Tahquitz Peak via Devils Slide Trail and Pacific Crest Trail
9 reviews San Jacinto Wilderness #3 hike out of 27 in
1 hrs 51 min
This is a moderate one way trail to Tahquitz Peak in San Jacinto Wilderness.
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Hiked Fri 07/07/2023 solo – Early start on a warm day with clear weather on the way up Tahquitz, Grey Tahquitz, Red Tahquitz and Sam Fink Peaks. Enjoyed the awesome panoramic views from each. Chose the harder but very fun scramble up the north side of Grey Tahquitz instead of the optional (and less stressful) use trail to Red Tahquitz which I used for the return to the PCT. Took the very scenic, fern lined Tahquitz Valley Trail to connect with the east bound Willow Creek and King Trails to get to Willow Creek proper. From Willow Creek out to Sam Fink Peak, I tried to use the Caramba Trail which is a total mess, having dense overgrown sections of White Thorn & Chinquapin, combined with several fallen trees hidden underneath. There are several cairns that lead part way though the overgrowth but the trail is non-existent in several sections. While it undoubtedly took more time, I found it easier to navigate a cross country route between Willow and Tahquitz Creeks on the way out to Sam Fink Peak than piece together some parts of Caramba. Lots of fun scrambling up the false summit on Sam Fink before the steeper scramble up the real summit. Filtered nice cold water from Tahquitz and Willow Creeks to make a long, warm day more pleasant. The bugs were out in force by mid-morning, ignoring my insect repellent but held back by a mosquito net. Sam Fink is on the eastern edge of the SJ Wilderness but a fun climb. You just have to carefully plan your route after Willow Creek. To get to Willow Creek (which is very scenic right now), I would recommend using the King Trail instead of continuing further down the Willow Creek Trail. The King Trail is a right turn from the eastbound Willow Creek trail, 1 mile from Saddle Junction. It is well maintained and meticulously marked by many cairns. Route for this hike = Devil’s Slide to PCT southbound to South Ridge Trail to Tahquitz Peak. South Ridge Trail (north) to PCT southbound, scramble p north face of Grey Tahquitz Peak. Animal use trails to Red Tahquitz, returning to PCT northbound via Red Tahquitz Use Trail. PCT to Little Tahquitz Valley Trail to Willow Creek Trail to King Trail to Caramba Trail + cross country to Sam Fink Peak. Return by same path to Saddle JCT, then Devil’s Slide. Logged 23.3 miles/5514 vertical ft. with Gaia★ ★ ★ ★