Rocky Picture Show

Fall Color Hike to Suicide Rock in Mount San Jacinto State Park

Suicide Rock near Idyllwild is a SoCal hot spot for changing colors in the fall, and a great workout as well. The 6.3-mile (round-trip) out-and-back hike gains 1,853 feet as it rewards you with autumn yellows and sweeping views of Mount San Jacinto and Tahquitz Peak.

Suicide gets its name from a legend about two Cahuilla Indian lovers whose love was forbidden. Instead of living apart, they decided to throw themselves off the cliffside together.

Deer Springs Trailhead is a short walk from the parking area. Make the first left and you’ll immediately be met with towering Jeffrey pines on either side. You’ll then come across the trailhead sign. The first mile is mostly lined with evergreen foliage and chaparral.

Close to the second mile is when the yellowing leaves of black oaks become prominent. You’ll also come across sections of manzanita, with its smooth red bark.

At about 2.5 miles is a trail junction where you should make a right onto Suicide Rock Trail to head toward your goal. At the fork you’ll see the prominent form of Tahquitz Rock, as well as Tahquitz Peak standing behind it. These two features are in clear view for most of the next mile, and the panorama is even better from the top of Suicide Rock. When you come across a large clearing in the trail and a massive rock plateau to the left, you know you’ve arrived.

From the CA-74 in Hemet, go east to the CA-243 and turn north. Continue for about 5.5 miles. Parking for the trailhead is directly off Hwy. 243 between Point of Rocks Dr.and Cedar Glen Dr. Parking coordinates: 33.753099, -116.722758. A free permit is required for this hike, which you can pick up at the Mount San Jacinto State Park Ranger Station, 54270 Pine Crest Ave., Idyllwild. No dogs.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Up Umunhum

    Rising from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Umunhum is one of the Bay Area’s highest points, reaching an impressive 3,486 feet. With the new 7.4-mile (round-trip) addition to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, locals can finally step up to its peak.

  2. Napa's Wild Side

    It’s wine country’s Amazon. Cutting 50 miles through the famous Napa Valley and emptying into San Pablo Bay, the gentle Napa River is an ecological—and recreational—delight. And Napa Valley Paddle helps you enjoy it.

  3. Strolling With Sam

    Most people come to Samuel P. Taylor State Park for the beautiful creekside campground and picnic areas. But the hiking here can be pleasantly peaceful on a short trail featuring old-growth redwood trees.

  4. Sponsored

    Four Ways to Fall for North Lake Tahoe

    As vivid autumn colors start to line the sky and crowds begin to dwindle, North Lake Tahoe’s breathtaking secret season takes over and is a favorite among locals. With turning leaves, crisp air, and 12 towns to explore, North Lake Tahoe is the place to disconnect.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Apple of Your Eye

    That fall feeling is definitely in the air and on display at the Oak Glen Preserve. Apple orchards and colorful leaves are a bonus, as are the apple cider donuts and slushies you can enjoy post-hike.

  2. Secluded Royale

    Panoramic coastal views and a killer leg workout combine on this 2.7-mile (round-trip) out-and-back hike to secluded Coast Royale Beach in Orange County

  3. Rock Star Hike

    The sandstone giants of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park might be the coolest damn formations in SoCal. Explore the craggy slabs on a 2.5-mile hike.

  4. Clarity in Claremont

    The majority of Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is inaccessible, rugged terrain but there’s a 4.9-mile moderate loop that’s well-maintained and feels gloriously far away, despite being close to the city.