3S08 - Vista Grande

Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California (Riverside County)

Last Updated: 07/28/2018
3.5 / 5 ( 2 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 5.09 miles
Highest Elevation: 4913 feet
Duration: About 1 hour
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Idyllwild-Pine Cove
Nearest Town w/ Services: Idyllwild-Pine Cove
Official Road Name: 3S08 Vista Grande
Management Agency: San Bernardino National Forest
District: San Jacinto Ranger District


Highlight: 3S08 - Vista Grande
3S08 - Vista Grande is a little used offroad 4wd trail in the San Bernardino National Forest. It is north of Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains. A beautiful trail at the top, in the pines, fir and cedar. It makes it's way down into a more desert climate and is actually in the Morongo Indian Reservation for it's last mile or so in the north. There are no signs, or gates to prevent your travel on the Reservation. Along with the trail it connects to in the north, it is the northern most Forest Service numbered trail in the San Jacinto Mountains. It meets up with 3S09 Hurley Flats at the end which you can take for a loop run back up to Hwy 243, a short distance from where you started.


Route Information

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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trailhead is well marked heading east from Hwy 243. It is just north of the Vista Grande Fire Station.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Hemet or Banning

From Hemet, go east on Hwy 74 to Mountain Center. Take Hwy 243 and pass through Idyllwild and Pine Cove. The trailhead is on your right 0.2 miles past the Vista Grande Fire Station. From Banning and the I10 Freeway, go south on 8th Street, turn left at Lincoln and turn right on Hwy 243. Take Hwy 243 to Twin Pines Road and turn left or east. Go 3.25 miles to its end at a Juvenile Detention Facility. A dirt road veers to the right and you will be at the trails end for 3S08 Vista Grande in 300 feet. There is a "Y" at that point, Vista Grande is to the left and 3S09 Hurley Flats is to the right. If you wish to travel the trail in the direction of this write-up, don't turn on Twin Pines Road and continue up Hwy 243. The trailhead is on your left just before the Vista Grande Fire Station.



Trail Reviews (5)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Is there any great camping spots for Jeep with rooftop tent on this trail ? Waypoint 2 has the camp icon but hard to tell from the photos. Looks like a good view from waypoint 2 if there is a camp. Also I presume stock JL with 33’s would be fine on this trail ? Thanks.
–Eric M (05/30/2021)
–Dennis Clark (05/31/2021)

Writer Information

Dennis Clark

Mapping Crew - California and Idaho

Dennis Clark was born in Los Angeles in 1942 and after 76 years of living in So Cal he moved to Emmett, Idaho with his wife Patricia, has four adult children with many grand and great grandchildren. He has loved the outdoors since his Cub Scout and Boy Scout days while camping with the family. He's an archer, hunter and fisherman but no longer wishes to harm animals. He has been involved with photography since the 1960's. He became more of a serious hiker in 2010 when he started Geocaching and has hiked the three tallest peaks in So Cal, Mt San Jacinto, Mt San Gorgonio and Mt Baldy, along with most of the lesser peaks in search of caches. Geocaching started his love for the USFS Trail system as he used the trails frequently to get to certain trailheads. He had a 2002 Ford Ranger 2wd and its amazing where that little pickup took him. In 5 years of weekly geocaching he was only stuck once in some Palm Springs sand. His 2016 Wrangler Sport Unlimited was purchased in 2015. He has become quite lazy in the hiking department as he can now drive to most locations. He's looking forward to posting some trails and don't hesitate to ask him for any help you might need.
For individual use only, not to be shared.