Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

Hiked with a small group, first time up the trail. Started at 10AM and had shaded trail most of the way to Saddle Junction. Great views all the way up, moderate elevation gain, trial in good condition. No bugs at all. Would definitely return and go up to Tahquitz Peak.

Great place to start if you are camping in one of the spots nearby. You should start as early as possible and be prepared for some serious elevation gain. The top is pretty crowded so you may have to spend a good amount of time at the top.

it was a beautiful hike! I'm giving this trail 4 stars because the miles stated are not correct according to my GPS. I spoke with a few people on the trail and we all had the same amount of miles tracked. I got 15.26 miles and others got 16. I think the miles need to be reevaluated.
Aside from the miles, the weather was perfect!
The trail was easy to follow and beautiful, with a couple of natural springs for extra water.

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

hiking
1 month 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....

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 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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

1 month 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.

hiking
2 months ago

nice trail. rocky at points but moderate
72 degrees at 10am took me 1hr 42 mins up and about 15 minutes faster coming down

on Suicide Rock Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful scenic views! The hike was comfortable and appropriate for hikers across the spectrum-from beginners to avid goers. Lots of shady rest stops thanks to the luscious greenery. There is a charming little town at the base that’s very quaint with lots of fun places to eat/drink/explore. Even had several Vegan friendly spots which was a pleasant surprise! Can picture this place equally if not more beautiful during the wintertime! Only disappointment was not having a booked room to spend the night in-next time for sure!

This trail had been too busy in the past and now it requires a permit to hike it. Make sure you get your permit early in the day at the ranger station. They only issue 20 permits per day and they are gone quickly. You also need to buy a parking pass at the ranger station, except you own a Nationalpark pass already.
A ranger is watching the entrance of the trail and will check your permit and also make sure that dogs are on leash.
The hike is beautiful. I only made it to the saddle junction, because I didn’t have enough time.
Walking a steady paste it took me 1hr 20min to do the 2.4 miles and 1800 feet elevation to the junction. Going back was faster. Roundtrip roughly 2.5 hrs.
To complete the hike there’s another 1.7 miles roundtrip from the junction that I wasn’t able to do that day.
However me and my dog enjoyed the hike a lot. Very scenic with some beautiful viewpoints into The Valley.

Trail in amazing condition. Great views the entire way. One 10 yard section of slushy snow.

A beautiful torture! Next time i will most likely backpack it. The first 4 miles or so kicked my butt and I got my second wind on the last push. I loved the last mile switchbacks until the climb on the pile of rocks. Perfect weather this past Saturday. Bring 3 liters of water and refill at the spring.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike twice in a weekend, once solo and once with the wife. It’s a wonderful trail and the views at the end are spectacular. Along the way, the scenery changes and there was lots of shade after the first mile or so. Fitbit suggested the hike is between 6.4-7miles but I guess it depends on how much you wander around the top. We got to the trail right at 6am. Would encourage an early start to beat the crowds and heat.

This trail is currently CLOSED!! :( Went to hike it a week ago and couldn't.

Took my 9 year old son up this weekend for his first backpacking trip. Chose this route because it was the shortest and it was the only route that had water along the trail. We started the hike around 10am and didn't get to Little Round Valley until almost 8 pm. It was incredibly steep so we went really really slow and took tons of breaks. Little Round Valley was really beautiful and a great place to camp. There was a really good flow of water to filter about 1/4 mile below the campground. The next morning we summit San Jacinto. I honestly liked the trail from Little Round Valley to San Jacinto peak the most.

This trail was really hard considering we are not athletic people to begin with. I hiked to the peak from Idyllwild two years ago and that was a much longer but easier trail. If I had to do it again I may start at the tram but still camp at Little Round Valley. But as my son says we definitely challenged ourselves.

I'm giving it 4 stars because there are sections that were so had for us that it was a little difficult to enjoy. But that's based on our level of fitness.

I loved this hike. It was a Saturday so A lot of people on trail. Top was pretty terrifying. Amazing views. Only negative was a group of young guys blaring music on trail and groups talking loud. This is something I will never understand. Just plain rude.

backpacking
2 months ago

Backpacked 3 days 2 nights, 6/1 - 6/3. Had a great time but it was really challenging and longer than expected. We got permits to camp in Tamarack Valley which was further off the loop trail than anticipated. Thought we’d do ~18-20mi & 5000ft but ended up doing 26+ and 6500ft. Also the AllTrails Topo map shows a trail from Tamarack to the main peak trail, but beware this trail is unmaintained and quite hard to follow at times. Got scratched up by overgrown brush and had to rely heavily on GPS. Overall AllTrails maps were pretty unreliable in the Tamarack area.

The water situation is pretty dismal. Strawberry Cienega was a trickle on par with a fridge water dispenser. The next Cienega (Wellman?) was more substantial but difficult to collect from, a bunch of trickling streams running down a rock face. The last water source we saw was the spigot at Round Valley. Also a trickle. Purification recommended for all water sources. Pretty sure I drank 3-4L or more.

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