South Ridge Trail

South Ridge Trail

Level: Strenuous
Elevation Gain: 2000 ft.
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Trail Length: 7 miles

This moderate trail proceeds to Tahquitz Peak Lookout.

From both the trail and peak are spectacular views of the Desert Divide, Strawberry Valley and beyond.

Beginning at 6450 feet, the elevation gain is 2400 feet.

Recommended for morning hours during the summer; the trail can be warm and dry during other parts of the day.

Follow signs on Saunders Meadow Road leading to South Ridge Trail and Forest access road 5S11.

This trail requires a wilderness permit from the Forest Service office in Idyllwild and is reached by driving on Highway 74 south from Highway 111 in Palm Desert., turning right on Highway 243 at Mountain Center and proceeding about four miles to Saunders Meadow Road.

From I-10 in Banning, take Highway 243 to Idyllwild and proceed south out of town until you come to this same road. Turn onto Saunders Meadow Road, then left on Pine Street for .25 mile, then right on Tahquitz View Drive for about .75 mile. You will then come to the base of South Ridge Road to the right.

If you have a 4WD vehicle, proceed up the road for 1.5 miles to the trailhead; otherwise walk up to avoid the deep potholes and washouts if the winter has been severe.

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