Idyllwild  [i=dyl-wild]
a short description in verse or prose of a picturesque scene or incident, esp. in rustic life.

The town of Idyllwild is a small community located in the San Jacinto Mountains, a part of the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California.  Despite the fact that the range is bordered mostly by desert, Idyllwild’s mile high altitude of 5,300 feet allows the area to have four distinct seasons including snow in the winter.  A dense alpine forest of Lodgepole, Jeffrey, Ponderosa, Coulter, Pinyon and Sugar Pine surrounds this beautiful mountain town along with Incense Cedars, Douglas and White Fir and both Black and White (also known as ‘Live’) Oaks.  When driving up to Idyllwild one passes through five major ecological life zones, from Sonoran Desert to Arctic Alpine.  Highway 74 from Palm Desert is known as the “Palms to Pines Scenic Route”.

The San Jacintos are the second highest mountain range in Southern California with Mount San Jacinto standing at 10,834 ft. The highest are the Sierras, home to Mt. Whitney.  The steep escarpment of Mount San Jacinto’s north face climbs over 10,000 feet (3,048 m) in 7 miles (11.3 km). This is one of the largest gains in elevation over such a small horizontal distance in the contiguous United States. 

Climbing is a popular and historical sport in Idyllwild with the two most famous granite cliff faces being Suicide and Tahquitz Rock (also known as Lilly Rock).  Tahquitz Rock is 7000 ft. high and has over 200 established routes. Although the American rock climbing 'decimal' rating system is often attributed to Yosemite, it was actually developed at Tahquitz Rock by Royal Robbins, Chuck Wilts, and Don Wilson for Wilt's 1956 guide book to the area.  Idyllwild is often referred to as the “Yosemite of the South”.

Hiking is another activity Idyllwild is well known for.  With miles and miles of trails, one would have to hike for months to explore all the trails Idyllwild and the surrounding area has to offer.  The Pacific Crest trail passes within four miles of Idyllwild and the town is a regular stopping point for PCT hikers when they need to refuel and rest.

Mountain Biking is Idyllwild’s newest addition in outdoor fun.  The area is becoming well known for its fun and abundant trails.  Most of the trail network for mountain biking is located north of Hurkey Creek Campground in Garner Valley and extends all the way to the southern edge of Idyllwild itself in an area called May Valley.  The majority of these trails are under a temporary designation from the local Forest Service and the goal is to have all trails evaluated and made part of a mountain bike trail network that can be enjoyed by all for years to come.  Idyllwild Cycling asks all riders to be responsible by riding safe, leaving no trash, staying on the trails and yielding to all equestrians and hikers since we all share this great area. 

The town of Idyllwild itself is a favorite amongst tourists because of its varied restaurants, shops and art galleries. Idyllwild is listed as one of the top 100 Gallery towns in the United States and many of these galleries showcase some of the very talented local artists. 

Idyllwild always has something cooking!  Check these websites for a calendar of Gallery Walks, Outdoor Summer Concert Series, Home Tours, Sporting Events and the popular Jazz in the Pines Festival held at the world famous Idyllwild Arts Academy.

Idyllwild Chamber