Tahquitz Peak via Devils Slide Trail
San Jacinto State Park / San Bernadino National Forest
2500 feet elevation gain
I have hiked Tahquitz Peak quite a few times. It is a great hike, can be strenuous, but also not too much to handle as a first or second hike of the year. There is at least one other way to the peak, but for this particular one, start at Humber Park where there is ample parking. Start up the Devils Slide Trail to Saddle Junction, which is in about 2.5 miles. From there follow the signs to the right another 2 miles to the peak. Most of the elevation gain in in the first 2 miles, so after Saddle Junction it is pretty easy and you can just enjoy the scenery. Bring plenty of water during the summer, even though you are above 6000 feet it can still be quite warm.
To get there from San Diego, take 15 North to 215N, and get off on 74 heading towards Hemet. Once you're through Hemet, follow the road up into the mountains, and after what seems like a millions turns, make sure to follow 243 North to Idyllwild. This takes you right into town on the main road. Turn right at Pine Crest Ave. Right there on the corner is the ranger station. From there, follow the signs up to Humber Park. The drive from San Diego is about 2 hours.
To hike up here you need a trail permit. Get one at the ranger station, they are free. One thing to note is that for Devil's Slide Trail, which is the starting trail from Humber Park, there is a quota during summer months. However I have never had a problem getting a permit for this trail, even as late as 10:00. Also, since the Humber Park lot is in National Forest, you need a national forest Adventure Pass. You can also get this from the ranger station, it is $5 per day or $30 per year.
|Looking towards Tahquitz Peak from Humber Park
||Walking up Devils Slide Trail
||Suicide Rock (I think?) from Devils Slide Trail
||Suicide Rock again from further up (I think)
|Rocks on side of trail
||Suicide Rock one more time from further up
||More interesting rocks
||View of trail
|View from trail
||View looking east
||View of San Jacinto Peak
|View of trail - almost to the top
||That's Mt. Baldy in the distance - left of it is smog
||Looking east from peak
||Lookout tower on peak
||Tree along trail