Mount San Jacinto

Ideal for first-timers
Perfect for families with young kiddos
Driving to and sleeping at a campground

Immersing yourself in the idyllic wilderness of Idyllwild at Mount San Jacinto

Immersing yourself in the idyllic wilderness of Idyllwild at Mount San Jacinto

Immersing yourself in the idyllic wilderness of Idyllwild at Mount San Jacinto

Immersing yourself in the idyllic wilderness of Idyllwild at Mount San Jacinto

Designed by
Veronica Head
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Last updated
May 24, 2024

Trip · 3-day camping trip

For · Families and first-time campers

Vibe · Relaxing and fun

Drive · 2.5 hours from LA

Ideal dates · May to June or September or October

Pets · Not allowed in the park

Mount San Jacinto State Park has 54 miles of hiking trails, prominent peaks, like Mt. San Jacinto Peak (10,804 ft), the second highest mountain in SoCal, two campgrounds and four backcountry wilderness camps: Round Valley, Tamarack Valley, Little Round Valley, and Strawberry Junction.

Official State Park Website

Water Sources and Trail Conditions

Directions to Campground

Main image credit: Christopher Khoi Tran

Stuff to know

San Jacinto Trail Report is a project by Jon, a local resident, who voluntarily provides the latest trail and water conditions in the San Jacinto Mountains. Thank him by donating to his site!

Check the weather

Idyllwild Campground

Open year-round

28 sites total (hike/bike, tent, electric, full hook-up sites, and ADA-accessible sites available)

Water spigots, flush toilets, coin-operated showers, picnic tables, fire rings and/or barbeques, day-use picnic area, amphitheater, nature trail

Maximum vehicles: 2

Maximum occupancy: 8

Check-in time: 2:00 PM

Check-out time: 12:00 PM

Idyllwild Campground Campsite
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Itinerary

Day One

Idyllwild. Credit: Wild Organics

Leave LA by 10 AM and grab brunch at Mama’s Egg House

  • A classic breakfast spot nestled in the woods
  • Located 54241 Ridgeview Dr in Idyllwild-Pine Cove
  • Open everyday from 8 AM to 3 PM on weekdays and 4 PM on weekends
  • This campground is located near the town of Idyllwild, so you’ll be near gas stations and groceries for the entire trip

Head to the campground and get set up

  • Arrive at camp, find your site, and get set up

Hike up Sawmill Flats

  • This four mile out and back trail starts at Stoney Creek Campground and up into the mountains
  • Since you’re on an out and back trail, feel free to turn around at any point for a shorter and easier hike

Return to camp and cook up dinner

Day Two

Idyllwild is an unincorporated community with no local government, except for an honorary mayor named Max, a golden retriever.

Cook up brekkie and prep for your day

  • Make sure you bring water, snacks, and some sun protection for the whole crew

Head to Idyllwild Nature Center to learn more about the local nature

  • This nature center features stuffed animals and exhibits where you can learn more about the local flora and fauna
  • They also have five miles of hiking trails around the center, so choose your own adventure!

Grab lunch in Idyllwild and explore the downtown

  • Idyllwild has a great downtown with small town mainstreet vibes
  • Keep your eye out for murals from local artists. If you’re lucky, you might meet the mayor, Max, a golden retriever.

Return to camp for dinner and a relaxing evening

  • It’s time to unwind under the stars with the family
The Cahuilla tribe once used this area for seasonal hunting. Their trails still cross the mountain, and bedrock mortars can be seen in the park

Day Three

Idyllwild is a small-town antidote to city life in Southern California | by  Noah Smith | The California Sun
Downtown Idyllwild. Source: The California Sun.

Break camp and head back home

  • Practice Leave No Trace and check your campsite for any litter

Head home!

The northeast face of the San Jacinto Range plunges down 9,000 feet in less than four miles. It's the steepest and most spectacular slopes in North America.

June 1, 2024

Bewilder at LAist Super-Fun Saturday

Make wildflower seed bombs with Bezzi the Yeti at LAist's Super Fun Saturday

Event in 2 days

Bewilder Basecamp: Spooky Wonders

Join Bezzi the Yeti on her first spooky camping adventure!

Shop curated gear

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Bezzi's Pick
$399.95

NEMO 4-person Aurora Highrise

This colorful tent has plenty of standing room, is easy to set up, and pack out!

Bezzi's Pick
$249.95

NEMO Stargaze Reclining Camp Chair

Lean back, and we mean all the way back, in this comfy camp chair. You'll never want to sit up.

Bezzi's Pick
$159.95

NEMO Moonlander Camp Table

We can confirm that these camp tables withstand hot bevvies and rock collections.

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Meal and snack ideas

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Breakfast

Food For The Sole Blueberry Banana Crunch

Gluten Free • Vegan

Bezzi's Pick
Breakfast

Packit Gourmet Diner Deluxe Eggs with Sausage

Bezzi's Pick
Dessert

Campfire cinnamon roll ups

Vegetarian

Bezzi's Pick
Snack

Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Blueberries

Vegetarian

Bezzi's Pick
Snack

Angie's Boom Chicka Pop

Gluten Free · Vegan

Bezzi's Pick
Snack

Santa Cruz Organic Apple Sauce

Gluten Free · Vegan

Bezzi's Pick
Lunch

Summer rolls with almond butter satay

Gluten Free · Vegan

Bezzi's Pick
Dinner

Dan dan noodles

Gluten Free · Vegan

Bezzi's Pick
Lunch

Asian chicken lettuce wraps

Gluten free

Bezzi's Pick
Dinner

Pho ramen

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Dinner

Curry ramen

Bezzi's Pick
Breakfast

Peanut butter cheesecake overnight oats

Vegetarian

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