Although we wanted to avoid the cold and snow this winter, Jeff was excited to see some of the mountain tops surrounding Lake Elsinore turning white. So, following the suggestion of Tim O’Connell for a nice day trip and wanting to see snow, Jeff suggests we take a ride to Idyllwild.
Set among tall pines and fragrant cedars, the town of Idyllwild is tucked away in the San Jacinto Mountains.
This small mountain resort offers horseback riding, hiking, and rock climbing, but no skiing. The popular Tahquitz and Suicide Rocks attract rookies and seasoned climbers alike.
There are several trails that can accommodate people who are other-abled or who prefer a less rugged experience. The Devils Slide Trail branches off with a trail leading to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway known as the back door to Idyllwild.
Of course for those who just want a relaxing retreat there are cabins, restaurants, galleries, and boutique shopping. Art, music, and theatre thrive in this nestled hamlet.
We visited here in late December so the Tramway was closed, the Devils Slide Trail was icy and slippery, we weren’t prepared to hike anyway, and we had our dogs with us.
The Cahuilla Indians originally inhabited this area in the summers to escape the heat of the desert. Later, shepherds brought their flocks here to graze. In the 1880s homesteaders, the Domenigoni family, stayed here. George and Sarah Hannah built a summer camp in 1889. In the 1890s a toll road from Hemet opened Idyllwild to settlement, logging, and tourism. A sanitarium for tuberculosis patients was built in 1901. The late 1960s and early 1970s brought an influx of hippies to the area. Timothy Leary owned a ranch nearby.
Other Tidbits of Info:
- Idyllwild was first known as Strawberry Valley for the wild strawberries that grew along the creek.
- Kid Galahad, the movie starring Elvis Presley, was filmed here.
- The TV show, Bonanza, used a local ranch as a stand-in for the Ponderosa.
- Several actors have owned homes here including: Barbara Hershey, Doris Day, Michael J. Fox, Sean Connery, and Dolly Parton.