Day 15: Idyllwild

April 29th
Total mileage: 176 (although we’re around official PCT mile 183.8)
Today’s mileage: 15 (9 on May Valley Road + 6 on Deer Springs Trail)
PCT-Section-B_184

Map of Southern Cali

Six-2 and I got a very early start after a cold night of cowboy camping. He was reluctant to stop at Idyllwild, as he needed to reach Cabazon in a few days time. I had often seen Idyllwild on various lists of “best trail towns”, and I was reluctant to miss it. We worked out a compromise. He agreed to drop into town for lunch and a beer, and I agreed we wouldn’t get sucked into the vortex of staying the night at the hostel.

It was fun to see the town crawling with other hikers. We chatted with Taxi, at the local brewery, and several others at the gourmet pizzeria. This was also our first time experiencing eccentric locals. A woman stopped and chatted us up on the boardwalk of the pizzeria. She filled us in on everyone’s business–sometimes while the subject was arguably still within earshot; and given that every local greeted her as they passed, you really did get the sense that everyone knows everyone in this very small community.

The food and beer were good, but everything was expensive. In retrospect, we probably should have just pushed on through to Cabazon.

20150429_084626

20150429_084626_arrow
You can just make out the dirt service road that we followed into Idyllwild. It ended with us walking a mile or so on rural, paved roads that twisted and turned past rustic homes until we reached the town itself.
20150429_090848
Notice the signs facing us from nearly every direction.

20150429_090902

20150429_100730

Signage at the brewery in Idyllwild. Terribly incorrect, of course.
Signage at the brewery in Idyllwild. Terribly incorrect, of course. Unfortunately, this is my only photo from that town. I think I was tired and just focused on calories, hehe.

20150429_173357

20150429_174654

20150429_180725

20150429_191129

20150429_192445

The terrain and geology took a radical change, and it felt like a precursor for things to come in the High Sierras.
The terrain and geology took a radical change, and it felt like a precursor for things to come in the High Sierras.
Lousy photo, but first deer of the trail we've seen.
Lousy photo, but first deer of the trail we’ve seen.
20150429_195507
It was odd to see such big city lights to the west. I believe this is Ontario.
We struggled to find flat space as it got dark, and I ultimately had to pitch literally on the trail itself. It was quite cold, as we were most of the way up Mt. San Jacinto. This photo was probably taken around 9,000 ft.
We struggled to find flat space as it got dark, and I ultimately had to pitch literally on the trail itself. It was quite cold, as we were most of the way up Mt. San Jacinto. This photo was probably taken around 9,000 ft.

EXTRA: Joe Brewer has an excellent video showing this next stretch of trail from Idyllwild (Mile 179) To Big Bear Lake (Mile 266). I highly recommend subscribing to his channel:

Red Beard (Will Wood) also has a good video showing this stretch as well:

One thought on “Day 15: Idyllwild”

  1. Hi Husk, my friend Lara and I met you and your friends today (4/29/2018) in Idyllwild. We were going to Tahquitz, you up to San Jacinto and down to Palm Springs before bad weather would come in. Thanks for hiking with us for 2.5 mi (a whopping 0.1% of your total mileage). We hope you’re enjoying some downtime in Palm Springs – it certainly got cold later in the day and we hope you did not have to camp close to the summit. Tot ziens 😉.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.