If you are looking for a scenic spot to get away from it all, Idyllwild’s Stone Creek Campground has all the abundant wilderness and quiet seclusion you are looking for.
Earlier this month, we took a hiking and camping trip to Idyllwild and stayed at Stone Creek Campground. We have pitched a tent at this campground before while visiting Idyllwild in the summer but had yet to take advantage of its raw surroundings in the fall. The cooler temps and changing colors made for a memorable and rejuvenating camping trip.
We arrived at the campground late, Friday evening and pitched our tent by 10pm. We had stopped at In N’ Out in Hemet on the drive over, which we immediately decided would be our new tradition. After setting up our tent, including dual cots, and keeping the majority of our belongings in the car, we played a game of war before hitting the hay. This was our first trip sleeping on cots instead of just a mat on the ground with sleeping bag and it made a world of difference. We woke up the next morning refreshed and ready to tackle our hike to Suicide Rock.
My go to breakfasts for camping are hard boiled eggs and oatmeal. However, since we missed out on having a campfire (NOTE: as a wilderness campground Stone Creek has not allowed campfires for some time) I packed eggs and bacon to fry up for a hearty meal to start our day. After eating, chugging some coffee, and relaxing in the mountain air, we headed to the ranger station in town to get our wilderness permit and hike Deer Spring Trail.
After hours spent on the trail, we were due for a sweet treat in town. Idyllwild is an adorable and artsy mountain town with plenty of shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. We snacked on some homemade ice cream while taking in the sights and winding down from our hiking adventure. On our drive back to camp we encountered the most glorious, fall sunset. It was as if the sky was on fire. Like so many things in nature, a sky this stunning was difficult to capture in a photo, but I did my best to do it justice. After several snaps and watching the horizon meld into a rainbow of colors, we pulled into our site just as it was getting dark.
Stone Creek campground is in an area of Idyllwild called Pine Cove. The campground entrance has since for several other campgrounds and is on the right-hand side of Highway 243, about 5 1/2 miles North of the Idyllwild Ranger Station. There is not a ranger at the site, but there is one at Idyllwild Campground, which is right by the Idyllwild Ranger Station. If you have questions about the campground or nearby trails you can stop in either location. We checked in with the ranger at Idyllwild Campground to see which sites were open before we drove to Stone Creek campground.
As a result, we were able to nab campsite #39 which was previously booked, but the campers who had booked it canceled last minutes. It was the perfect, secluded spot. We were shaded by towering pine trees and enjoyed a wide, open space behind us. If we never stepped foot outside of our campsite, we could have easily never run into other campers. Thankfully, our surrounding neighbors were quiet enough and respected the 10pm curfew, after which we thoroughly enjoyed the serene sounds of the wood at night.
Did you check out Stone Creek Campground in Idyllwild? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts and camping tips!