|Elevation||8,750 feet (2,667 m)|
Tahquitz Peak (commonly, Tahquitz (8,750 feet/2667 meters)) is a granite rock formation ( ) located on the high western slope of the San Jacinto mountain range in Riverside County, Southern California, United States, above the mountain town of Idyllwild. Tahquitz has a steep approach hike (approximately 800-foot elevation gain in a half mile), leading to a roughly 1000-foot face. Tahquitz, which can refer to both the rock outcrop and the outcrop's parent peak, is a popular hiking destination to the fire lookout station and the rock climbing area.
A second popular rock face, called Suicide Rock, lies across the valley. Tahquitz Rock, also known as "Lily Rock", is located ½ mile to the northwest. (The name "Lily Rock" possibly originates from Lily Eastman, the daughter of Dr. Sanford Eastman. Dr. Eastman was the first Secretary and a Director of the "Southern California Colony Association", which later became Riverside.)
In the 1930s, the Rock Climbing Section (RCS) of the Sierra Club Members in California started a campaign to identify potential rock climbing locations in southern California. RCS member Jim Smith "discovered" Tahquitz in June 1935. The first fifth-class ascent of Tahquitz, "The Trough" (5.4), occurred in August 1936 by Jim Smith, Bob Brinton, and Z. Jasaitis. A month later, Smith and Bill Rice quickly put up the now-classic route, "Angel's Fright" (5.6). In 1937, Dick Jones and Glen Dawson led a first ascent of "The Mechanic's Route", one of the first 5.8s in the country. During the late 1930s, the movie Three On A Rope featured climbing at Tahquitz.
By 1940, about a dozen routes had been established. World War II slowed down development, but activity soon picked back up and fresh faces were seen at Tahquitz. Royal Robbins, a prominent member of the RCS, led the new surge in Tahquitz development in the 1950s. This new group of climbers eschewed some of the time-honored safety techniques of the past, which led to harder and harder climbs being developed, culminating with "The Vampire" in 1959. Though Robbins and Dave Rearick climbed it via aid technique (5.9 A3/4), it was free climbed in 1973 (5.11a) by John Long et al. and is now considered one of the best free climbs in southern California.
With the help of new climbing shoe designs, route development in the 1960s jumped well into 5.10 territory. Nearby Suicide Rock also started to be developed, resulting in another southern California classic, "Valhalla" (5.11a) in November 1970.
The Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) of grading routes was developed at Tahquitz by members of the RCS of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club in the 1950s. Royal Robbins in 1952 established what was then one of the hardest free climbs in the United States, known as "Open Book". As new routes were constantly being discovered and climbed, the old method of rating climbs as either easy, moderate, or hard was quickly becoming useless. With the help of fellow RCS members Don Wilson and Chuck Wilts, the modern system of rating fifth-class climbing was developed, with the scale running from 5.0 to 5.9. Mark Powell, a local who frequented Yosemite, passed this system on to the climbers in Yosemite. By the early 1960s, the Yosemite Decimal System was the standard in the United States.
Most climbers, after the 70's, considered the area "climbed out" in terms of potential new first ascents. Still, new and quality climbs continued to be added on Tahquitz as well as the smaller rock outcrops nearby. Bob Gaines having established many of them.
- The Tribe of Tahquitz is an Honor Boy Scout organization of the Long Beach Area Council, and a summer camp which bears the same name.
- Tahquitz is a supporting character in the Louis L'Amour novel, The Lonesome Gods (1983), that is mistaken for a demigod of Native American legend and lives in the mountains alone near Agua Caliente. The story features the mountain as well as the Mojave and Colorado Deserts of California as the setting of the story.
- Tahquitz Exchange – a novel by Bernnie Reese (1993). DeChamp Co. pp. 225. ISBN 978-0962880230 LCCN 93-90902 OCLC 34320859
- Tahquitz is a major reoccurring support character in the second novel Idyllwild of The Sheriff Wyler Scott Series a novel by "Mark Paul" Sebar which takes place in the modern Colorado Desert and High San Jacinto Mtns. pp. 233 ISBN 978-1-930246-39-3
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tahquitz Peak.|
- "Tahquitz Peak". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Tahquitz Peak
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Tahquitz Peak Lookout
- HPS Summit Signatures - Lily Rock
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Suicide Rock
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lily Rock
- Tahquitz & Suicide, Chockstone Press, Evergreen, CO, ISBN 0-934641-31-5. P. 15-16, 172.
- Rock Climbing Tahquitz and Suicide Rocks, 3rd Edition, Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT, ISBN 1-58592-087-8. P. 80.
- Tahquitz & Suicide, Chockstone Press, Evergreen, CO, ISBN 0-934641-31-5. P. 16-22, 171.
- Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, 6th Edition, The Mountaineers, Seattle, Washington, ISBN 0-89886-426-7. P. 550.
- Tahquitz & Suicide, Chockstone Press, Evergreen, CO, ISBN 0-934641-31-5. P. 18-19.
- Bob Kamps Climbing Database
- Jepson Manual: I. callida
- USDA Plants: I callida
- ISBN 0-553-27518-6