Idyllwild was a short weekend trip with a lot of fun things we did. One of the nice things we did is a hike in the surrounding mountains of the little mountain resort. We hiked on one of the most known hiking trails, the Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail.
It was a sunny Saturday, noon time, and we drove up into the mountains, not so far from the village itself. Soon we started to wonder were all these cars came from, parking on both sides of the road. The thought that the nearby trail would be over-crowded came in our minds. In the end we found a parking place pretty near to the entrance for the trail.
The trail is about 8.4 km/ 5.2 miles long and a more leisure trail than something for ‘real’ hikers. The views from the trail are amazing, they overlook the Strawberry Valley and the Tahquitz Rock. Who has two cars can leave one car in the village, where the trail ends, and drive back to recover the second car at the trail entrance in the mountains. Otherwise, you have to return the very same trail you came down.
The trail takes the name of the founder of the “Idyllwild Town Crier”, a newspaper..
To get to the park, take a left turn right out of Idyllwild towards the mountains. There are signs to Fern Valley. You will see for sure a lot of cars parking here, go up until you see good parking places and the trail sign on the right (about 12.7 km/1.7 miles). An Adventure Pass is required for the entering of the park, not the hike itself.
The trail is great. Nature, nature, nature. And all but over-crowded. There were a few people on the same trail, but for what we saw before, the trail was nearly empty. The views from every angle are spectacular, parts are fully wooded (shadow, silence, birds singing), other parts are more open, sunny and the blue sky beautifully above us.
We walked the trail for a good while but not until the end. The ending would be into the village. We turned back before.
From the parking place in the Humber Park, were the trail starts, you have many other trail heads, to the Tahquitz Peak, the Devil’s Slide or the San Jacinto Peak.
The path of the Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail is a single dirt track. The little creek is already at the beginning, great to make some long-exposure photos!
We didn’t see many flowers but I loved the dead trees, very high and very picturesque.