Lily Rock (8003′) and Tahquitz Peak (8827′)
The hiking trails around Idyllwild, CA are phenomenal, but most are quite strenuous and steep. The trail system is shared between the National Forest and the State Park. You have to decide between PERMIT or NO PERMIT and then, STATE or FEDERAL. We offer a water-proof trail map that covers the Idyllwild area.
The trails are generally divided between “wilderness”, meaning permit required, and “non-wilderness”, meaning permit NOT required for day use. Day-Use Permits and Overnight Permits are necessary for both the San Jacinto Wilderness and the Mount San Jacinto State Park. One of the more complex land-use areas in the entire US, but luckily both sides will honor each other’s day-use wilderness permits!
Check out our San Bernardino National Forest Trail Map to help you explore the Idyllwild hiking trails.
Day-Use Permits are free and available 24/7 in Idyllwild, or at various locations (see below):
Overnight Permits are always required and are available from either the State Park or the National Forest (depending on where you will camp):
San Bernardino National Forest
- San Jacinto Ranger District, 54270 Pine Crest, Idyllwild, CA 92549
- Day Use Self-Issued permits will be located to the left of the doors on a permit desk 24/7.
- All vehicles parked at Humber Park, Lake Hemet, Lake Fulmor or Fuller Mill Creek are required to display an Adventure Pass.
- National Forest San Jacinto Ranger District main page
- National Forest San Jacinto Wilderness info page
- Overnight camping permits (free) can be reserved 90 days in advance by calling 909-382-2921 (leave a message if necessary), OR by mailing the form linked below.
- Natl Forest Overnight Permit (PDF)
- Wilderness camping permits are issued for the following zones: Chinquapin, Skunk Cabbage, Tahquitz, North Rim, and Desert View.
Mt. San Jacinto State Park
- Idyllwild Ranger Station, 25905 Highway 243, Idyllwild, CA 92549
- Self-Issued Permits located on an info desk in front of the office
- San Jacinto State Park info page
- There is no dispersed camping in the State Wilderness. All campers must have a Wilderness Camping Permit issued by Mount San Jacinto State Park in their possession and camp in a designated wilderness campground.
— ADDITIONAL STATE PARK PERMIT LOCATIONS —
- Stone Creek Campground, five miles north of Idyllwild on Dark Canyon Road/4S02 (located on a visitor info board)
- Long Valley Ranger Station, is located at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (permits are found on a permit desk in front of the ranger station). The base of the tramway is located at: 1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262.
— OVERNIGHT STATE PARK PERMIT INFO —
- State Park Overnight Permit PDF FORM ($5 per person; must be printed and mailed)
- Round Valley and Tamarack Campground Map (PDF)
- A Description of Campgrounds within the state park wilderness
- A terrific write-up of hiking 4 peaks in San Jacinto State Park from hikingtales.com
UNDER CONSTRUCTION —
San Jacinto Peak is a common destination, but the shortest trailhead from Marion Mtn is 5.8 mi and 4365 ft elevation gain! To even reach the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from Humber Park is 2.5 mi with a 1700 ft elevation gain.
There are 4 great trails south of Idyllwild allowing access to the PCT:
Tahquitz Rock drew the attention of turn of the century hikers who often worked their way to its class 2 summit. During that era Tahquitz Rock was also referred to as ‘Lilly Rock’ and ‘The Pallisades.’
According to summitpost.org; “It was Named Lily Rock in 1898 by a USGS team; it has been thought that this was possibly for its lily-white appearance. But T.W. Patterson of Riverside has seen an old photograph of Lily Eastman, on the reverse of which is written ‘She was the one for whom Lily Rock was named’.
Some relevant quotes….
“Lily was the daughter of Dr. Sanford Eastman, the first Secretary and a Director of the ‘Southern California Colony Association’ which later became Riverside. She was much admired locally for her grace and beauty.” “She and her father, came to Riverside for their health, both suffering from tuberculosis, but she nonetheless died young and was mourned by many.” “It was previously known as ‘Taukwitch Rock’ (by early settlers) which allowed for many variants in spelling”.