Idyllwild-Pine Cove vacation rentals
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Your guide to Idyllwild-Pine Cove
Nestled high up in Southern California’s San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild has always been a popular getaway — first as a seasonal destination for the indigenous Cahuilla people, later as a sanatorium for patients recovering from respiratory diseases, and today as a nature lover’s retreat dotted with postcard-perfect rental cabins. The mile-high community, nestled between majestic Tahquitz Peak and nearby Suicide Rock, has garnering a reputation as a perfect weekend getaway among hikers, campers, rock climbers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. They are all drawn to its network of local hiking trails, ranging from a leisurely 1.7-mile route to a serious leg-busting 20.5-mile trail. Best yet, when you’re done with enjoying the great outdoors, you’ll return to a quirky, artsy little mountainside community filled with surprisingly good dining options and enriching cultural events.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Idyllwild-Pine Cove?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise Idyllwild-Pine Cove’s mountain climate can vary considerably depending upon the time of year. T-shirts and shorts are perfectly comfortable during the span of warm months — June through September — when daytime temperatures are in the 80s Fahrenheit and nights remain in the 50s. Winter months call for layers and jackets, with highs in the 50s and lows dipping into the 30s, and rain and snow regularly fall from late November through late March. If you visit during the more temperate months, don’t forget to pack sunglasses, sunscreen, and a long-sleeve outer layer. The higher altitude can be deceiving, and it’s easy to get sunburned even during cooler days.
What are the top things to do in Idyllwild-Pine Cove?
Idyllwild Nature Center
Before heading out to explore Idyllwild’s numerous hiking trails, drop into this nature center to get a quick primer about the flora and fauna native to the San Jacinto Mountains. Park rangers are not only happy to share hiking recommendations, but also offer details about the fascinating history of the native Cahuilla people.
Idyllwild Park Trail
This 2.5-mile loop just outside town is an ideal introductory hike for most people. The trail steadily climbs more than 600 feet, with enormous rock formations to explore along the way and colorful wildflowers everywhere during spring. Quiet and observant hikers are sure to spot woodpeckers, Steller's jays, sunbathing lizards, and squeaking chipmunks. Also be sure to stop to smell the trees: Jeffrey pine bark smells like butterscotch, ponderosa pine like vanilla, and incense cedar like pencils.Visit the San Jacinto Ranger Station in the center of Idyllwild to get your free hiking permit; day permits are required for all trails. Permits are located outside the station and available after hours.
Mount San Jacinto State Park
This 14,000-acre park’s namesake is part of the second highest mountain range in Southern California, and the trails it contains lead you through subalpine meadows and forests to stunning vistas. The popular 4.5-mile Round Valley loop trail takes you past a historic, nearly 100-year-old ranger station.