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Apache Peak


Location: Riverside County, about 6 miles east-southeast of Idyllwild, 114 miles from Los Angeles


Auto Club: Riverside County, Los Angeles and Vicinity
Forest Service: San Bernardino National Forest, San Jacinto Wilderness
USGS Topo: Idyllwild 7½, Palm View Peak 7½
HPS: Route(s), waypoints and explanation of usage

Nearby Peaks: Spitler Peak

Printable version of this route


(USFS Adventure Pass required)
Distance: 12 miles round trip on trail and a short, brushy cross-country segment
Gain: 2700'
Time: 6-7 hours round trip
Rating: Class 1, moderate
Navigation: Easy

Original: Ham Barhydt, May 1977

Note: Apache Peak together with Spitler Peak by Route 1, Spitler Peak Trail, is 13 miles round trip and 3200' gain.


  • Take I-10 or SR 60 east to SR 79 in Beaumont. Exit right (south) on SR 79.
  • Drive 6.5 miles south, where SR 79 heads left to Gilman Hot Springs. Do not exit here. Continue straight for 1.5 miles on Sanborn Avenue to Ramona Expressway. Turn left (east).
  • Drive 8.5 miles east and then southeast on the Ramona Expressway, which acquires the name Mountain Avenue, until it ends at SR 74. Turn left (east).
  • Drive 15 miles east on SR 74 to Mountain Center (junction with Idyllwild Highway - SR 243).
  • Continue east on SR 74 for 3.5 miles to Apple Canyon Road (paved) on the left. Turn left.
  • Pass the entrance to the Hurkey Creek Campground on the left and continue 2.6 miles to a large parking area on the right. Park here. This is the parking area for the Spitler Peak Trail.


  • The Spitler Peak Trail, 3E22, begins at a square post at the north end of the parking area (4940').
  • Hike 5 miles up the trail to where it meets the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at Apache-Spitler Saddle (6980').
  • Turn left (north) and follow the PCT 0.6 mile to a trail junction (7340') with a side trail to Apache Spring heading right.
  • Leave the PCT on the left side at this junction, following a small gully northwest by the most convenient paths until reaching a high saddle (7460') between the two summits of Apache Peak.
  • The register is located on the western, higher summit. Turn left at the high saddle and scramble through easy brush and rocks to the summit.


Turning right at Apache-Spitler Saddle goes to Spitler Peak, which would add 1 mile and 500' of gain to the round trip.


Via Fobes Trail and Spitler Peak:
Use the Spitler Peak guide to ascend that peak using the Fobes Trail. From Spitler Peak, return to the PCT and continue north to Apache-Spitler Saddle. Proceed to the summit of Apache Peak as in Route 1 above. Totals: 10 miles round trip for both peaks, on trail and short, brush cross-country, 3300' gain round trip in 7-9 hours. Class 1, moderate hike. Leader Rating: "I".


Wilderness permits are required under all circumstances. Permits are limited to 12 hikers. Permits may be obtained from the Idyllwild Ranger Station just off SR 243 at 54270 Pine Crest Road. There is a self-issue permit stand outside of the ranger station. Permits may be obtained in advance from:

    San Jacinto Ranger District
    54270 Pinecrest
    P.O. Box 518
    Idyllwild, CA 92549
    Voice: (909) 382-2921
    Fax: (951) 659-2107

History of Summit Signature

Climbing Archives

Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.

Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
Published 16-October-2005
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