Explore the most popular hiking trails near Idyllwild with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Not my easiest hike but super rewarding with some petty kick ass views.

on Black Mountain Trail

4 days ago

Fantastic hike. I was looking for a physical challenge and this trail delivered. No need to repeat what everyone's already said, I just have a couple of things to add.
1. I used the in-app "Directions" arrow icon + Google Maps which took me directly to the trailhead via 243 S towards Idyllwild (from the Banning area). The only error was Google saying the trailhead was on my right/west-ish when it was actually on my left/east-ish but it otherwise, it was on point. All you can see from 243 is a dirt road heading kind of south-east up the mountain. There is a small sign saying street-legal vehicles only allowed. Follow the dirt road a few yards up to the parking lot.

2. I stopped to catch my breath at one point and heard a distinct rattle. As I instinctively jumped away I spotted a rattlesnake, rattles and all, about 2 feet away. It was the same grayish color as a lot of the sticks on the ground. I would never have known it was there had he not been so kind as to warn me!

5 days ago

Beautiful scenery. Easy walk. Be careful when walking across highway 243 to the lake from the parking lot. Traffic coming from Idyllwild has no pedestrian traffic sign.

hiking
6 days ago

Just did Suicide Rock on Sunday (07/15/2018). Definitely a very hilly type climb right from the start of the trail. The trail is not well marked when you park. If you look for the sign that says, "Dear Head Trail" and park directly across from the sign, the trail is directly in front of the parking lot. You will need an Adventure Pass which can be purchased at the Pine Cove market about 2 minutes from the trail. I noticed a lot of people don't purchase a pass. This money helps go towards the preservation of these trails. Make sure you bring ample water. I went through six of the 16oz bottles. Some people didn't even bring water. (Crazy). It was well worth it to me once I reached the top. They also have rock climbers in the morning. So cool to watch....

off road driving
7 days ago

Very first-time off-road. Trail is rated “Moderate” but difficult for a beginner.

Awesome time with the family. Lots of fun climbing on Indian Mountain trail 4S21. As a first-timer, I found it challenging but the scenic views made it well worth the effort.

Will return with a “Moderate” lift or bigger tires.

not anything like the sierras but amazing for down here. I wouldn't rate this moderate, it should be rated easy. although the incline is pretty significant in the first 2.5 miles, taking your time upon ascending will prevent you from getting overly tired.

Awesome hike!!! Got to do it on an overcast day with cooler summer temps. So much to see on this hike. The views from the top are incredible. I recommend doing this hike on a week day to get some peak time by yourself.

It's a steep trail, and it's at elevation. So pace yourself and be ready for a climb. It's mostly shaded by giant, beautiful trees and there are great views. When we hiked in late June the creek was running, but not strong. We camped at the Marion Mountain campsite and turned it into a weekend. You can backpack it, which would breakup the ascent and might be worth it. Overall a great trail and a rewarding days work. Also, the top is just rocks, so just make your way up safely and you'll find a top with a sign.

this was an easy trail going out from the trailhead, coming back was more of a climb. although if you start from taquitz rd (if I remeber the street name correctly) you will be going up and than an easy down. it was a little more narrow trail in many spots, and it was warmer this day. we started at 7 am and the bugs were pretty heavy, although this was one of the hottest days of our Summer. we ended and were back home in Hemet by 11 and before we left we went to eat breakfast so it was a quick hike. have fun hiking.

This was my first hike and I loved it. The trail is definatly moderate. If you are in good shape this is a good starter trail. We really enjoyed the views going up, the trail to me seemed pretty narrow in many areas. I only say that because I like to walk with lots of space, we did stop to eat our snacks which consisted of turkey jerky, dried bananas, and trail mix nuts. we love our water packs which we both did not finish, my pack holds a 2 liter capacity. oatmeal is my staple to eat before a hike, it really helps my energy level to stay pretty high. but that is just what I do, there are many other foods that are great before a hike. Be safe and have a great time hiking.

this is now one of my favorite trails! it was spacious, not so narrow. it was nice and cool when we went at 6 am, and the top was a really neat view. I also hiked devils junction and this one seemed a little easier. we made great timing. we did see a baby rattle snake coiled up against a stepping rock on this trail so be aware and have a great hike.

Awesome hike with beautiful scenery, but definitely hard.

July 4th 2018, great sunny day. Lot sof bugs. I didn't bring bug off :( got better up about half way. Hard but don't be scared, challenge yourself. I was able to reach the watch tower in about 2 hrs with a pack, weight only about 16 oz water and snacks. The way down is rough on the knees, take your time. I got off the trail twice on the way down. Could be just me, either way pay attention. Great views and photo ops if that's your thing at the top. Top has overnight camping for a fee. Clean, fun, steep, beautiful vegitation. Def would try again with a weighted pack!

The key is LEAVE EARLY. Like IN THE DARK. With a headlamp, because the first couple of miles are not only incredibly steep at times they are also incredibly rugged and sometimes a bit hard to follow. But this gets you to the summit before the crowds - and has the benefit of you descending in the warming day rather than climbing!
7/4/2018 there was water up high in a few places.

Hard it is. Step and constant going up but worth it. Nice views. Has some nice shade areAs and seemed like nice afternoon. Breeze on and off to help.

One of my most favorite trails in the San Jacinto range. A 6am start got me to the summit at 9:50 am, and 30 minuets on the summit alone ahead of the Traminites. This is one of the more difficult routes to the summit as you will lose 750 feet of elevation along the undulating ridge section of the trail that will need to be regained on your return. Access to the trailhead is also difficult with the need to drive a sometimes rough dirt road to get there. 2 wheel drive is okay but decent clearance is a must for the few areas that are deeply rutted. If you follow my off trail route please make sure you carry a topo map and compass or GPS unit with topo’s loaded and know how to use them. Enjoy and be safe.

A group of friends and I completed this hike last weekend. I wanted to post some clarifying information about the access road! The worst part of the road is just past the gate where too many people have tried to get through and dug the road out to hell. We made it through (in low gear) in a small AWD SUV but our friends in a 2WD Rav4 did not. I would highly suggest just coaxing your AWD car or truck through slowly because the access road is very steep, mostly paved, and way better to do in a car than on foot!

Great hike. Took me forever because it was super hot and pretty difficult for me, although I was not in the best shape when I hiked it. The first two miles up were the hardest due to lack of shade and the last mile was a little easier and more shady. So beautiful. Easy to find the parking and trail head!

Beautiful, well-maintained trail. Stunning views! It feels like you’re on top of the world. Nice patches of shade through wooded areas. I brought 3 liters of water with me, and I was ok, but more would’ve been better (personal preference). I was glad to have my trekking poles at certain points. The last few miles were pretty intense with the altitude and relentless climb, but so worth it. There’s a boulder scramble to the top. Remember to stop at the ranger station in Idyllwild to get your permit (free) and adventure/parking pass ($5) if you plan to park in Humber park. Rangers are out and check your permit. I definitely recommend this hike.

What a great hike! We departed from the Trailhead at 8am this morning and arrived at the summit at 11:45am. The trail was well maintained throughout and we saw the occasional hiker on our ascent. The views from the top are incredible and well worth the effort! After spending 45 minutes at the top having lunch and taking in the views, we began our descent at 12:30. The trip down is a grind as the legs begin to wear down, but we made it back to the truck at 4:05. Would definitely recommend for seasoned hikers.
Total Hiking Time: 3:45 ascent + 3:35 descent = 7 hours and 20 minutes.

Once you turn onto the dirt road there are spots to park right away or you can drive all the way to the actual walking trail, cutting this to 6.4mi round trip. We’ve hiked a lot in the Idyllwild area, including multiple routes to Taquitz and Saddle Junction. This route has the best views and the fewest people. The half-mile right before the peak is a moderate challenge and fairly exposed, but the rest is an easy grade with lots of shade. Concur with the “moderate” rating; our 7 and 9yo did the round trip without a problem (we’re active but we live at sea level). We saw one rattler (decent size, 4-ish feet and 10 buttons on the tail) which means there were a few more out there so stay aware. Overall, a fun half-day hike with rewards on the way and at the top.

Fire look-out was unoccupied but the deck was open. The views where oddly good given the usual summer haze.

Gorgeous hike

I hiked this as an overnight backpacking trip on April 28th-29th in 2018. It was BY FAR the hardest hike I have ever done. I had a permit for camping at little round valley, and parked at Deer Springs trailhead with no issues.

I left Deer Springs trailhead at 8:40am, later than I intended to start and I got one of the last two parking spots. The start of the trail was a bit hard to follow, I was able to navigate only because I read this blog post about it: https://hikingguy.com/hiking-trails/best-la-hikes/hike-mount-san-jacinto-from-idyllwild/
On Deer springs trail I hardly saw any other hikers, two individual women and a dad with his son hiking suicide rock. At 11:00 am I met the junction with the PCT and I continued hiking. I saw a few PCT through hiking groups, but it was not crowded (you could go 30-45 minutes before seeing another group of people).

I brought my sawyer squeeze to filter water and had 2L carrying capacity. Check the PCT water report before going: https://pctwater.com/
I found there to be plenty of water until 1.5miles or so before Little Round Valley. It was dry above that, though you could find patches of snow and melt them for water (which I did).
While filtering water I ran into a group of three ladies. They were trying to make it to Round Valley and it was already 2pm, and they were struggling, so I invited them to stay with me at Little Round Valley. At 3pm we made it to little round valley and set up camp at the Thunder View site. (map here: https://www.msjnha.org/images/campsites.jpg). One of the ladies in the group stayed at the campsite while three of us summit ed. It took two and a half hours, and was SO HARD to summit, even though we left our packs at camp. We lost the trail for a solid 15-20 minutes on the way up. It was VERY windy on the summit and the sign on top was stolen. We talked to other hikers up top which was the best part of the trip.

The Thunder View campsite was quite remote and EXTREMELY windy. You are sitting on the edge of the mountain, and the wind just rushes up the side and all around the campsite. I had a complete mental breakdown trying to sleep alone in the winds and had to jump in a tent with one of the other hikers I met. I was worried my tent would blow away without me in it and at 2am I put a bunch of rocks on my tent. I slept maybe for an hour total as the wind was howling constantly with gusts that would shake the tent silly. Looking back I would have broken the rules and not camped near the designated site post, but closer to the trail where it was not directly on the side of the mountain. It was clear that other hikers were doing that based on old fire pits found and clear campsites formed, and I never saw a ranger or anyone checking any sort of permit.

In the morning things were clear again. We decided not to do this trail as a loop (which required going back up towards the summit), and instead just went down the way we came. We left Little Round Valley at 9am and returned to the Deer Springs trail head at 3pm. We were going slow and were a bit disappointed, as the good views are on the other side of the mountain.

I am very lucky to have found a group of ladies that helped me out, and that I could help out. I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO THIS ALONE/WITHOUT THEM. The mountain is unforgiving and I will never attempt hiking something like it alone again. My backpacking stove also would not light at the altitude of the campground and I relied on a lighter another hiker had to boil water. I took two sick days from work once I got home in order to recover. I was so nervous hiking that I physically could not eat nearly the entire time I was on the mountain, and was so drained I could hardly function for those two sick days. Shockingly I would try this again, on the condition that I stay at a different campsite, and I would go with a group. I went to see the views and never made it to that side of the mountain.

One of the best peak views around. Beautiful views of Palm springs and Idyllwild coming down from the peak. Signs claimed about 10 miles up so the estimated 16.6 on alltrails seems a bit low. Very narrow at parts with spiky plants so pants are a good option! The descent was really hot with not a lot of shade until back to Deer Spring trailhead.

Love this hike, great escape if you live in the desert. Great views at the summit. And cool little shelter near the top with 2 bunk beds.

30 days ago

Beautiful views of the San Jacinto mountains. It is worth hiking a bit further up to Strawberry Junction for the views west to LA. Take lots of water. Blistering hot when I hiked it in late June.

Easy hike, lots of bugs don't forget your Off Spray. My kids loved it.

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