Tahquitz Peak Via South Ridge Trail

Idyllwild, California 92549

Tahquitz Peak Via South Ridge Trail

Tahquitz Peak Via South Ridge Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This trail trip climbs the steep south ridge to Tahquitz Peak, zigzagging up through stands of Jeffrey pine, white fir, and live oak, with chinquapin thickets and lodgepole pine near the top.

Various points along the trail offer far-reaching vistas south over the Desert Divide country, and northwest over Strawberry Valley to Marion Mountain and its rocky spurs. Years ago, the route followed an old, steep footpath up from Keen Camp; old-timers would hardly recognize today’s well-graded trail."

More Tahquitz Peak Via South Ridge Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The South Ridge Trail is the “easy” way to get to Tahquitz Peak, depending upon who you talk to. Generally, this route is hotter and dryer than the route up the Devils Slide from Humber Park in Idyllwild. The South Ridge Trail is also “less” visited than the other route, and is the best choice for dog owners. Fido will probably get a chance to meet other dogs along the way, as many dog owners bring their pups up to the highest fire lookout in the San Bernardino Mountains via this route. This trail does traverse entirely through the San Jacinto Wilderness and your dog will need to be leashed. In wilderness areas, leashing is required by law. Travel this trail on a weekend and it may be busy; even so, it won’t feel crowded."

"Tahquitz Peak (pronounced by those in the know as “talk wish”) celebrates a legendary demon who, in the oral tradition of the Cahuilla Indians, used to dine on maidens and issue crackling bolts of lightning over the San Jacinto Mountains when displeased. At an elevation of 8,828 feet, the forest lookout tower perched atop the peak commands a view westward over haze and smog to the crests of the Santa Ana and San Gabriel Mountains. On rare days of crystalline visibility, you may glimpse the coastline at Santa Monica and Malibu, as well as the offshore islands of Santa Catalina and San Clemente."

"Tahquitz Peak (8828´) is the second major summit in the San Jacinto Mountains after San Jacinto itself. The summit overlooks Idyllwild and is guarded by dramatic granite buttresses, most notably Tahquitz Rock. The peak can be reached from either the north or south. This trip follows the shorter and more secluded route up the beautiful south ridge."

Tahquitz Peak Via South Ridge Trail Reviews

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The rock formations are amazing here and the views get better and better each step of the way. This is a beautiful journey and does not get too challenging until around 1.5-2 miles from the peak, at which point the incline becomes much steeper. I would definitely suggest driving a truck or jeep to the trailhead. Fantastic hike!
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Very rewarding views from the top. Steep switchbacks the whole way, trail is actually 8.2 miles round trip, not 6.

Tahquitz Peak Via South Ridge Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
2,300 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Idyllwild, San Jacinto Peak (both 7.5-minute), San Jacinto Wilderness (Tom Harrison)
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018