Rocky Picture Show

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

Suicide Rock 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.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

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.

Gallery image 1 of 4
Gallery image 2 of 4
Gallery image 3 of 4
Gallery image 4 of 4

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 SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Pinnacles of Spring

    Why hike at Pinnacles National Park? The wildflowers are in overdrive during spring. And you might spy the magnificent California condor soaring while you gain soaring views from the High Peaks Trail.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Do it Yourself Walking Tour of Solvang

    Solvang has long been described as a “little slice of Denmark in Southern California." Experience the historic village on a 3-mile walk that explores the architecture, food, wine, and green space.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Truly Grand Day Hike

    One of the best spring day hikes in the Grand Canyon? See layer upon layer of the park’s grandeur—including the river—on this 3-mile (one-way) journey to Skeleton Point via the South Kaibab Trail.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Garden of the Gods

    A 1-mile out-and-back trail in 23-acre Garden of the Gods threads through sandstone boulders that were natural icons of Hollywood’s Golden Age, back when this site was known as the Iverson Movie Ranch.

    View

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Wildflower Hiking Guide

    California’s wildflowers will be lovely this spring! So how do you find the best in bloom? Check out POST’s complimentary Wildflower Guide to find the best hiking trails with wildflowers.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Moore Wildflowers!

    Napa's got poppies on parade! Hike the 4.3-mile Valentine Vista Trail at Moore Creek Park. It's spectacular for views, and the spring wildflowers are a colorful bonus!

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Tam It All

    The hills have gone green just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, and this 7.5-mile lollipop loop hike passes through some of Mount Tam’s lushest spots, with bridges, creeks, a waterfall, and big views.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Footloose in the Foothills

    In spring, Diablo Foothills Regional Park bursts with green rolling hills, wildflowers, and some of the lushest views of Mount Diablo itself. Go on an 8-mile loop among this verdant scenery.

    View