Hike Tahquitz Peak via Devil's Slide Trail

San Diego Humber Park

  • Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Winter

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

Start in the quaint town of Idyllwild. Hike to the summit of Tahquitz Peak at 8846ft and explore the iconic fire look-out. Hike on a section of the Pacific Crest Trail. Walk through forests and enjoy spectacular mountain views. 9 miles roundtrip and 2350' elevation gain.

The trailhead for this hike starts on the Devils Slide Trail around 6500ft before meeting up with the PCT for a short while, and then breaking off towards the Tahquitz lookout. Tahquitz Peak is an 8846ft granite formation on the high western slope of the San Jacinto range. The name Tahquitz comes from the Soboba Indian tribe, as they named the peak after a spirit demon.

The hike to the summit of Tahquitz Peak via Devils Slide Trail begins in Idyllwild at the Humber Park parking lot. This hike is 9 miles round trip. This parking area requires an adventure pass, and the hike requires a permit. Stop by the ranger station in Idyllwild to pick one up before making your way to the parking lot. The Devils Slide Trail starts up as a series of switchbacks that gain pretty steeply. The morning temperatures are usually pretty cool, and a welcome relief from the high temperatures in the valley. This eastern face of Strawberry Canyon can hold on to quite a bit of snow and ice, so make sure to bring crampons and an ice ax in the winter.

The first few miles of this hike are absolutely gorgeous, with pines, oaks, and chapparel around every switchback. After 2.4 miles of hiking you'll reach a saddle that acts as a junction for a few other trails. This is the part where you meet up with the Pacific Crest Trail to continue on to Tahquitz Peak. This section of trail is a nice break for the legs, as the steep climb of Devils Slide trail levels out and winds through the forest.

Tahquitz Peak comes into sight at the final junction where you take a right hand turn to head towards the trail on the ridge. The trail runs just below the ridge and continues towards the fire lookout. From here, the views of the Strawberry Valley are nothing short of spectacular. Continue on along the ridge, and the fire look-out will come into view. Enjoy the summit. The views from the Tahquitz Peak lookout are phenomenal.

Pack List

  • Hiking essentials
  • Adventure Pass for parking
  • A hiking permit from the Idyllwild ranger station
  • Hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
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Overall rating: 

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We've done this in winter and summer and loved both! Just be sure to prepare for icy conditions in winter and use good judgement when navigating through the snow. In summer, start early because the sun blasts the beginning of the trail in the afternoon.

7 months ago
7 months ago

Popular hike in the non winter months. Call ranger station ahead on weekend as passes go fast. Fantastic hike up through trees with great views. Bring plenty of water as most all springs have dried up as of 2015-2016.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Drew Robinson

trailtopeak.com // Instagram: @trailtopeak

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