Desert Divide

Idyllwild, California 92549

Desert Divide

Desert Divide Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Desert Divide is a long ridge running south from San Jacinto that separates the Los Angeles Basin from the desert."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Hikes in Southern California: San Bernardino Mountain Trails (Wilderness Press)
John W. Robinson with David Money Harris
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"**NOTE** - This area burned in the 2013 Mountain Fire. As of 2016, the PCT along the Desert Divide remains closed. Check with the Idyllwild Ranger Station at 909-382-2921 to determine if the trail has reopened. According to the Idyllwild district ranger, this stretch of the PCT over the Desert Divide was the most di?cult route to survey and construct in all of Southern California. Parts of it had to literally be carved out of granite walls by tedious drilling and blasting. The job required three years of strenuous e?ort. The result is one of the best-engineered trails in California. A broad pathway and gentle switchbacks take the place of the steep, sometimes exposed, tedious scrambling of the old Sam Fink route. This trail trip takes the hiker over the northern, more spectacular section of the footpath, from Tahquitz Valley to the Apache Peak–Spitler Peak saddle. You can do it in one long, strenuous day or, better, stay the night in Tahquitz or Little Tahquitz Valley and enjoy two days in this premier mountain wilderness country."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
12 hours or 2–3 days
April–June, October–November
San Jacinto Wilderness
Local Contacts
USFS PCT Map: Volume 1
Local Maps

Trail Log