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Suicide has perhaps the best rock in Southern California. The routes are great and generally get more sun than Suicides' bigger neighbor, Taquitz.
Relevant Guidebooks & Maps
Tahquitz and Suicide Climbing Guide, Southern California Climber's Guide
Take I-10 East to Banning. In Banning take 243 South to Idyllwild. From Idyllwild drive up Fern Valley Rd on the left. Park 1/4 mile before Humbert Park by the water tanks. The drive is about 1.5 hours. The trail starts at a sign that says "climber's trail." Follow this across the stream and turn right on the paved road. Follow this until the trail heads northwest up a steep hill. 20-30 minutes hiking brings you to the base of weeping wall. A classic OTL place for dinner on the way back is Paradise Pizza in Banning.
Suicide is a very good intro/med/experienced rock trip location. Hundreds of routes exist - many of them are bolted and some are multi-pitch. The rock is near beautiful San Jacinto Pk, at 8,000 feet in a rare Southern California alpine setting. Weeping wall has some of the most classic routes. OTL has climbed on the first pitch of Serpentine and Revelation. The North side has many beginner climbs and is a good location for larger groups. Trips are best in fall and spring as snow covers Suicide in the winter. It is usually crowded - especially on top-rope sites - so get there early. Camping is available near Idyllwild. Black Mt.. Campground 14 miles before Idyllwild is decent. There are several campsites on a road between Black Mt. Campground and Idyllwild. There is an obvious sign that lists all the campsites at the turnoff. When these campsites are closed (before they open for summer), you can drive out the road and camp on some turnouts with firepits. Hiking from Suicide is excellent. From the top of Suicide Rock marked trails head off in several directions. For more hiking see the Tahquitz Peak Hiking Guide.
There is a ranger station and services in Idyllwild, including Nomad Adventures which sells climbing gear. Rock fall is a major issue, especially in the spring. Wear helmets and keep watchers back from the cliff. No water is available at Suicide so bring lots. Temperatures can get cold very quickly at 8,000 feet.
Edited by (in order): OTL Staff
Last updated: 05/22/2009