Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

Challenging as it is mostly uphill to the top. Beautiful and even with the temps warming up to high 80s in town it stayed cool enough up here especially in the shade. Trail very well maintained! Lots of backpackers coming down. Parking was full for a late morning arrival so if you're planning to go up, hit the Ranger station for your permit and adventure pass earlier in the morning. We got the last spot. Enjoyed lunch afterwards in the park where there were a couple picnic tables.

17 days ago

Hiked the grand tour on 5/5/18.
You can complete this loop circuit on foot but I spotted my mtn bike at the South Ridge trail head and drove down to the Ernie Maxwell south trail head to begin my trek. Started at 6 am hiking to Humber Park then headed up the Devils slide trail and arriving at Saddle Jct at 8am. From there I took the trail leading to Tahquitz valley, and on to little Tahquitz valley. At little Tahquitz I left the main trail and started off cross country towards Red Tahquitz and soon picked up the PCT southbound for a short way before once again going off trail to the summit. Please know this area is closed due to the Mountain fire and traveling through this area could result in a fine, however I never entered into any burnt forest and feel the forest service should not close un burnt areas, but this is just my opinion. Arriving at Red just before 9:30 I took a 20 min break to take in the outstanding views from the peak before heading towards Tahquitz peak. Another 20 min break here before heading down the South Ridge trail and the end of the hike. From hear you can do like me and spot a bike or walk down the road 1.2 miles back to the start point. If you decide to take on this trek you should have good off trail skills with good knowledge of a map and compass for the off trail segments. There is a use trail to Red’s summit and I cleaned up a bit of it but it traveled into the burned area so that’s as far as I got with it. Enjoy and be safe.

I just love this trail!!!! Haven't hiked it since the fire but, from what I am reading It seems to be open! I am beyond excited!

This is a beautiful hike

great views along trail. A little difficult, but worth it all the way up and down stopping A lot to talk to other hikers

Wow. What an adventure. I love Idyllwild now and really love the views that trail has to offer.

It was close to 100 degrees the day I went but only about 70 upnin Idyllwild. But besides that great views. And wow what a sun-set. My god was it beautiful.

Hiked this on 4/21. Started around 7 am and we were back down by midday. Stopped many times on the way up to explore the different view points. This is a beautiful hike and does not get that challenging till about 1.5-2 miles or so from the peak, at which point the incline becomes steeper. I would deff recommend a truck/Jeep, vehicles with a higher clearance to make it up the dirt road to the trailhead. If you’re in a car, drive slow and be careful with all the potholes and some deep pockets of sand like dirt on the road. Don’t get stuck!

Nice incline and views up to Taqhuitz. A bit more strenuous than the Devil’s Slide Route.

Gorgeous and challenging!!! Will definitely be back to do it again soon!!

Hikes it on 4/7/2018
This is my new favorite hike! It’s so beautiful! Very enjoyable hike. Parking was very easy. Lots of dogs on the trail and very friendly people. The trail was very well maintained and easy to follow. It was fun to talk to all the PCT hikers on the way up. We ate on the large boulder which marks the end of this trail and some hikers convinced us to continue to Tahquitz Peak which is not that much further. Make sure you put this on your list of hikes!

great bang for your work out buck

It was a great hike to the peak lookout. I definitely enjoyed this way up as opposed to the other. This one was harder but enjoyed by all.

Fun Hike. Awesome views. Clear all the way through. very light snow in small sections.

This trail is super cool! Very well kept, beautiful views of Tahquietz Peak and Suicide Rock. Lot's of shade, switch backs and goes around mountain. Great workout! Make sure to get your Adventure pass, and requires permits at Ranger station.

2 months ago

Great hike with great views with some steep inclines toward the top. Most of the trees sadly have been burned down from the recent fires. But still worth the views.

Beautiful day out. Light snow and ice on the round made it air slippery on some spots. Once we made it to the junction it was even more beautiful and a great place to take some time to relax.

We backpacked this trail on Feb 16, 2018 and it was definitely a steep long trail. Most people do not backpack this route and I can see why. It's really uphill most of the way and carrying 40+lbs on your back is rough. With that said this 49 year old and her friends and kids (ages 13 and 14) did great. We slept just near Saddle jct about 500 yds north on the PCT. There were patches of snow, and it was cold at night (down in the 25 degrees) If you plan to hike to the peak anytime soon bring microspikes as there is too much ice to hike without them.

The view was really lovely, but I won't be hiking this one again. Next time I'll stick with less uphill trails as I'm still learning to pack a lighter pack :)
Happy Hiking!

Enjoyable hike. Weather cool and snow on ground and trees as we approached Saddle Junction. Round trip to Saddle Junction took 4 hrs including frequent stops for photos and resting at Saddle Junction.

Nice trail, well maintained. It was fairly busy, I brought my dog and she loved it! Don't forget a permit from the ranger station, and dogs should be leashed.

Neither my dog or myself is in great shape and we took it slow. 1hr 45 minutes to the saddle and 1.5hr down the hill. The time includes rest stops and time to chat with other hikers.

I was shaking driving my Kia Soul, 2 wheel drive to the trailhead. But we made it. That road is rough.
the hike itself, well, we are not acclimated to the elevation and needed to stop to catch our breath many times. beautiful views, great workout, great reward, we will be back.

3 months ago

Did this hike on 1/26/18 for the first time since the Mountain fire. Have done it a few times in the past including a shuttle starting at the Zen trail and over Apache. Always have loved the Spitler trail for the variety of foliage and views, especially from the PCT into the desert. The burn was devastating. Almost nothing left behind. The only living trees were on the upper east slopes of Spitler
A little looking about to find the use trail to the top.
Still a worthwhile hike that I would recommend. PCT closed toward Apache.

Did this hike today and it was busy but still enjoyable. We took the teenagers and dog with us and everyone did well. You can feel the altitude going up which made it a bit challenging for us ocean dwellers but was worth it. I would like to go out farther next time. Remember to wear layers!

A beautiful hike with 1” of fresh snow. Will do it again.

Not too bad, me and the wife really enjoyed this trail.

Trail is very good condition. Sunny skies but not too hot. I can imagine it would be hot and, as a result, much harder during the summer. The trail was well marked and didn’t leave any doubt where to go.

Well maintained steady climb to the saddle. I would rate this on the high end of moderate.

Hike on 12/2 and the views were amazing! Highly recommend when the weather is cool and sunny. We hiked during the super moon and returned the last 2.5 miles in moon light.
Hike time was 5-hours round trip with multiple breaks.

Hiked this on 12/2 and really enjoyed it. The weather was perfect and views were spectacular! Definitely want to do this one again.

Hiked 12/2/17. Weather was perfect. Would not want to do this hike in the middle of summer. We hiked up Spitler Trail , to PCT, then south on PCT and down to our shuttle parked at Cedar Springs Trailhead. A little more than 14 miles. It took us about 7 hours to complete.
The PCT is currently closed North of where Spitler Peak and the PCT meet.
I would consider this a hard hike (seemed most of Trail was uphill) for someone not working out regularly.

5 months ago

The Spitler Peak Trail is now open as of Thanksgiving week. I hiked 3.13 miles of the trail on Thanksgiving day. The trail itself is in excellent condition but the loss of all the red shanks and trees means even less shade than before the Mountain Fire. Still great views and lots of interesting plants for botanists.

Load More