Monday, June 29, 2015


The road to Yellow Post Site 2
We kept driving not sure what the site would look like and this is what we stumbled across...
Setting up camp during the hottest time of the day!
Look who joined us for the night:)
As nightfall came, the clouds rolled in
Headed to Humber Park the next morning to hike to Tahquitz Peak
Permits required
Well marked trails
Watching the storm roll in
Idyllwild, CA
Devils Slide Trail crosses the PCT
The view hiking up
Wish it had been clearer at the peak
My ultimate adventure buddy

 Tizzy and I have been wanting to go back to Idyllwild since last November, when we hiked to the peak of San Jacinto. With Idyllwild not being too far of a drive for us, about 2 hours, we decided to go this past weekend to camp for a night. So we headed out there Saturday morning, got into Idyllwild around 11 am in hopes of finding a campsite at a first come spot (Marion Mountain, Fern Basin, and Dark Canyon, where you don't need reservations), but we had no such luck this time. We were told because of the Lake Fire in Big Bear, a lot of people wandered into Idyllwild to camp instead for the weekend.

After we were turned away from the campgrounds, we headed to the ranger station to see what they would suggest. The rangers suggested we head towards Mountain Center and Thomas Mountain, about 5-10 miles from Idyllwild, which isn't too bad, to look for campsites. Lake Hemet and Hurkey Creek are out that way. But I also asked for a yellow post campsite map. I'm not too sure if yellow post campsites are in all national forests, or just San Bernardino Mountains, but if you don't know what they are, look into them, they're pretty cool, and free!

So with a vague idea of where to look for open campsites, Tizzy and I hit the road with maps in hand. First place we passed was Hurkey Creek. I wasn't impressed. We were told that the campsite had at least 100 sites, but when driving past the campgrounds, it looked crowded, packed with people, and large RVs were everywhere. That's not how I imagined my weekend camping in Idyllwild was going to look like. A quick glance at the yellow post map, I saw a few sites that weren't too far away from Hurkey Creek, so I suggested we go check them out. I've never actually been to a yellow post campsite before this weekend so we did not know what to expect. All I knew was to look for a yellow post about waist high with a number on it, and that there's a campsite near the post. As we drove down the paved road, we saw the first yellow post. Right next to the post was a dirt road. You guys have to take in mind we were in Tizzy's car this weekend, a 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid. So driving down a dirt road was questionable, but we chanced it, and we definitely don't regret it! About a half mile down the dirt road, we came across a fire pit and a picnic table! Score! The campsite was open, and free for us to use! Literally 10 minutes later, another car came down the dirt road and asked if we were camping there. We told them yes. Apparently they ran into the same problem as us, not being able to find a site. We told them we were willing to share the site, they said if they couldn't find one they would come back. They didn't come back. We were so happy with the campsite! There were no neighbors nearby, we didn't have to be quiet, and at night we were able to enjoy the sounds of Mother Nature and the silence that comes with it. The only downside was that there are no toilets at yellow post sites. So we made plenty of trips into the bushes to do our business.

Saturday afternoon, we left our campsite and wandered into the town of Idyllwild. If you've never heard or been to Idyllwild,  it's a super cute small town that's part of the San Bernardino Mountains. Besides spotting a Curves, the town doesn't have any major chain stores. We ate dinner at Cafe Aroma, and grabbed ice cream nearby then headed back to camp.

We woke up bright and early the next morning, ate breakfast, packed up camp; Lindsay and Sean headed home, while Tizzy and I headed back into Idyllwild to hike Devils Slide Trail to Tahquitz Peak all before 8 am.

You need to pick up a wilderness permit to hike Devils Slide Trail, they're free and you just have to fill out some paperwork at the ranger station. The hike was 8.8 miles round trip. I wish the weather had been better. 3 miles in, it starting raining and thundering on us, it lasted for about 30 minutes. Even with the bad weather, we made it to the lookout tower at the peak. The view was anticlimactic due to bad visibility, but I'm glad we finished. We have never not finished a hike yet! We will have to head back out to Idyllwild when the weather's better. The hike took a little over 5 hours to complete.  Afterwards, we ate in town and headed home. Another successful adventure!

Until next time, Idyllwild!

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