South Ridge Trail to Tahquitz Peak

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San Jacinto Wilderness

South Ridge Trail to Tahquitz Peak is a 7.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 7.8 miles Elevation Gain: 3,057 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Note: You need a USFS permit to enter the National Wilderness. They are free and self issued from the USFS Station in Idyllwild. The trailhead is tricky to access, you must go up a harrowing dirt road off of Saunders Meadow Rd. to access the "Parking lot" as it is described on the map. The harrowing dirt road off of Saunders Meadow Road is best used with 4 wheel drives and high clearance vehicles only. Otherwise, park on the paved road and walk the mile to the trailhead.

hiking
rocky
7 hours ago

Great afternoon hike. Can see where it might be a little more comfortable if you start early— but beautiful and amazing views regardless of time of day. Weirdest thing- passed by a couple rangers who seemed surprised I was hiking to the peak at noon (late in the day, in their eyes)— admittedly, lots of climbing but only over about 5 miles total. This was totally doable.

6 days ago

Beautiful views, colorful flowers, steady incline, great workout at a steady pace. sun screen and plenty of water. very satisfying feeling when you get to the top!

Did this hike on Sunday May 24th 2020 Some Info for you: No snow anywhere on trail. T-shirt was plenty for entire hike. A decent amount of sun exposure so bring sunscreen/long sleeves. Drank 2 liters of water. Saw one rattlesnake on the trail. The all trails "directions" brings you to the start of the off-road vehicle only dirt road. We hiked that road and my watch clocked the total hike at 9.76 miles round trip. The "off-road" road part had some sizable ruts, don't try to drive it in a Honda Accord.

Fantastic hike. Gorgeous. Not terribly hard, but good cardio nonetheless. Trail is super-easy to follow. The comments about the road up are no joke: I had fun driving it in my Trailhawk; you should not drive it without a high-clearance AWD.

Beautiful and challenging trail! Plenty of shade, not too crowded, and snow free. Steady incline the whole time and steeper towards the end. Highly recommend!

Not as hot today or bugs! An early start makes this hike more enjoyable. Anyways amazing views from the top.

hiking
19 days ago

Saturday, May 9, 2020. Great trail. There is a lot of shade through out the trail except for the last steep mile. But the views are stunning and well worth it. I highly recommend it. Note: You have to park on Tahquitz View Road unless you have a 4x4 to drive through the messed up road. If not, there’s the extra mile you have to walk to the trailhead.

hiking
20 days ago

Hiked May 9 beautiful day no snow on trail great views had to park at the bottom of the road and walk up to Trail head 1 mile Road is very steep you definitely need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to make it up the road and even then there are two areas on the road that are difficult hike is perfect for a day hike last mile to the peak is the hardest you will definitely get your exercise quota on this hike enjoy it very much will do this hike again

hiking
1 month ago

What a difference two days of 80 degree temps will do. Only patches of snow maybe a half mile from the peak. No snow on the trail. Haven't read through other comments, but my phone said it was 10 miles not 7.8 starting and ending at Tahquitz View Drive. Was wondering why it was taking so long to finish.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Snow was knee deep the last mile until the peak.

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

Completed this hike today, hike from the start of the map is 11 miles from the bottom where the car entrance is closed. Steep at the beginning and warmer, top of the mountain has lots of snow, wear proper shoes and trekking poles views are well worth it !

running
1 month ago

Really beautiful early spring day on the trail. Almost all the snow is gone for the time being. I didn’t have time to go all the way up. The weather could not have been better for running in the mountains.

running
2 months ago

I didn’t finish but the snow isn’t too bad up on the ridge. I would wear crampons for micro spikes to go up and summit to the lookout tower. I will bring hiking poles as well. Seems like spring is starting today. We’ll see…

backpacking
icy
snow
2 months ago

Conditions were not very good this morning. 10” of snow with an icy crust, it was slow goin!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

This trail kicked my arse... the elevation slowed me down. This was the second attempt and this time we had a 4x4 so we parked at the beginning of the trail. Hardly any snow. Finished it though and to me, finally reaching Tahquitz and those views was worth it! The long walk down was easy but still long. Don’t forget your trekking stick in the car like I did!

hiking
3 months ago

hiked up the South Ridge to the Tahquitz Fire Tower before a storm moved in. it was nice and cool in the low 50"s but warm in the sun when the breeze stopped blowing. started up at 9am, topped out at noon, spent an hour on top and back to the car at 3. we were the only ones on the trail today with only small patches of ice you could walk around. brought micro spikes but didnt need them. trekking poles were a plus. a drone flew over the top of the tower but we never saw the pilot ?

hiking
icy
rocky
scramble
snow
3 months ago

hiking
rocky
snow
3 months ago

hiking
icy
4 months ago

hiking
icy
snow
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Really great hike with amazing views.

hiking
7 months ago

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.

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