Summary: This hike not only provides an excellent introduction to the variety of flora in the Idyllwild area, but also some magnificent views of the San Jacintos and a reasonably complete aerobic workout. The most interesting (moderately strenuous) option for completing this trail combination is to begin along the Campground Trail and continue until its junction with the Hillside Trail, where a sign will direct you west (left) to the Loop Trail (the "loop" consists of the Steep Trail and the Hillside Trails). Continue west, crossing the creek, until you reach the signed junction of the Steep and Hillside Trails. Most hikers prefer to hike up the Steep Trail first (wear good lugsoles, as some of the trail involves a little bit of rock scrambling and is in "dicey" condition), continuing downhill after reaching the summit, then traveling back up the Hillside Trail with a downhill return along the Campground Trail back to the trailhead.
Trailhead: From Highway 243, turn north on Riverside County Playground Road. Travel west beyond the Idyllwild County Campground entrance. Park in the day use area near the picnic area and restrooms (a Day Use Fee is charged to park here). The Campground Trailhead is along the road, just beyond campsite #6. (Lat:33.74571 Lon:-116.7242)
Trail Guides for Idyllwild Co. Park-Campground/Hillside/SteepTrails:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Idyllwild Nature Center-(909) 659-3850
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Patricia Barnes, who has posted 23 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Jimbo on 12/1/2012
If you want to shave about 1,000 feet of elevation gain from your hike, avoid the Summit Trail. You can do a loop around the rest of the park by sticking to the Perimeter Trail and the Hillside Trail. We just did this hike on Thanksgiving Weekend of 2012. The fall foilage was out in full force and a good time was had by all. For a decent trail map, go to the following site on the web and click on the Idyllwild Trail Map button. http://www.rivcoparks.org/parks/idyllwild/trails-and-maps/
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Riverside County Hiking, Riverside County Trails, Riverside County Hikes