Apache Peak Trail is a 9.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mountain Center, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 9.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2,818 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Transitional desert to palms climate zone, great 360' views, steep hike This trail leads you through an interesting part of the San Jacintos. You travel through an area that isn't quite desert, not quite an oak or maple forest, and not really a pine forest. It is a transitional combination of all of the above. The views from the PCT are incredible, but you attain nice vistas of Garner Valley and Lake Hemet almost immediately. The hike climbs the entire route, and it is very steady - a good cardio trip for about 3 1/2 miles. After that the going gets really steep through a series of switchbacks that lead you to the PCT. The trail is well maintained, but overgrown in parts. Once you reach the plateau that contains Apache Peak, keep a sharp eye out for the trail heading up the peak. You can combine this hike with the Spitler Peak hike adding 2 miles to your round trip, or you may want to venture a little further along the PCT to Antsell Rock, either way you will not be disappointed.

hiking
5 days ago

11 miles not 9.4. clocked in 2,650 elevation gain. no shade the whole way. if you don’t have enough left to push to the top the saddle is more then worth it. amazing views from there and even more amazing from the top.

hiking
blowdown
over grown
rocky
6 days ago

No water at Apache springs this time of year! Was counting on that to camp there for first night of a 3 day trip from Cedar springs(cactus) to Deer Springs via the PCT. Viable water sources were mapped from PCTA website and Guthook for the trip. No water meant we had to find a new (quicker downhill only) way back and hope to find water on the way. Spitler led down to some camping and we found a well flowing creek toward the bottom of the switch backs. No trail maintenance this year due to the pandemic, overgrown but not horrible. Saw as many snakes as people, 2 between Palm peak and Forbes. Forgot to stop the recording when we got picked up at the bottom of Spitler and taken back to the car.

hiking
23 days ago

This was a great hike! We mapped it at about 12 miles round trip. There were a few small fallen trees, we crossed over small streams from the waterfalls, some over grown bushes (came away with some scratches on my legs) and lots of small wild flowers all along the trail. The views are great! When you’re about a mile from the top there’s a nice spot where you can see Palm Springs... you’re not there yet, go left and keep going to the creek bed, the trail is hard to find but go left... we scrambled our way to the top. There wasn’t a defined trail/path to the top, but we managed. It’s a steady uphill climb, definitely worth it! Enjoy.

hiking
26 days ago

After reaching the PCT trail junction I continued north to PCT mile 175.88, then returned. The trail is in great condition but does have some fallen trees to cross along the way. Beginning at mile 171.5 plants that appeared to be Poodle Dog Bush were scattered along the trail throughout the former burn area. Crossing the rock slide area went well as the rope is in good condition, and there was a small trickling stream crossing the trail around mile 175.1. The trail was completely clear of significant snow until I reached my turnaround point.

27 days ago

Mileage is more like 11.5-12 per Tom Harrison maps. This trail is fun, wish I had the chance to hike it pre fires. Trek through several distinct environments as the altitude increases. Two streams cross the trail at good intervals to hike water light if you bring filtration. 6 hours at a modest pace.

hiking
icy
snow
1 month ago

Great trail

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

I couldn’t have picked a better day to do this trail. It was absolutely gorgeous with early spring wildflowers everywhere. The creeks were running, so my dog had some playtime in the water! This is my first time going up to Apache Peak. Once you reach the junction and head west, you reach a saddle which is really quite pretty. Lots of clouds in the sky today, otherwise it might’ve been too hot. If you’re going to do this trail, choose a cool day or a cloudy day. Definitely worth the effort! The views down into Palm Desert and Palm Springs, as well as Garner Valley are sweet!! I saw three people (that’s all) on the trail. Lots of butterflies !! A peaceful day.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Made it three miles in but turned around due to the snow on the ground. It was a great hike the 3 miles I went and I will be back next weekend for sure.

running
2 months ago

Dope trail run. Trail is in excellent shape. Views are incredible. There’s a significant burned section though so watch out for snags and hang ups. Plus recent frost kill doesn’t help. Not much of defined trail leading up to the peak but it’s stupid easy to figure out yourself.

hiking
6 months 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.

hiking
bugs
over grown
8 months ago

At about 3 miles into this hike the gnats become so bothersome I could only go another mile before having to turn around and head back. Will come back when I have a bug net to cover my face. They went straight for the eyes and were relentless. There also was a section at about 3.5 miles where the trail became very thick and overgrown. I actually liked the lower part of this trail with the chaparral and beautiful boulders.

hiking
10 months ago

Awesome views once u reach the saddle at 4.6 miles in. Water is flowing decently and you cross a small stream 3 times starting at mile 3.5. Mile 3-4.6 is the worst part as the trail is overgrown quite a bit but u can follow it. You get a bunch of junk in your boots that like to poke u. I clocked 11 miles and 2500 gain on my watch. As others have said there is barely any shade on this trail so start very early. Don’t do it when it is in the 90s. Last quarter mile to the summit goes up a wash and the trail largely disappears as this is a side trail off the pct.

Mon May 27 2019

Great hike. The last part to the peak was not clear to me. I originally followed a recording from a previous user but I would approach it differently. In the very last part of the hike the GPS route says you circle up to the peak almost in a spiral, but the last portion of the spiral is not well tracked. Instead, I would do the following: as you are hiking directly toward the peak on the very last portion of the hike, the GPS shows the trail start curving along the peak to the right. Instead of doing that, I would follow the rock wash immediately to the left which leads up toward the peak. This would be a much easier way to go than the way I went!

Mon May 28 2018

Never seen such a variety of flowers, plants and trees in one area. Purples and yellows and reds. Just gorgeous. For a couple miles, I wondered why it was rated hard....once you hit the small lovely waterfalls it inclines steeply. Wonderful hike!!

hiking
Mon Mar 12 2018

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.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

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27 days ago

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