the adventure portal at Thomas Mountain with turtleback trailer
TAP at Thomas Mountain with the Turtleback trailer.

windy sky Thomas Mountain

GPS  N 33.6220    W116.6772
Elevation 6,825
Season Year round: Potential for snow in winter
Terrain Packed dirt,  some washboard, ruts, small rocks.
Difficulty Easy
Required Vehicle High clearance 4 wheel drive best
Time 1 1/2 hour loop
Length 14.5  miles loop

Directions to Thomas Mountain Trail: From the South: take I-15 north then HWY-79 south to HWY 371: turn left and follow for 20 miles up into the mountains.  You will come to a t-junction at HWY-74 go left. Thomas Mountain Road is a dirt road sign posted on your left before you reach Lake Hemit.

windy sky Thomas Mountain
Slow climb up Thomas Mountain

Thomas Mountain Trail

Site Location and Description:  Thomas Mountain Trail is a packed dirt trail winds up Thomas Road to the summit.  It is a fun and fairly easy dirt trail that winds through oaks and pinyons, to grassy meadows, then tall pines and cedars,  with fir trees at the highest elevations. There are a couple of developed campgrounds at the top, with tables and toilets, and 9 primitive “yellow post’ campsites. Yellow post means that you can have campfires as long as the fire stays within the designated fire ring and as long as fire restrictions allow.  Thomas Mountain Campground is on the summit. and is a very popular spot for locals to camp due to the amazing views and solitude.   There are 6 additional campsites below the summit at Tool Box Springs Campground with restrooms but no water.  Drive around, hike and explore you will find amazing, secluded, primitive campsites with wonderful views. Warning: This region is prone to fires, please be extremely careful and obey the no fires ordinance when in effect.

Basecamp thomas Mountain
Basecamp amongst the pines: Thomas Mountain

Winter warning: If you’re attempting to drive the Thomas Mountain Road or access a point from the road, it may be closed seasonally due to snow or maintenance. Be sure to check for current conditions of the roads in the area. Unlike other parts of the San Jacinto Mountains and surrounding area, you do not need an Adventure pass to park at the trailhead.

Click here for more CA off-road, Overlanding trails…..and TAP into Adventure!

Thomas Mountain-View to Anza
Thomas Mountain-View to Anza below

Exploring Thomas Mountain
Exploring Thomas Mountain

Thomas Mountain primitive camping
Thomas Mountain primitive camping

Good NIght-Thomas Mountain
Good Night-Thomas Mountain

Top of Thomas Mountain
Top of Thomas Mountain

Thomas mountain campsite marker
Thomas Mountain yellow post campsite marker

Yellow post camping Thomas Mountain 2
Yellow post camping Thomas Mountain

More yellow post camping 2 Thomas Mountain
More yellow post camping Thomas Mountain

Roof Top Tent Camping- Thomas Mountain
Roof Top Tent Camping- Thomas Mountain

Previous articleAnza Borrego State Park: Lower Coyote Canyon
Next articleFonts Point
New York born to SoCal via Puerto Rico and San Francisco, partner in crime and co-founder of The Adventure Portal, Lori has over 15 years experience in partaking of adventures in the American southwest, primitive camping, hiking and exploring in her Rubi. She welcomes new challenges and is always pushing the envelope of adventure in her Jeep.