Humber Park is located in Idyllwild, California. After last Sunday’s hike with my good friend Melevy Sorto at San Jacinto via the Marion Trail, it made me realize how beautiful San Jacinto Wilderness is. How fortunate I was of coming back here on a different trail and this time with the 3H Family (Hiking for Health and Happiness).
Getting here is a long 2 hour and quarter drive from home. The same highways I used last weekend. Heading south on highway 243, I turned left on Jameson Drive that changes to South Circle Drive. After crossing a narrow bridge over Strawberry Creek, I quickly turned left at Fern Valley Road and drove all the way to the end where the parking lot of Humber Park is. I didn’t get lost and got in time early before our meeting time at 6 am. And I also hanged my Adventure Pass this time.
Our planned route that day was to do a loop around Round Valley. A total of 14 hikers embarked on a new adventure led by Ricardo Cruz. He gave us some hiking tips at the parking lot. We started our hike at the beginning of the Devil’s Slide Trail which is already upwards 6,000 feet above sea level. It’s a popular trail to San Jacinto Peak that’s second only to the Palms Springs Aerial Tram. Going up 2.5 miles to the Saddle Junction was not strenuous at all. There are a lot of shaded areas and the view is spectacular. The junction has five trails that led to different directions and one of them is to San Jacinto Peak on the left side which is a longer route than the Marion Trail. We took a little break at the area and gave Meredith Crane, Mireya Arellano, and myself a chance to do our 22 push-ups video. Then we ate some snacks.
From there, we took the Willow Creek Trail to start our loop. After 2 miles in, the trail got closed off for passage by the forest rangers. The sign says, “Due to mountain fire, this area is closed for public safety and to allow for ecological restoration”. Our original planned loop at Round Valley was no longer going to happen and was now changed to exploration of other trails. We hiked another mile to the trail on the right and stopped at Laws Junction which the trail on the left is also closed off.
We proceed to the trail on the right that was heading towards Tahquitz Peak Lookout. What a beautiful sight of the meadow as we hike along the Tahquitz Valley. The scene looks like heaven’s garden. We passed the PCT junction that meets the South Ridge Trail and hiked up to Tahquitz Peak Lookout. It has an elevation of 8,828 feet and has 360 degrees of unobstructed views. There was a lone volunteer inside the lookout and welcomed us in. We took photos around the area and later on had our lunch break. Junie Wood shared her Fireball drink with us who were brave enough.
After a wonderful time at the lookout, we head back down South Ridge Trail to the PCT junction. After 1.7 miles, we got back to the Saddle Junction where we met two forest rangers. They asked for our permits as they counted as off. They advised as not to be too loud on the trail. We then had our photos taken with them. After a quick break, Ricardo led us on a special bonus hike using the PCT. This is the trail that goes up to Mt. San Jacinto. It has almost the same elevation gain as the Marion Trail. I expected it to be a strenuous ascent. More than a quarter of mile, some of the group stayed behind and waited for the others who went up. It was almost a non-stop ascent that Gil Figueroa and myself found a shade and a cool breeze to relax while the others continue for another 5 minutes or so. That was a short break when we saw them coming back down already. Caught the rest of the group resting but were ready to move on. Got back to the Saddle Junction again and on to the Devil’s Slide Trail where we saw the view of Suicide Rock. This was the place where team Bardova showed me their photos on one of their hikes.
We got back to the parking lot after more than 13 miles and 8 hours of hiking and 3,294 feet of elevation gain. We congratulated each other with high fives in one line as each one finishes the hike. The we sang the birthday song to Bella Martinez. This was really a perfect and enjoyable hike. We might do the San Jacinto route here on another time. Ricardo and Maglory Maza brought out a huge watermelon and some cold bottled water and Gatorade for all of us to share. Thanks to the 3H Family for creating this event. It was a fun adventure exploring in this heck of the woods. I love San Jacinto Wilderness.