Spitler Peak Trail is a 12.3 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 best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

12.3 miles
3,277 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




nature trips




wild flowers


Directions from Idyllwild, CA: Drive south on Highway 243 and take the left fork on Highway 74 towards Lake Hemet. Just prior to Lake Hemet, turn left on Apple Canyon Road at the Herkey Creek Campground. From the campground it is about 2 miles to the parking area for Spitler Peak Trail.

1 month ago

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

4 months ago

It was hard to tell the difference between this hike and Apache but from what it appears on the trail they are the same hike that leads to a plateau- you can choose to go Left and hike Apache or Right and hike Spilter. We went up to the fork and stopped for lunch and our GPS gave us 11.3 miles. Went on 6/9/18 and it was a nice hike. One review stated there was a waterfall which is really a trickle of drops and hardly a waterfall. The beginning of the hike starts fairly mild and without shade, trail is sandy and not much incline. At the stream which is around 4 miles in it begins to incline steeply and there is a lot of brush and shade as the foliage is thicker here. The trail gets much more narrow and rocky. Excellent views at the top. Much of the trees were burned so the underbrush is thriving now. Great hike.

6 months ago

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!

9 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.

11 months ago

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.

11 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.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Did this hike back in 2011. It was a very rewarding hike with incredible views at the top overlooking Lake Hemet in one direction and the entire Coachella Valley in the other. I was sad to see that fire had destroyed the area. I hope it will be reopened and restored some day in the future do others can enjoy this great hike.

Monday, September 01, 2014

This trail is closed due to fire damage.

4 months ago

6 months ago

8 months ago