Hike South Fork Trail

47987 Idyllwild National Forest Highway - Search Nearby - Added by Madison Sankovitz

This hike will take you deep into a quiet, secluded canyon and to Rattlesnake Spring, which is a refreshing spot on a hot southern California day.

Begin by following the unsigned but visible trail on the south side of the turnout. You climb steadily through bushes and past granite boulders. At half a mile, you pass over to the western slope of the hill where the trail bends southeast, providing your first look of the river valley far below. The vegetation becomes thick, and you will be able to see yuccas.

At 1.7 miles, you pass through a grove of trees, with tall grass growing beneath their shade. You continue south for another half mile, staying high above the floor of the canyon, before starting a steep descent to the river. The trail’s final 0.4 mile drops 500 feet, and the trail becomes rockier in this section. After a pair of switchbacks, you arrive at the marshy banks of the San Jacinto River, partially shaded by towering trees. The river is tiny, but it is still a beautiful place to sit and enjoy the quiet canyon. 


5.4 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1056 ft Gain




Fitness, Photography, Running, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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Community Photos

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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  • Starting at $995/person

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