Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout

Area Status: Closed

The hike up to this lookout tower through the San Jacinto Wilderness offers some of the most beautiful vistas in Southern California, including the Salton Sea to the southeast. The origin of Tahquitz's name is derived from the Cahuilla god Tahquish, who believe the peak to be the god's home.

Picture of Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout and two Forest Service Volunteers looking at the valleys below.At an elevation of 8,846 feet, this lookout is the highest within the San Bernardino National Forest, and the only one located within a designated Wilderness area. It is also the forest’s longest continuously operated station, serving some 77 years.

Up here, all work must be done with regular hand tools as no motorized equipment is allowed in wilderness areas.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed for the season.
Operational Hours: Summer season
Permit Info: Wilderness Permits to hike the trail up South Ridge or Devil's Slide to the lookout tower are available at the Idyllwild Ranger Station. Devil's Slide permits are limited on Saturdays and Sundays starting Memorial weekend to Labor Day weekend.  Call for more information 909-382-2921.
Open Season: - 11/20/2022
Busiest Season: Summer
  • Group size is limited to 12 people.
  • No campfires allowed.  Portable gas stoves are allowed.
  • Camp on a durable surface at least 200 feet away from other people, trails, meadows, and water sources.
Pack It In/Pack It Out Pack out what you pack in and Leave No Trace!
Closest Towns: Idyllwild
Water: None
Restroom: None
Information Center:
San Jacinto Ranger District
54270 Pine Crest
P.O. Box 518
Idyllwild, CA 92549

General Information


The trail to Tahquitz Peak Lookout is a 4.5-mile hike via either Devil's Slide or South Ridge trails. Both require Wilderness permits. Devil's Slide requires an Adventure Pass. Adventure Passes are $5/day or $30/year. Interagency Passes also accepted. For more information, please visit our recreation pass page.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

Viewing Scenery

Interpretive Areas

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation :