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Named one of the 18 Great Towns of Southern California, Idyllwild offers a unique combination of rural mountain atmosphere, small town charm, and engaging activities. Challenge yourself on one of the many hiking trails, or simply stroll into town to shop for antiques. Whether you like to be on the go or take it slow, Idyllwild has an activity for you. Click on one of the pictures below for more information on area activities, or for information on upcoming events check out the Idyllwild Community Master Calendar.
Enjoy the unspoiled treasures of the Inland region from the comfort of an air-conditioned off-road vehicle, or try something more adventurous like hiking in Joshua Tree, hang-gliding over the desert, or zip-lining through the mountain forest. Elite Land Tours based in Palm Springs and recently voted one of the Top 10 attractions in the US--offers a stunning variety of tours led by experts in the local flora, fauna, and history. Be sure to ask about the upcoming return of the 'Pines to Palms' tour, featuring exclusive access to the most rarely seen areas of the San Jacinto mountains and desert below.
Fishermen will be in heaven trolling on peaceful Lake Hemet, or rowing into pristine waters on Lake Fulmor. Both located less than 15 minutes from the inn, these lakes offer a bevy of reeling opportunities for anglers. The Department of Fish and Game stocks rainbow trout from spring through late fall in Lake Fulmor and year-round at Lake Hemet. Largemouth bass, catfish and bluegill also populate both lakes. Check out the Fishing Network website for details.
Get back to nature and discover the amazing vistas, crystal clear streams and waterfalls, and spectacular pine forests of the Idyllwild area and the San Jacinto mountains. Over 275 miles of hiking trails criss-cross the mountains and remote back roads. Hikes range from short walks to challenging treks — like the 7.5-mile ascent to San Jacinto Peak(also reachable by the Palm Springs Tramway). Ask the innkeepers for a map of area hiking trails or check out the hiking page on the Chamber of Commerce website.
Experience cool mountain breezes, majestic mountain vistas, and wildflower-filled meadows — all from the back of a trusty mount. The Little Yellow Rose Ranch (951-541-1221) offers guided trail rides, pack trips, riding lessons, and more.
Whether you've been enjoying this exciting combination of hiking and treasure-hunting for years, or you've been wondering what it's all about, we've got the perfect launching point for your next geocaching vacation. With 40-plus caches (and growing!) just within a 5-mile radius of the center of town — including a unique cache so close to the Bunkhouse that you'll barely have to roll out of bed — Idyllwild has attracted geocachers from around the world thanks to its unparalleled natural beauty and plethora of hiking trails. It's a great way to explore the untouched beauty of the San Jacinto mountains, with the added benefits of joining an active community of geocachers, achieving a series of goals, benefitting from the trail recommendations of other hikers, and giving back to the Earth and its inhabitants ('cache in, trash out' and 'take something, leave something or equal or greater value' are basic tenets of the geocaching community). Geocaching is also a great activity to enjoy with your sweetheart or love interest, your friends, the kids, or the family dog. Visit Geocaching.com for more information on this fascinating sport and the variety of geocaches Idyllwild has to offer. If you recovered one of our special geocoins in a cache outside of the San Jacinto mountain range and want to redeem it, please call or email us for details.
What better way is there to spend an afternoon in the mountains than floating on a lazy lake with the sun warming your skin and a paddle in your hands? Whether on 420-acreLake Hemet surrounded by sweeping vistas or more intimate Lake Fulmor, you're within 15 minutes of 'home base'. Lake Hemet also offers boat rentals and a multitude of other recreational activities, including short hikes through the native vegetation surrounding the lake.
With 200 miles of dirt roads and 40 miles of trails, Idyllwild is a mountain biker's mecca. The challenging 17-mile Ramona Trail loop on Thomas Mountain is considered one of the best rides in the area. Easy and scenic, two-mile Coyote Run offers a different pace for day pedalers. Call or visit the Hub Cyclery (951-659-4070) for information on trails, group rides and rentals.
Rich in rock-climbing lore, the Idyllwild area offers two of the best known granite cliff faces in southern California: Tahquitz Rock and Suicide Rock. Tahquitz Rock has long climbing routes, is shaded most of the day, and offers good crack climbing. Suicide Rock has more climbing routes on its face and is in the sun most of the day. Check out the rock climbing page on the Chamber of Commerce website for more details, and for information on rock-climbing guides and classes try Vertical Adventures Rock Climbing School.
The San Bernardino National Forest's diverse habitat and climate support more than 2,000 native plants, 75 mammals, 55 reptiles, 13 amphibians, and almost 300 birds. Deer, squirrels, rabbits, quail, and toads are frequent callers, and an occasional coyote sighting is not uncommon. A terrific place for bird watching, many species fly, hover, and perch all over town and on our grounds. Feathered visitors include Steller's Jays, California Quail, Purple Finches, Western Tanagers, Mountain Bluebirds, several species of Hummingbirds, Acorn Woodpeckers, Mountain Chickadees, and Northern Harriers.
Although winters in Idyllwild are generally mild, many times during the season the area becomes a snowy playground perfect for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just frolicking in the snow.
Idyllwild is about as kid-friendly as it gets, with fascinating wildlife, clean air, and lots of activities for children. We put together some information here to help you plan time with your kids in Idyllwild:
Idyllwild Nature Center – 25225 Hwy 243, 951-659-3850
Idyllwild has a plethora of hiking trails, and for kids we especially recommend the County Park Nature Center. Along with activities and crafts for children, you and your family (even your leashed pup) will be rewarded after a 5-10 minute walk with extended views from fabulous vista points.
Earth & Fire, paint your own pottery! – located in "The Fort" in the Village center. 951-659-4481.
Little Yellow Rose Horse Ranch – guided trail rides, ages 7+ (seasonal locations), 951-659-1221
ICRC Skate Park -- open to ages 7-17 -- 26375 Highway 243, next to Idyllwild Pines Camp and across from Strawberry Creek Inn B&B
The Rustic Theatre – family-friendly new releases in a charming vintage theatre – 54290 North Circle Drive, 951-659-2747
US Forest Service 'Just for Kids' page – information on the importance of getting your kids outdoors, as well as events and special programs for kids.
Festivals: Introduce your kids to seasonal small-town festivals and events reminiscent of a time gone by, including the Haunted Ghost Town (around Halloween), the Independence Day Parade (July 4th), and the Christmas Tree Lighting (Thanksgiving weekend). Check the Idyllwild Community Calendaras these dates approach.
Snow Fun: Have your Southern California-reared kids never seen snow? Idyllwild is the perfect nearby getaway to experience a winter wonderland and get in some sledding without being 'snowed-in'. If the forecast calls for rain in your Southern California neighborhood between November and April, it might just call for snow in Idyllwild!
Pony Express – Wild West apparel and gifts, including toys and plush animals -- 54301 N Circle Dr., 951-659-5700
Idyllwild Soda Pop and Sweet Shop/Remember When Toys – 54245 North Circle Drive (951-659-6456) Serving up vintage sodas, nostalgic candy, and vintage toys, just like when YOU were a kid!
Candy Cupboard – candy favorites, shaved ice, chocolate-covered ice cream bars, handmade chocolates, novelty candies; "Candy Care Packages" prepared and delivered to kids at Idyllwild Arts and summer camps -- 54250 North Circle Drive, 951-659-5502
Idyllwild Pizza Co. in the Strawberry Creek Plaza (951-659-5900) Video games and pinball for the kids, micro-brews and free WiFi for the big kids!
Sky Island Organics In the Strawberry Creek Plaza across from the Post Office. 951-659-4555 (Free WiFi)
How pet-friendly is Idyllwild? Well, for starters we elected a dog as our Mayor!
We put together some information to help you and your pet have a safe and enjoyable visit with us.
US Forest Service Trails (leashed dogs permitted) – 54270 Pine Crest Ave @ Hwy 243, 951-659-2922 (NOTE: Pets are not allowed on State Park grounds.)
Idyllwild Nature Center – 25225 Hwy 243, 951-659-3850 – Idyllwild has a plethora of hiking trails, however for lighter hikes we recommend the County Park Nature Center. Within 5-10 minutes of the Nature Center you and your leashed pup will be rewarded with extended views from fabulous vista points. (Open Tuesday - Sunday, 9:00a.m. - 4:30p.m.)
ICRC Dog Park -- 26375 Highway 243 , 951-659-2360 -- In collaboration with Idyllwild Pines Camp, ARF and Idyllhounds, the Idyllwild Community Recreation Council operates a small dog park just inside the gates of the Idyllwild Pines Camp.
Mountain High Pet Grooming--Pet Daycare & Boarding – 25880 Hwy 243 north of Pine Crest Avenue, 951-659-2158
Love on a Leash—All-breed Dog Grooming – 54585 North Circle Drive, Suite E, 951-659-9020
Oh My Dog Gallery – Human emotions expressed through portraits of rescued dogs – 54425 North Circle Drive, 818-755-7933
The Pet Stop – Specialty Pet Products; Pet-sitting available -- 54200 N Circle Dr., 951-659-5417
Café Aroma (951-659-5212) Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner (Free WiFi)
Restaurant Gastrognome (951-659-5055) Lunch / Dinner (Pets OK with restrictions/Free WiFi)
Goodtimes Pub & Grill (951-659-5222) – Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner (Free WiFi)
Higher Grounds Coffee House (951-659-1379) Breakfast (continental) (Free WiF)
Idyllwild Tea Company (951-659-9809) Breakfast / Lunch (Free WiFi)
Jo'An's Restaurant & Bar (951-659- 0295) Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner (Free WiFi)
Sky Island Organics 951-659-4555 (Free WiFi)
Nature's Wisdom Café (951-659-4300) Lunch (Free WiFi)
Please remember that pets must never be left unaccompanied in your room during your visit with us. When you go out to enjoy meals and/or the great outdoors, please be sure to bring your pet with you. Idyllwild is very Pet Friendly and there is also plenty of shaded parking, and 'Doggie Daycare' is just a half-mile from the Inn. For your pet's safety, s/he must be on-leash at all times until you and your pet are safely in your room and the door is closed. We hope your pet will enjoy your private patio, but please note that should you care to leave your other door (facing the parking lot) open, pets must be leashed inside the room as well. We want your pet safe and happy!
Please note that there is a $20 per night cleaning fee for each pet--2 pets maximum. ONLY A SUBSET OF OUR ROOMS ARE PET-FRIENDLY. Those rooms will be clearly indicated when you check availability. We will also need to know about your pet(s) prior to your arrival. If you arrive with a pet that was not indicated on your reservation, we reserve the right to move you to a pet-friendly room or turn you away if no pet-friendly rooms are available at the time.