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28C Red Tahquitz

Location: Riverside County, California

One of a number of sites named after the feared demon Tahquitz, who was known by Indians throughout southern California, and was believed to inhabit the San Jacintos.

USFS Resource Officer Frank Smith of Idyllwild RD states that this peak was distinguished as "Red" with reference to the unique coloration of this mountain. It is composed of igneous rocks such as the distinctive red granite, and other rocks of volcanic origin. The rock here is very ancient and different than everything else around it, and for some reason some spots yield a very spooky hollow sound when walked on. Also it still remains a mystery why so many people report "hearing things" and "feeling funny " when on this peak. Optically, the color red is one of the "warm" advancing colors.

In the Bible, red is the first color to be mentioned ("He that came forth first was red, and hairy like a skin and his name was called Esau"-Genesis 25:25).

Symbolically, red has traditionally been representative of fire and animal life. In a positive sense red represents life, true love, warmth, and fertility, obversely it represents war, the destructive passions and hate. In Egypt, it was believed that red could protect against danger, and often animals would be painted this with blood to deflect evil influences. Roman generals accorded a triumph would paint their faces red. In India the Mother Goddess is red. In Christian iconology one of the Seven Virtues, Charity, is red, and here as well, this color is associated with the emotions, representing both love and hate. Clothing of this color has always had a strong impact and has therefore been reserved for special persons: in Rome, brides wore this color to conjure love and fertility, it represented the imperial power of the Emperor, as well as his nobility and generals. In medieval Europe, the executioner's robes were red indicating the power over life. Satan is imagined as red from the fires of Hell, whores (since Babylon) have been often pictured in this color to represent their presumed familiarity with untamed desires, whereas Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church wear red robes to symbolize the blood of the Martyrs. Its appearance as a color on most flags refers to the blood shed by patriots in establishing the state. Alchemists thought red was the color of the philosophers stone, and that red was related to fire and purification. Astrologers see red as representing the planet Mars. Jungian analysts interpret a preference for red, as indicative of an impulsive personality ruled by surging and tearing emotions. Today it is still employed in political symbolism as a color that promises new life, or rebirth-as such it has been (from Garibaldi to Lenin and Mao) the color of revolution.

The USFS constructed a fire lookout here consisting of a timber tower with a 14'x 14' wood cab (ca. 1925).

Name first appears on AMS Palm Springs quad (1943).

Peak was added to the HPS Peak List in 1959.

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