South Ridge Trail

MODERATE 42 reviews
#2 of 4 trails in

South Ridge Trail is a 8.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idyllwild, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3083 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

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.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

This is one of best hikes I've done in Southern California. It is well kept, well groomed and beautiful. Vistas at every turn and the fire lookout at the top was a great reward upon reaching the top.

This is a rigorous hike with a lot of exposure. Bring lots of water and make sure you are in good shape if you take on this hike. I would argue this could be classified as a hard rather than moderate, especially if it's hot. Be very careful if it's hot with your dog.

2 months ago

Beautiful views! Just hike it very early; the last section before the lookout is steep and sunny

2 months ago

Beautiful views! Just hike it very early; the last section before this lookout is steep and sunny

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

Great views!

hiking
3 months ago

This remains one of my favorite hikes! Vigorous, beautiful and can be accomplished 4 hrs - less if you have to. Those unfamiliar with this hike should note that the last mile or so to the top is the most vertical section of the trail, so mind your timing and pace.
With a predicted high of 95, hitting the trail @ 6 am meant shade and temp hovering arond 68, all the way to the top, due to the low angle of the sun. I wasn't, however, prepared for the MOSQUITOS! They weren't even noticable last time, but this time the entire lower trail section (1st 1.5 mi) was swarming with them! Had to bum some spray from the very nice ranger at the lookout, for the return trip. Thank you nice ranger lady. I've forgotten your name but not your warm smile and generousity. After reaching Tahquitz by 8, I decided to venture on to Saddle Junction. Devils Slide approach and Saddle Junction had much more traffic. I had gorgeous vistas and beautiful pines all to myself the entire length of South Ridge, including window rock, until the last .5 mi on the return. Can't say enough good things about this trail.

4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

This is the same trail as the South Ridge to Tahquitz Peak that is also listed. Great hike and great views.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

The walk up the forest road is a bit disheartening but a good workout. The trail is well marked and has a rewarding finish with great side views down into the town and to Suicide Rock across the valley. Still quite a bit of snow especially above 7,500 ft. Waterproof shoes are must, microspikes/crampons are very helpful for the top half, poles/axe would have been added security but not needed.

8 months ago

this is a awesome hike. I actually think is moderate to hard but well worth it! it's a winding since single track. we we think in December and once we got to top it started raining so we boogied down and as soon as we got to bottom it started snowing. gorgeous hike!

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

This is a great hike once you get to the trailhead. We did not realize that you can drive up the first mile to where the actual trail starts. It might be safest if you have a four-wheel-drive. The road is very windy and steep and has some big potholes as well.

hiking
Monday, August 29, 2016

hiking
Monday, August 08, 2016

Beautiful hike in Idyllwild!! The last mile of the road to the trailhead is unpaved. It's not too bad though since my Corolla was able to crawl to the parking lot (note "crawl" though....). You will need to get a free permit at the ranger station for this hike. This trail definitely is less crowded than starting from Humber Park, which means yay for more solitude! We did encounter a RATTLESNAKE on a bush that was on the side of the trail! It snapped at my dog (he wasn't bitten. Thank goodness!!) and rattled its tail so we quickly backed off to give it its own space. I did see a few dogs running off leash on the trail so it made me really nervous! I think my dog would have been bitten if I wasn't able to pull on his leash quick enough! This trail does require your dog to be on a leash, but of course this is not always being followed by everyone. In any case, enough with the rattlesnake talk. I would just be cautious. The climb to Tahquitz Peak is not too bad until the last mile or so. That's when the switchbacks start and you will feel the steepness. However, the view on this trail is SO SPECTACULAR that if you run out of breath, just turn around and enjoy the gorgeous scenery! I personally like this trail more than going through Devil's Slide from Humber Park. There is a fire lookout when you get to the peak. They are open on weekends so you can go in, sign your name on the registry and chat with the volunteers. The San Jacinto Wilderness is just absolutely stunning! Will definitely do this hike again.