OverviewOne of twenty Southern California named peaks (South of Sierra Nevada) above 10,000 feet
. Folly Peak is often overlooked by all those summiting its more notable neighbor, San Jacinto Peak. For those interested in bagging the all of the So. Cal. 10K+ peaks, Folly Peak is about a one mile round trip from San Jacinto Peak and offers a nice reprieve from the traffic that can accumulate on San Jacinto Peak.
There are various trails leading to San Jacinto Peak, but there is no trail from there to Folly Peak, however the route finding is easy. The ridge line visible from San Jacinto Peak presents a clear line between the two peaks, however, after descending down the saddle it is possible to waste time snaking around trees, boulders and bushes. Keeping a bit on the left side of the ridge will help avoid some obstacles and two false summits. Folly Peak is the western most high point along the ridge. Actual latitude and longitude is 33.818199, -116.684786; the page will not save the correction in the appropriate fields.
Any of the routes publicized for climbing San Jacinto Peak can be used to reach Folly Peak.
For the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway:
Take any freeway to the I-10 eastbound to CA 111, and turn right at the Palm Springs Tramway sign. Drive to the end of the road. This is about a 120 mile drive from Los Angeles. Folly Peak is about # miles from the tram.
For the Cactus To Clouds Trail:
The trailhead is located at the Palm Springs Desert Museum in the town of Palm Springs. Same directions as above except continue on CA 111 until you reach Palm Springs where the highway becomes Palm Canyon Drive. Make a right onto W. Tahquitz Canyon Way to Museum Drive. The museum is at 101 Museum Drive. Also the trail can be reached by making a right turn onto W. Ramon Road and following it until the end.
For the Snow Creek Route:
The start of the Snow Creek route is off of CA 111. Turn right on the first road (Snow Creek Road) beyond the exit of I-10. Drive south towards Snow Creek Village and park in a large dirt turnout on the left side of the road at the Snow Creek Village sign. This is before you actually get to the village (parking in the village is sensitive).
For Seven Pines, Fern Basin, Deer Springs and Humber Park (Devil's Slide trailhead):
Take any freeway to the I-10 eastbound to Banning, then take CA 243 southbound towards Idyllwild. Seven Pines and Fern Basin trailheads are reached from CA 243 by turning left just past the Alandale Ranger Station toward the Stone Creek, Fern Basin and Marion Mountain campgrounds. For Seven Pines, follow signs toward Fern Basin, but before reaching there turn left on road 4S02, toward Dark Canyon campground and continue to the trailhead approximately 1.5 miles past the campground. For Fern Basin, follow signs for the Fern Basin and Marion Mountain campgrounds. The trailhead begins on road 4S71 between the two campgrounds. The Deer Springs trailhead is on CA 243 on the left side of the road just before it enters the town of Idyllwild. The Devil's Slide trailhead is at Humber Park in the town of Idyllwild. Turn left at the National Forest Ranger Station and follow the signs towards Humber Park.
For Marion Mountain Trail:
Access to the Marion Mountain trailhead is the same as for Seven Pines, except once on Marion Mountain Road, follow signs to Marion Mountain campground. The trailhead is just before you reach the campground.
For Fuller Ridge Trail:
The Fuller Ridge/PCT trailhead is reached via Black Mountain Road. Turn off SR243 17 miles from Banning or about 8 miles from Idyllwild. Black Mountain Road is dirt, and may have some rough spots. Follow Black Mountain Road 8 miles to the Fuller Ridge Trail access road. Turn right. Parking as about 1/4 mile from the turn-off.
All parking at the trailheads, with the exception of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, requires a National Forest Adventure Pass
. These can be purchased at any of the Ranger Stations or from many local merchants for $5.00 a day or $30.00 for an annual pass.
A permit is required for entry into the San Jacinto Wilderness and State Park. 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 are also available from the Ranger Station located 1/4 mile beyond the Mountain Station at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. They may also be obtained in advance from:
San Jacinto Ranger District
P.O. Box 518
Idyllwild, CA 92549
Voice: (909) 382-2921
Fax: (951) 659-2107
Camping is allowed in the State Park by permit
only. There are many places to camp along various trails and trailheads.
When to Climb
San Bernardino National Forest
Mt. San Jacinto State Park
External LinksSan Jacinto State Park
Sierra Club – Folly Peak
Peak Bagger – Folly Peak
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Robert B. Smith’s Trip Report
Bob Burd’s Trip Report
Perry Scanlon’s Cactus to Clouds Hiking Guide