** Use at Your Own Risk **
See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.
Location: Riverside County, about 6 miles east of Idyllwild, 112 miles from Los Angeles
|Auto Club||Riverside County, Los Angeles and Vicinity|
|Forest Service||San Bernardino National Forest|
|USGS Topos||Palm Springs 7½, San Jacinto Peak 7½|
|Official HPS Maps
||TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!|
| ||Viewable JPG file - Approximately 1.2 megs|
| ||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: Tahquitz Peak (LO), Red Tahquitz
Printable version of this route
(USFS Adventure Pass may be required)
- Distance: 14 miles round trip on trail and cross-country
- Gain: 4500' total, 2600' out plus 1900' on return
- Time: 7-9 hours round trip
- Rating: Class 1, strenuous
Original: Joe Young, January 2000
DRIVING ROUTE 1
- 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 climbers trail for
Suicide Rock. Keep straight.
- At. 2.6 miles, Humber Park. Park here.
HIKING ROUTE 1
- The Devils Slide Trail begins at the upper right corner of the
parking lot. From this trailhead (6500'), hike up the trail
2 1/2 miles to Saddle Junction (8100'). At this point there are four
- Take the Willow Creek Trail for 1.1 miles.
- When the trail begins to veer north toward Hidden Lake Divide and Long Valley,
leave the trail and follow a faint use path/deer trail east down a ridge and then
down to Willow Creek. This trail is locally known as the King Trail and avoids the
bad bushwhacking on the old trails that burned in the Mountain Fire.
- Cross Willow Creek north of Laws Camp (7400'), climb over a low ridge, cross a
tributary of Tahquitz Creek, and climb slightly to rejoin the old Caramba Trail.
- Follow the faint remains of the Caramba Trail to Caramba Camp (6600'), 3.7 miles
from Saddle Junction.
- Cross Tahquitz creek at the south side of Caramba
Camp. Follow a use trail past Tahquitz Creek to the overlook campsite on
- Climb the slope southerly, curving around to the left staying
about 50 yards below the cliffs until you reach a ridge,
or one can take a bearing on the saddle from Caramba Camp
and hike along the bearing to the saddle through
open country. The climb to the saddle is steep and about 500'.
- Cross the ridge
and contour around until you reach the saddle at 7200'.
- Turn left (southeast) and scramble to the summit.
The 2013 Mountain Fire was started by an electrical malfunction at a ranch in the
Garner Valley and burned large patches of the San Jacinto Wilderness including
portions along Tahquitz Creek east of Skunk Cabbage Meadow.
The Caramba Trail from Reeds Meadow and the Cedar Trail from Willow Creek
Trail to Laws were wiped out and are now overgrown.
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.
A quota applies between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Permits may be
obtained in 90 days in advance from:
San Jacinto Ranger District
P.O. Box 518
Idyllwild, CA 92549
Voice: (909) 382-2921
Fax: (951) 659-2107
Peak 7339' is not named on the USGS or USFS maps. In 1999 the Hundred
Peaks Section named this peak for R. S. (Sam) Fink, one of the original
players of the "hundred peaks game"
in the 1940's. Sam Fink was the second person (after Weldon Heald) to
climb 100 peaks in southern California. He was the first to complete the
HPS List, and was the first to complete it a second time. From the late
1960's until the mid 1970's Sam cleared a route from Red Tahquitz south
over South Peak to Antsell Rock, known as the Sam Fink Trail. Today, the
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) follows much of this route.
The Hundred Peaks Section's highest award,
given annually, according to Secton Bylaws, "made in recognition of
distinguished overall service to the Section," is named for Sam Fink.
Please report any corrections or changes to the
Mountain Records Chair.