Adventure

Mountain Biking and Hiking in Idyllwild

Adventure in Idyllwild

When you’re not cuddled up inside one of our cozy Idyllwild cabins, you should be out adventuring! From mountain biking, road biking, hiking, rock climbing and everything in between, your Idyllwild experience will be filled with adventure and reward. At the heart of this Californian cycling and hiking mecca are many different choices of trails! 

Forest Adventure Pass is required for parking at trailheads. Each cabin has two annual Forest Adventure Passes for your use, please return them back to the cabin when you are done using them. Trails going into the State Wildnerness require a free day-use permit. Wildnerness Day Use Permits can be found in town at the San Jacinto Ranger Station at 54270 Pine Crest Ave, Idyllwild, Ca 92549.  You can see which trails require a Wilderness Permit at this very useful pamphlet outlining all trails in the greater Idyllwild area. 

We have highlighted our favorite Idylllwild hiking trails here. Route descriptions, directions, and everything you need to know to explore these varying trails is listed below.

Wilderness Day Use Permit required

Biking

Alvin Meadows

Ride to the Heavens

Alvin Meadows, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549

This trail is also known as the Control Roads. It offers countless options to choose from and miles of fun. At the beginning of the path you will be offered a choice. You can either go up and right or straight and right. With the “up” path you will endure a challenging steep road which is also known as “The Heavens”. If you decide to go straight you will embark on an excellent journey where you will finish in Pine Cove. If “right” just isn’t for you and  you decide to stay left when approaching other forks you will end up back at where you started.

Coyote Run

Bike with a View

56375 Hwy 74, Mountain Center, CA 92561

The Coyote Run is a great ride for novice and expert bikers alike. This ride begins at the Hurkey Creek county campground and is wonderful is you’d like to experience gorgeous mountain landscape. During winter or spring ride your way to the dazzling waterfalls on Hurkey creek and cool off. Since this is one of the easier trails on the list, Coyote Run fun for the whole family.

Fobes Ranch

Fun at Every Level

Fobes Ranch Rd, Mountain Center, CA 92561

Whichever level biker you are, Fobes Ranch road offers a spot for you! Beginning at Lake Hemet in Garner Valley, this trail is the quintessential ride. Scattered with various inclines throughout this trail will be rewarding and worthwhile!

Hurkey Creek

Elevated Adventure

56375 Hwy 74, Mountain Center, CA 92561

Beautiful Hurkey Creek Park, located off of Hwy 74 in the San Jacinto Mountains just 4 miles southeast of Mountain Center, is the perfect locale for reconnecting with nature. This idyllic getaway boasts a seasonal creek, majestic pine trees, awe-inspiring mountain views, and all the charms and tranquility of a classic woodland recreation area. Step back from your day-to-day and enjoy an outing to one of Riverside County Park and Open-Space District’s park locations. There are several miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails at many of the County’s park sites. Experience the beauty of natural creeks, seasonal vernal pools, overgrown foliage and mountains that envelop the Inland Empire.

The Ramona Trail

Ride Through Different Climate Zones

56375 Hwy 74, Mountain Center, CA 92561

The Ramona Trail is spectacular for several reasons. The views of Garner Valley, Desert Divide, and San Jacinto are phenomenal. For those looking for an extra challenge, you can take Ramona Trail all the way to the top of Thomas Mountain. Experience four distinct climate zones on your climb to the top from Desert Flora to Pine Forest.  This trail is evenly graded all the way to the top and located on the north side of the mountain so it has a fair amount of shade.

Difficulty Level: Moderate – Strenuous  |  Length: 7.6 – 12.4 miles |  Elevation Gain: 1,624ft  – 2,335ft |  Route Type: Out and Back  |  Traffic: Moderate  |  Pets? Yes

Hiking

Idyllwild Nature Center and Park

Adventure as a Family

25225 Hwy 243, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549

The Idyllwild Nature Center is a wonderful family-friendly museum and trail system. Passes only cost $4 for adults, $3 children, and $1 for dogs. The Nature Center offers the perfect beginner trails for all. Those with young kids or disabilities can thoroughly enjoy the flat Nature Trail Loop. If you’re more of a daredevil, the hillside and steep trails are for you. Engulf yourself in nature, sit on a bench and ponder, or even check out the museum with plenty of critters!

Difficulty Level: Easy, Moderate, and Difficult  |  Length: N/A  |  Elevation Gain: N/A  |  Route Type: Loop – Out and Back  |  Traffic: Moderate – Heavy  |  Pets? Yes

McCall Memorial Park Loop

A Serene Forest Stroll

25880 Highway 243 Idyllwild, CA 92549

This short, easy loop trail winds through a scenic forest in the heart of Idyllwild, offering a pleasant walk suitable for all skill levels. The well-maintained path provides a comfortable, year-round hiking experience with minimal elevation gain, showcasing the beauty of the surrounding San Jacinto Mountains. Enjoy the tranquil forest landscape, but remember to check weather conditions, follow “Leave No Trace” principles, and keep pets leashed for the respect of the environment and fellow hikers. Light to moderate traffic can be expected, especially during peak seasons and weekends.

Difficulty Level: Easy | Length: Approximately 0.6 miles | Elevation Gain: Minimal | Route Type: Loop | Traffic: Light – Moderate | Pets? Yes, on leash

Lake Fulmor Loop

A Lakeside Stroll

Lake Fulmor, Idyllwild, CA 92549

Lake Fulmor is a delightful oasis for people and wildlife. On the trail winding around the lake, look for ground squirrels, tree frogs, butterflies, and dragonflies; listen for the raucous chatter of Steller’s jays. Fully accessible pier, and day-use area with picnic tables and toilet. The 2-acre lake offers great trout fishing in the spring, summer, and fall months.

Difficulty Level: Easy  |  Length: 0.5 miles  |  Elevation Gain: 42ft  |  Route Type: Loop  |  Traffic: Moderate  |  Pets? Yes

Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail

All the Views Without the Sweat

Ernie Maxwell Trail, Idyllwild, CA 92549

The Ernie Maxwell starts at Humber Park and offers amazing views of Lily Rock and Suicide Rock with little elevation gain comparatively. The trail crosses a seasonal stream along that way and is perfect for experiencing the sights and sounds of the great San Jacinto Mountains. Wildife and wildflowers are second to none on this trail.

Difficulty Level: Easy  |  Length: 4.6  |  Elevation Gain: 833ft  |  Route Type: Out and Back  |  Traffic: Heavy  |  Pets? Yes

Deer Springs Trail

Hike to Suicide Rock

Deer Spring Trail, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549

This is a lovely, but very vertical hike through the lush wonders of the San Jacintos. You will enjoy every minute. Suicide Rock is a wonderful place to look over the entire valley. The sights of the San Jacinto Wilderness are breathtaking! From the top, you are able to get a clear view of Strawberry Valley at Lily Rock and Tahquitz Peak, and you can take in the heights looking up at Marion Mountain and Jean Peak. 

Difficulty Level: Moderate  |  Length: 6.7 miles  |  Elevation Gain: 1,866ft  |  Route Type: Out and Back  |  Traffic: Moderate  |  Pets? No

Devil’s Slide & Tahquitz Peak

Dance with the Devil

Devils Slide Trail, Idyllwild, CA 92549

If you’re looking for something more moderate, Devil’s Slide is for you. This five mile trail even offers the chance to see wildlife. Bring your pup or horse along for this one because they are welcome! If you are looking for even more of a challenge continue along Devil’s Slide for another 1.5 miles to Taqhuitz Peak. The trail to Taqhuitz Peak enters into the National Wilderness area so you will need a Wilderness Pass and those with pups will have to turn back as no pets are allow into Wilderness areas. At the top of Taqhuitz Peak, enjoy the view from the Historic Fire Lookout.

Difficulty Level: Moderate  |  Length: 6.6  |  Elevation Gain: 1,699ft  |  Route Type: Out and Back  |  Traffic: Heavy  |  Pets? Yes and No

Seven Pines Trail

Path Less Traveled

56375 Hwy 74, Mountain Center, CA 92561

Though it is lightly traveled, the Seven Pines Trail climbs through the spectacular forests, creeks, and rock formations. It is longer but less steep than most nearby trails. This path is the definition of “take the scenic route” where you can escape into quiet solitude. 

Difficulty Level: Moderately Strenuous |  Length: 7.3 miles  |  Elevation Gain: 2,300ft  |  Route Type: Out and Back  |  Traffic: Light  |  Pets? No

South Ridge to Tahquitz Peak

A Short Awakening

S Ridge Trail, Mountain Center, CA 92561

Travel through Oak, Chinquapin, Chaparral, and eventually a Pine forest. Enjoy stunning views all the way to the top of Tahquitz Peak where a fire lookout is located.  Once at the lookout you can view the valley from every direction. The trail begins with a few twists and turns, then flattens out until the last mile which becomes steep. Take your time on this one which runs about six miles round trip. For a more moderate hike to the top, take Devil’s Slide to Taqhuitz Peak. For those who crave an extra challenge, take South Ridge to Tahquitz Peak. 

Difficulty Level: Strenuous  |  Length: 7.8 |  Elevation Gain: 3,057ft  |  Route Type: Out and Back  |  Traffic: Heavy  |  Pets? No