Cabin Fever

17-18 November 2022
Ernie Maxwell Trail to Saddle Junction and back, then Ernie Maxwell loop to Tahquitz Peak and Saddle Junction
(20 miles, + 5,500/-5,500 feet).

My friends Guppy and Double Down are having their floors redone, so they decided to spend a few days at a cabin in Idyllwild. When they asked me to come join them I jumped at the chance!

Double Down and I originally thought we would do a backpack to fill in some PCT miles he has yet to cover. But a decent storm hit the mountain this week, so we opted for a couple of day hikes instead.

On day one, we climbed up from their cabin to the Ernie Maxwell Trail and did a there-and-back up to Saddle Junction via the Devil’s Slide Trail.

Double Down and Suicide Rock
Into the wild!
More snow here
Welcome committee at Saddle Junction
Heading back down the Devil’s Slide

After a fun dinner at the Idyllwild Brewpub and a cozy sleep in the cabin, we set out the following day on a longer loop, heading the other way on the Ernie Maxwell Trail.

Mission complete!

From there we climbed up some roads to the South Ridge Trailhead. It was steep but really pretty!

We’re back
Great views to the south
Lots of snow on north facing slopes
Double Down tackles the last climb

At the top of the South Ridge Trail there is a historic fire lookout. We chatted a bit with another hiker and two search and rescue folks who were accompanying an electrician who was doing some work on it.

Fixer upper?
Don’t trip over the toolbox!
San Jacinto Mountain
Route to the PCT
Peak 8640+
Still some snow here

Back on the PCT we stopped for a nice break in the snow. One of us might have glissaded.

I’ll never tell!
PCT heading north towards Saddle Junction

When we got to Saddle Junction, our welcome committee was gone! It’s amazing how fast the snow is melting up here….

From there we headed down Devil’s Slide again and back to the cabin.

Once more, with feeling!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Dave Renas says:

    So glad you came up for these hikes! These pictures are a nice reminder of why the steep climb up the South Ridge trail was so worthwhile

    Liked by 1 person

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