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Tahquitz Peak, not to be confused with Lily Rock (climbers refer to Lily Rock as Tahquitz), is one of the great summits in the San Jacinto Mts. The summit has awesome views of the Desert Divide, the Salton Sea, the San Jacinto Mts., and the San Bernardinos. The trail also passes through one of the finest Chinquapin stands in Southern California.
Relevant Guidebooks & Maps
San Bernardino Mountain Trails.
Take I-10 East to Banning. In Banning take 243 South to Idyllwild. In Idyllwild turn left on Fern Valley Rd. Park at Humbert Park (the end of the road). The drive is about 1.5 hours.
The trail to Tahquitz Peak is 4 miles each way with a 2000' gain to the 8841' summit. Start up the Devil's Slide Trail from Humbert Park. Because of the trail's many switchbacks it is not very steep. The first two miles climb through a broad forested valley with nice views of Suicide Rock across the valley. Once up on the ridge, take the rightmost fork. Other trails at the junction lead to Mt. San Jacinto, Long Valley (tram to Palm Springs), Round Valley (campground), and other meadows. Many options for backpacking or longer day hikes exist from this junction. From the junction, the trail climbs a gentle ridge, through a large chinquapin stand, traverses the rocky slope above Lily Rock and emerges on the rocky summit, which is the home of a weather-beaten summer fire lookout. See San Bernardino Mountain Trails for descriptions of the many other trails in the area. For information about car camping around Idyllwild see "Suicide Rock" in the climbing section.
Bring a windbreaker -- the Desert Divide is one of the windier places in SoCal. Weather is unpredictable. Snow covers the area much of the winter, and conditions can change rapidly. NEVER roll rocks off Tahquitz - climbers are beneath you!
Edited by (in order): OTL Staff
Last updated: 05/22/2009