The Deer Springs Trail is a moderate to strenuous hike depending on how far you go on one of four maintained trails that climb up the west face of San Jacinto Peak. The others being Marion Mountain Trail, Seven Pines Trail, and the Fuller Ridge Trail. The Deer Springs trail starts on Highway 243, one mile north of Idyllwild, at an elevation of almost 5600 ft.
A branch of this trail takes you about 3 miles to Suicide Rock with a gain of almost 1700 ft. from the beginning of the trailhead, however if you only make it about 3/4 mile there is a beautiful rock vista offering a fantastic view of the valley stretching west to Hemet and a stunning view of Tahquitz Peak to the east. From Suicide Rock hikers are awarded with beautiful panoramic views of Idyllwild and the rugged, granite cliff of Tahquitz (Lily) Rock. The Deer Springs Trail continues to San Jacinto Peak, with a gain of 5200 ft. from the trailhead.
Wilderness Access Trail (Permit Always Required)
A Forest Service Adventure pass is required for parking at the trailhead and wilderness permits (free) are required for both the National Forest and the State Park Wildernesses. (See below for locations to purchase the National Forest Adventure Pass.)
From Banning- If your on the 10, take the 8th Street exit and head south. Take a left on Lincoln Street and head west. Take a right on San Gorgonio Ave (which becomes Hwy 243). Take this road for about 25 miles. There will be sign along the road telling you where the trail head is at. It will be on the left side and there will be two turnouts.
From Idyllwild- Head north on the Hwy 243 for about 1.3 miles. Trail head will be on the right side of the roads with a sign telling you where it is at.
The San Jacinto mountains offer about 275 miles of trails that are varied enough to appeal to the novice yet are sufficiently challenging for the advanced hiker.
Some hiking trails are located in the 35,000 acre San Jacinto Wilderness area managed by the US Forest Service. Other trails are within the 10,000 acre Mt San Jacinto State Wilderness, administered by Mt. San Jacinto State Park.
A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for parking at the trailhead and wilderness permits (free) are required for both the National Forest and the State Park Wildernesses. Wilderness permits are available at no cost from the San Jacinto State Park headquarters on Highway 243 or at the Idyllwild Ranger Station at Highway 243 and Pine Crest Drive.
You can also purchase the National Forest Adventure Pass at many Big 5 Sporting Goods store locations, or at many other locations in both in Idyllwild and the Coachella Valley. There is a daily pass which will cost you $5, or you can buy a yearly pass for $30. When purchasing the yearly pass you can also purchase a Secondary Vehicle pass for an additional $5, which is worth it if you are going with several people in two vehicles. For more information on the National Forest Recreation pass click here.
Mount San Jacinto State Park Information
Address: 25905 Highway 243, Idyllwild, CA 92549