What do you do when it’s been over 100 degrees for a week, there’s a wildfire practically burning in your backyard, and you’ve got a long weekend to kill? You drive somewhere far away with much cooler temperatures. So for Labor Day weekend, Zack and I took a little day trip up to Idyllwild where we found perfect fall weather (70s + breezy!), beautiful scenery, and the most eclectic little mountain town.
First stop: Lake Fulmor. More of a pond and a a quick stop on the drive up the mountain. There’s a small loop around the pond, an area for picnicking, and a picture perfect view. BUT. Yes, there’s a “but.” The bugs were BAD. So many flies. . .so we took a quick walk around the loop, snapped some pictures, and were on our way (hoping the flies wouldn’t follow).
Time to hike: Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail. No flies, nice breeze, great views (including Tahquitz Peak + Suicide Rock). It’s about 5 miles out and back and was a pretty relaxing walk with minimal incline, although we opted to take the road back for a change of scenery, and the hill up to our car on the way back did have us out of breath.
Afternoon in Downtown Idyllwild: We wandered around some of the shops, grabbed lunch at Uncle B’s Smokin’ Barbeque, and shared an old fashioned ice cream bar at Candy Cupboard before making our way back down the mountain.
Tips for your visit: Make sure you grab an Adventure Pass (basically a parking pass) before heading to Idyllwild. You’ll need it at most of the trails including Lake Fulmor and the Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail.
Also pack bug spray and sun screen! Even with the tree coverage, the sun will find its way. And of course, water and snacks are always a good idea for any hike!
Lastly, take advantage of turnouts and vista points on your way up or down the mountain! They offer spectacular views of the valley below.
Visiting Idyllwild was a great escape from Los Angeles heat and the perfect way to unofficially kick off fall.
XO – Courtney