Cactus Spring Trail enters the Santa Rosa Wilderness where hikers must register at the sign-in box a short way beyond the trailhead; this functions as the hiker's wilderness permit.
The Cactus Spring Trail is a high desert trail beginning in Pinyon Flat at 4,000 feet and descends 400 feet to Horse Thief Creek. Bighorn sheep inhabit this region. The trail continues 15 miles through Agua Alta Canyon to State Highway 86 in the low desert. Beyond Cactus Spring the trail maybe difficult to follow. This high desert environment can be both frosty and blistering within the span of 24 hours.
When there last August, we experienced frost in the morning and a temperature of 111 degrees F that afternoon.
Directions: From Idyllwild, CA, Travel Highway 243 south taking the left fork of Highway 74 towards Lake Hemet. Continue southeast across the Santa Rosa Indian Reservation. Take a right on Forest Road 7S09, which is just opposite Pynon Flat Campground. The trailhead is located past the Riverside County Transfer Station.
Elevation: 4,000 feet
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San Bernardino National Forest, California
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