Below is a brief report and photos of the trip up Tahquitz Peak by Aaron James and Mark Vander Pol.
Because of the business of the Christmas season, the one-night overnight trip that we were planning in the San Jacinto Wilderness wasn't able to happen. However, a nice one-day hike in the snow was an attractive option that we jumped at.
Lily Rock greeted us in the Humber Park parking lot.
Approximately half of the trail up to around 8,000 feet looked like this. Above 8,000 feet the trail was completely snow covered. Quite often especially at the lower altitudes the trail was slick in spots and we had to be careful where we put our feet.
Aaron on the trail going up.
Idyllwild, California is actually a big destination for rock climbers. Here we are above and to the east of Suicide Rock. Lily Rock seen earlier is another popular rock for climbing.
Aaron approaching Saddle Junction. The trail leveled out for the most part as we approached Saddle Jct. and proceded south towards Tahquitz Peak. However, there was a good deal of snow and every once in a while we fell through almost up to our knees. Previously a hiker on snowshoes blazed the trail so we were able to follow his tracks.
A beautiful winter wonderland!
The final half mile to Tahquitz Peak were on a very steep slope and we had to be really careful. We were tied to each other in case somebody slipped.
Looking north towards Marion Mountain and San Jacinto Peak.
Aaron and Mark on the Peak. There is a fire tower on the peak to the right of the photo. We ate our lunch up there and tried to stay out of the wind. The views all around were gorgeous!
Coming back through the snow.
More sun through the trees.
Besides not having snowshoes or crampons, we did pretty well on this trip and made great time considering. When we arrived at the trailhead at 8:00 in the morning we were the only people, and didn't see anybody else until we reached Saddle Junction on the way back. However, as we got closer to the parking lot there were a lot of people out for the day playing in the snow.