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See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.


Castle Rocks


Location: Riverside County, about 11 miles west of Palm Springs, 107 miles from Los Angeles


Auto ClubRiverside County, San Jacinto Mountain Area
Forest ServiceSan Bernardino National Forest
USGS ToposLake Fulmor 7½, San Jacinto Peak 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
 Viewable JPG file - Approximately 960K
 GPX file or Google Earth KML file to download to GPS units and other map software (How to use GPX and KML files)
 Routes as shown on CalTopo using the above files (How to use CalTopo)

Nearby Peaks: Black Mountain #1 (LO)

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
Distance: 4 1/2 miles round trip on trail and cross-country
Gain: 900'
Time: 2 1/2 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, easy

Original: Al Campbell, June 1973


  • Drive I-10 to Banning. Exit at 8th Street (SR 243). Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 0.2 mile, turn left.
  • At 0.7 mile, turn right on San Gorgonio Avenue.
  • At 1.4 miles, keep left on SR 243.
  • At 9.1 miles, Poppet Flat Road goes right. Continue straight.
  • At 11.6 miles, fork with 4S06 on the right. Keep straight.
  • At 11.8 miles, pass the Vista Grande Ranger Station.
  • At 12.8 miles, fork on the left with 2E05 and a sign "Black Mountain Trail". Keep straight.
  • At 15.6 miles, fork on the right with 2E35, Indian Mountain Road, and Indian Vista. This is the turnoff for Indian Mountain.
  • At 16.9 miles, 4S01 on the left. Turn left. Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 1.5 miles, fork. Keep left.
  • At 4.8 miles, fork with Black Mountain Road on the left. This is the turnoff for Black Mountain #1 (LO). Keep straight on 4S01.
  • At 5.8 miles, Black Mountain Group Camp on the right.
  • At 7.2 miles, fork. Turn sharp right.
  • Continue a short distance to a parking lot for the Fuller Ridge Trailhead of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Park here.


  • From the trailhead, hike east up the PCT about a mile along the north side of the ridge to where a saddle appears off to the right (8040'+).
  • Continue on the PCT another 0.6 mile where there should be a duck on the right side of the trail and a sometimes faint, but ducked use trail.
  • Leave the trail here and go up the slope, keeping somewhat to the right to follow occasional ducks, to the summit.


Wilderness permits are required under all circumstances. Permits for day hikes can be obtained from the Long Valley ranger station (near the tram) for Routes 1 and 3. For Route 2, they may be obtained at the Idyllwild Ranger Stations, as can permits for backpacking. Permits are limited to 12 hikers. The Idyllwild Ranger Station is just off SR 243 at 54270 Pine Crest Road. There is a self- issue permit stand outside of the ranger station. Permits may be obtained in advance from:

San Jacinto Ranger District
54270 Pine Crest Ave.
P.O. Box 518
Idyllwild, CA 92549
Voice: (909) 382-2921
Fax: (951) 659-2107


Peak 8462', 1 mile west-northwest, was listed as Castle Rocks until the new San Jacinto 7½ topo fixed its present location.

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