Thomas Mountain West Approach

Total Miles


2,031.79 ft


0.4 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Spring, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

This trail connects the Rouse Ridge via Cottonwood trail to the Thomas Mountain Campground via the western end of Thomas Mountain Road. During dry months, the trail is an easily passable dirt road, requiring only moderate clearance to pass over occasional ruts and drainage control berms running across the road. It runs along the southwestern side of Thomas Mountain, giving scenic elevated views of the valleys below. In several sections, there will be steep drop-offs on one side of the trail, but the trail is wide enough to avoid driving too close to the edge when no oncoming vehicle traffic is present. There is an abundance of turnouts along the trail if oncoming traffic is encountered. There are numerous switchbacks with poor visibility of the upcoming trail, so care should be taken to avoid running into unseen oncoming traffic. If coming from the Rouse Ridge trail, you will end up at the top of Thomas Mountain in the campground area overlooking Lake Hemet. Fire trucks from the Idyllwild FD might be seen in the area occasionally, especially during high fire danger periods.

Photos of Thomas Mountain West Approach

Thomas Mountain West Approach
Thomas Mountain West Approach
Thomas Mountain West Approach


The trail is a graded dirt road with some small to medium-sized scattered rocks. The road will develop occasional ruts due to rain runoff. There are also occasional berms built across the road to control drainage. These obstacles can generally be crossed easily with a moderate clearance vehicle at slower speeds. If the trail is wet or has light snow coverage, 4WD would be necessary.

Technical Rating


Status Reports

There are no status reports yet for this trail.

Access Description

This trail section can be reached from the west side of Thomas Mountain using the Rouse Ridge via Cottonwood trail or from the east side using the Thomas Mountain Road trail. Both these options are accessible from Highway 74 in Hemet Valley.

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