top. GPS showed 8.6 miles round trip.

Beautiful trail with nice variety. The view from Suicide Rock is phenomenal. Being a flatlander and not in full hiking shape it was more of an uphill in parts then I expected but nevertheless very doable. Go to ranger station to get trail pass. Parking is all over the place next to road. Trail is easy to find

Absolutely breathtaking views. A lot of people stopped once they got to saddle junction. DON’T. follow it to the peak. The views are amazing and the volunteer at the fire tower is extremely kind and friendly. Great hike.

Easy trail, great day hike!

Nice shaded hike. I've done bottom to top, and top to bottom, def recommend doing bottom to top.

Hiked with a small group, first time up the trail. Started at 10AM and had shaded trail most of the way to Saddle Junction. Great views all the way up, moderate elevation gain, trial in good condition. No bugs at all. Would definitely return and go up to Tahquitz Peak.

Not my easiest hike but super rewarding with some petty kick ass views.

3 months ago

Beautiful scenery. Easy walk. Be careful when walking across highway 243 to the lake from the parking lot. Traffic coming from Idyllwild has no pedestrian traffic sign.

not anything like the sierras but amazing for down here. I wouldn't rate this moderate, it should be rated easy. although the incline is pretty significant in the first 2.5 miles, taking your time upon ascending will prevent you from getting overly tired.

this was an easy trail going out from the trailhead, coming back was more of a climb. although if you start from taquitz rd (if I remeber the street name correctly) you will be going up and than an easy down. it was a little more narrow trail in many spots, and it was warmer this day. we started at 7 am and the bugs were pretty heavy, although this was one of the hottest days of our Summer. we ended and were back home in Hemet by 11 and before we left we went to eat breakfast so it was a quick hike. have fun hiking.

This was my first hike and I loved it. The trail is definatly moderate. If you are in good shape this is a good starter trail. We really enjoyed the views going up, the trail to me seemed pretty narrow in many areas. I only say that because I like to walk with lots of space, we did stop to eat our snacks which consisted of turkey jerky, dried bananas, and trail mix nuts. we love our water packs which we both did not finish, my pack holds a 2 liter capacity. oatmeal is my staple to eat before a hike, it really helps my energy level to stay pretty high. but that is just what I do, there are many other foods that are great before a hike. Be safe and have a great time hiking.

A group of friends and I completed this hike last weekend. I wanted to post some clarifying information about the access road! The worst part of the road is just past the gate where too many people have tried to get through and dug the road out to hell. We made it through (in low gear) in a small AWD SUV but our friends in a 2WD Rav4 did not. I would highly suggest just coaxing your AWD car or truck through slowly because the access road is very steep, mostly paved, and way better to do in a car than on foot!

Once you turn onto the dirt road there are spots to park right away or you can drive all the way to the actual walking trail, cutting this to 6.4mi round trip. We’ve hiked a lot in the Idyllwild area, including multiple routes to Taquitz and Saddle Junction. This route has the best views and the fewest people. The half-mile right before the peak is a moderate challenge and fairly exposed, but the rest is an easy grade with lots of shade. Concur with the “moderate” rating; our 7 and 9yo did the round trip without a problem (we’re active but we live at sea level). We saw one rattler (decent size, 4-ish feet and 10 buttons on the tail) which means there were a few more out there so stay aware. Overall, a fun half-day hike with rewards on the way and at the top.

Fire look-out was unoccupied but the deck was open. The views where oddly good given the usual summer haze.

Gorgeous hike

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