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


Tahquitz Peak (LO)


Location: Riverside County, about 2 miles northeast of Idyllwild, 112 miles from Los Angeles


Auto ClubRiverside County, Los Angeles and Vicinity
Forest ServiceSan Bernardino National Forest
USGS ToposSan Jacinto Peak 7½, Idyllwild 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
 Viewable JPG file - Approximately 920K
 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: Red Tahquitz, Lily Rock

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
Distance: 9 miles round trip on trail
Gain: 2200'
Time: 4-5 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, moderate
Navigation: Easy

Original: Warren E. von Pertz, September 1968


  • 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 25.0 miles, Idyllwild Ranger Station (San Bernardino National Forest) on the left. Turn left on Pine Crest Avenue. Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 0.6 mile, intersection. Make a half right on South Circle Drive.
  • At 0.7 mile, Fern Valley Drive on the left with a sign "Humber Park". Turn left.
  • At 1.2 miles, fork. Keep left.
  • At 2.2 miles, trailhead on the left. This is the climber's trail for Suicide Rock. Keep straight.
  • At. 2.6 miles, Humber Park. Park here.


  • The Devils Slide Trail begins at the upper right corner of the parking lot. From this trailhead (6440'), hike up the trail 2.5 miles to Saddle Junction (8040'). At this point there are four trail choices.
  • Take the extreme right trail with a sign "Tahquitz Peak".
  • Follow this trail up to the summit.

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
Distance: 6 miles round trip on trail
Gain: 2400'
Time: 3-4 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, moderate

Original: Warren E. von Pertz, September 1968


  • See the driving instructions for Route 1. From the Idyllwild Ranger Station, go south 0.7 mile on SR 243 to Saunders Meadow Road on the left just north of the Idyllwild Elementary School.
  • Turn left (southwest). Note your odometer and go as follows:
  • At 0.9 mile, Pine Avenue. Turn left.
  • At 1.0 mile, Tahquitz View Road. Turn right.
  • At 1.2 miles, a dirt road with a sign "South Ridge Trail - 2". Turn right. A high clearance vehicle may be necessary.
  • At 2.2 miles, fork. Keep left.
  • Go to the turn-around at the end of the road. Park here. Ample parking.


  • From the parking area (6480'), hike up the South Ridge Trail to where it meets Route 1 just below the summit.
  • Turn right and hike about 100' up to the lookout.


Wilderness permits are required under all circumstances. Permits are limited to 12 hikers. Permits may be obtained from the Idyllwild Ranger Station just off SR 243 at 54270 Pine Crest Road. There is a self-issue permit stand outside of the ranger station. The weekend quota for the Devil's Slide Trail is usually filled in advance during the summer months. Permits for the South Ridge Trail are much easier to obtain. Permits may be obtained in advance from:

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


Tahquitz Peak is named for a leader of the Soboba Indians, Chief Tahquitz, about whom there are various legends. In one story, after changing from a loved to a hated chief as a result of evil spirits, Tahquitz' body was destroyed by his tribe, but his spirit escaped to the present Tahquitz Peak. Thunderstorms in the area are evidence of his presence. Legend has it that his spirit still lives there with a rattlesnake and a condor, although the watchful fire lookout cannot corroborate this.

The Lookout is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Memorial Day through early October. To find out if Lookout will be open call, Mr. Doug Wood at 909-659-8553.

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