Idyllwild Campground

Mount San Jacinto State Park

San Jacinto Mountains

Mount San Jacinto State Park
Attractions and Activities

The 14,000-acre Mount San Jacinto State Park offers a wilderness experience less than two hours from San Diego or Los Angeles.

  • Birders look for Steller's jays, mountain chickadees, Clark's nutcrackers, red crossbills and others.
  • Hiking and horseback riding on park trails
  • Environmental Learning and Visitor Center
  • Join a guided tour.
  • Take the Panorama Point Trail Interpretive Audio Tour
  • Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
  • Children ages 7 to 12 participate in the Junior Ranger Program.
  • Make the arduous hike to the summit of San Jacinto Peak. (best in spring or fall)
  • Watch for wildlife such as raccoons, weasels, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and perhaps even a bear or bighorn sheep

Key Campground Regulations

  1. Fires are only allowed in established fire rings or camp stoves.
  2. Generators may only be operated from 10 AM to 8 PM.
  3. Dogs must always be on leash and are not permitted on wilderness trails. At night they must be in a vehicle or tent.

Idyllwild Campground

Idyllwild Campground is located in Mount San Jacinto State Park, between Hemet and Palm Springs. The San Jacinto Mountains are well known for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which runs from near Palms Springs to an elevation of 8,500 feet near the summit of 10,834-foot San Jacinto Peak. Mount San Jacinto State Park's campgrounds and headquarters are on the west side of the mountain range, along Highway 243 and 74. Trails lead through the park's wilderness area and connect with the tramway.

Visitors to Idyllwild Campground enjoy hiking on local trails. A majority of the park is designated as wilderness. Permits to enter the wilderness are required even for day hikes.

Idyllwild Campground has 31 developed campsites. Nine sites are designated for tents only. All the rest of the campsites can accommodate RVs, trailers, and tents. A couple of those campsites have full hook-ups, while campsites 4, 5, 6, and 28 have electric hook-ups. There is also a Hike & Bike site.

Changes in California State Parks Reservation System

California State Parks is switching to a new reservation system beginning August 1, 2017. ReserveCalifornia will replace the previous ReserveAmerica. "Beginning on midnight July 26, 2017, the website and telephone reservations for California's state parks will be temporarily offline to prepare for the exciting launch of the new system on August 1. During this time, all existing reservations will be honored. An electronic or hard copy from ReserveAmerica will need to be presented to State Parks staff when checking in for reservation made prior to July 26, 2017."

Campground Basics
Location: Highway 243 south 26 miles from Banning
Elevation: 5,400 feet
Mileage from Gateway Cities: Riverside - 58 miles
San Diego - 110 miles
Number of Sites: 31
Open - Closed: open year-round
Max. People per Site: 8 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 1 covered by campground fee, additional fee for extra vehicles
Pets: On leash, always attended
Campground and Park Information: {951} 659-2607

Reservations available: year-round
Campsites 8, 9, and 11-20 closed Nov.-Apr.
Booking Window: Reservations can be made from 2 days up to 6 months in advance of arrival date.
Maximum RV/Trailer Length: 24 feet
wheelchair Accessible Sites: #3 (with 30 amp electric hook-up) and #24
Fees: $25 per night (including all ADA sites)
Full hook-up sites $45,
Electric hook-up sites $35
Online Reservations at ReserveCalifornia: Idyllwild Campground Reservations
or call (800) 444-PARK (7275) between 8 AM and 6 PM
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, Noon

Idyllwild Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, food locker, fire ring, a few sites with full hook-ups and some with electric only hook-ups
Campground: restrooms with flush toilets, tap water, campfire circle
Showers: Yes, purchase tokens at Ranger Station
Dump station: Yes
Campground map: Idyllwild Campground Map (PDF download)
Nearby attractions: Nature Trail, park headquarters, Visitor Center, hiking trails, Idyllwild Nature Center, Humber Park, Devil's Slide Trail to Tahquitz Peak

ReserveCalifornia Reservations Tips

California State Parks' new reservation system - ReserveCalifornia - now allows campers "to make reservations 6 months to the day in advance of their arrival date." For example, on January 1 reservations can be made for stays beginning on July 1. In the past, reservations were released in one-month blocks. Now it is day by day. For months with fewer days than the month 6 months away, reservations for the remaining days will be released in a small cluster on the first of the next month. For example, on March 1 (because February is a short month) you can make reservations for stays beginning August 29-31. Read details at ReserveCalifornia.

General Camping Information

Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the reservation site when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.

Winter conditions may require chains to reach the campground.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites in the state park are reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.

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