Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail
The Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail immerses you in California’s rustic backyard, taking you to the incredible Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout and unveiling a scenic outlook of layers of mountains blending with the horizon. And the trail winding to the top, flanked by trees blocking out the rest of the world, will pump you much-needed fresh air. So pack some snacks and water, bring your dog, and enjoy a moderately challenging half-day adventure in the wild!
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Route Description for Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail
The Tahquitz Peak via Devil's Slide Trail attracts adventurers seeking a moderately challenging excursion in California's wild. However, before you even set foot on the trail, it's imminent that you grab a permit. Between the end of May (Memorial Day, to be exact) and the start of September (Labor Day), the Tahquitz Peak via Devil's Slide Trail only allows a certain number of hikers on the trail on the weekend. So, before you plan a day around completing this trail, get in on that permit. You could show up at the ranger's office and hope for open spaces or call the San Jacinto Ranger District in advance to secure a space. Another option is to hike during the week in the summer months. This way, you'll only need a free permit, which you can fill out and leave in the box at the ranger station—you can do this even if the station is closed. Finally, pack snacks, water, and bug spray on your Tahquitz Peak via Devil's Slide Trail excursion. The bugs—including bees and wasps—can be pretty nasty.
Once you finally set foot on the trail (with your permit), you'll feel like the outside world has shifted to some faraway land—the untamed, natural beauty flanking the maintained path only adds to the remarkable adventure. And all the huffing and puffing as you gain elevation comes with a reward—don't worry! The lookout tower at the top opens up to layers and layers of peaks bleeding into the horizon. You'll even get to see lakes tucked into the sprawling scenery! Another option is to turn this hike into a loop, but this route guide takes you on an out-and-back adventure.
Setting out from the trailhead at Humber Park, follow the Devil's Slide Trail for around 3.0 km. You'll continue straight along the path, meandering through gorgeous scenery, heading north before cutting in a more southern direction for less than a kilometer. The trail will switchback one more time between north and south before taking you to Saddle Junction. The initial section along the Devil's Slide Trail is challenging physically, so mentally prepare for the ever-increasing elevation gain.
At Saddle Junction, follow the Pacific Crest Trail, which eases up a bit in terms of difficulty. Soon, you'll reach the junction at Chinquapin Flat and go right to depart the PCT. Next, you'll see a sign for the Tahquitz Peak Lookout! After turning right, ascend the ridge to meet the main trail. Bask in the views of Marion Mountain and San Jacinto. Eventually, you'll reach a trail heading left. Take this to the lookout tower, where astounding views await.
After enjoying the views, turn around and head back the way you came, as this is an out-and-back route.
Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout
The Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout sits 2,696 m, earning the title of the highest lookout in San Bernardino National Forest. This lookout is still in service—and has been for over 77 years.
Insider Hints for Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail
- Don't forget to grab a permit before you go! If you plan on going on a weekend during the summer, consider looking into booking a permit early, as this hike is a popular one.
- You can bring your dog on a leash.
- Pack lots of water and snacks as the Tahquitz Peak via Devil's Slide Trail will elevate your heart rate.
- Bring bug spray!
- Some users have reported a lot of bees and wasps, so come prepared for this.
Getting to the Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail Trailhead
To get to Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail, head to Humber Park. Look for Humber Park signs as you drive through Idyllwild. You can also plug this address into your GPS: Humber Park, 24559 Fern Valley Rd, Idyllwild, CA 92549.
Tahquitz Peak via Devil’s Slide Trail Elevation Graph
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