Things to Do in Idyllwild California & the San Jacinto Mountains

Idyllwild is a nature-lovers paradise located in the San Jacinto Mountains above Palm Springs, California. This charming town is a mile high and enjoys alpine forests with wonderful wildlife. Hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and rock climbing are popular activities. In addition we have a fantastic art scene, charming shops, and wonderful restaurants. Come explore all the wonderful things to see and do near Idyllwild, California.

Shopping & Dining

Shopping and dining in the Idyllwild village are favorite pastimes of our guests. A pleasant stroll through the village takes you past many unique store fronts. Shops offer one-of-a-kind gifts, antiques and all varieties of Idyllwild mementos.

Dining is always a wonderful experience here. Ranging from a quick sandwich at one of our delis to an elegant dinner…you can find what you are looking for in the village. Choose from Classic American, Country, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, German or Greek! In addition, our many service organizations offer old fashioned Pancake Breakfasts at our Town Hall on many summer Sundays.

Outdoor Activities

The area’s wilderness offers over 275 miles of hiking trails. Choose from the easy Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail for the novice hiker or one of many more challenging hikes. Perhaps a long strenuous hike to the peak or a trip to Long Valley and the top of the Palm Springs Tramway.

Snow brings a new set of adventures to our visitors, from just a gentle walk in the snow to an exciting day sledding, everyone loves the winters in Idyllwild.

Lake Fulmor & Lake Hemet are local nearby lakes. Rainbow trout, bluegills, catfish, and large-mouth bass all inhabit the lake. More info: Lake Fulmor and Lake Hemet

Mt. San Jacinto State Park provides magnificent granite peaks, subalpine forests, and fern-bordered mountain meadows to explore in this scenic, high-country Wilderness area. Visit website.

Rock Climbing brings many adventurous visitors to Idyllwild. Tahquitz and Suicide Rocks offer hundreds of routes to beginning as well as experienced climbers.

Mountain Biking offers another way for visitors to enjoy our beautiful mountain and valley areas. Mountain Bikers frequent the Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail as well as trails in the nearby Garner Valley area.

Arts & Entertainment

The Rustic Theater provides an evening of movie fun, with one screen showing a first run movie.

Outdoor summer concerts provide fun music in the village on occasional weekday evenings throughout the summer. Learn more about our community events here:

Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines is a two day event of continuous music with some of the finest jazz musicians in the world.

The community is known for it’s art scene, with the help of the West Coast’s premier boarding high schools for the arts, Idyllwild Arts Academy, makes it’s home here. Their concerts and art exhibits are open to the public, as well as the many cultural activities there throughout the year.

The Art Alliance of Idyllwild fosters a thriving community of local artists with year-round events and a new visitors center and gallery, located in the Courtyard Building behind the Fort in the center of town.

Additional Helpful Links:

Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce offers information on the many ways to enjoy Idyllwild! For info on shopping, dining, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, special events, arts events:

Eastside Reservoir Project Three large earth-fill dams will close the Diamond and Domenigoni valleys to create an 800,000 acre-foot fresh water reservoir located four miles south of Hemet, in Riverside County, about 90 miles east of Los Angeles: More info.

Idyllwild Area Historical Society The Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the rich and varied history of Idyllwild. The historical society hosts  displays in several locations in the village:

Idyllwild General Information Sites, and are two more additional sites with great area info.

Area Photos: