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Idyllwild Nature Center 2018-03-07T23:08:39+00:00

Idyllwild Nature Center

Located 1 mile northwest of Idyllwild on Highway 243, Idyllwild Nature Center offers a variety of field study trips, environmental education programs and guided tours which can be scheduled by appointment and tailored to fit specific needs or interests. Programs focus on mountain ecology, habitats, flora and fauna, Cahuilla Native culture and the history of the San Jacinto Mountains. During the summer, nature walks and natural history lectures are offered; every Saturday, June through August, the center offers Junior Naturalist Programs, which include forest nature walks, snacks, and workbooks.

Various seasonal events are held at Idyllwild Nature Center, including the well-known Lemon Lily Festival, Butterfly Daze, Labor Day Family Fun, and the Wildflower and Art Exhibit. A spacious auditorium is available to rent for special events.


  • Field Trips
  • Educational Programs
  • Junior Naturalist Programs
  • Guided Tours
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Snow play
  • Rest Rooms
  • Picnic Tables
  • Gift Shop
  • Yearly Memberships
  • Auditorium Rentals
  • Pet Friendly

Parking: We have a limited number of spots available on a first come first served basis only.

There is a fee for day use in the park. Fees help support the Nature Center programming and facilities. Your day use fee allows you to tour the museum, hike the trails, picnic and use all the facilities. Please pay your fees inside the museum where you will receive a day use permit and park map.

Campers in the Idyllwild County Park Campground are entitled to a discounted day use fee rate (with receipt) of $3.00/per adult, $2.00/per child and dogs are free.


  • Adults – $4
  • Children under 12 – $3
  • Leashed Dogs – $1
  • Dogs must be on a leash and under your control at all times

Snow Play

  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00


  • Sunrise-Sunset

Nature Center Hours

  • Wednesday – Sunday: 9am-4pm
  • Closed Mondays and all major holidays

The Friends of the San Jacinto Mountain County Parks is a member supported non-profit organization based at the Idyllwild Park Nature Center and dedicated to supporting the work of the Riverside County Regional Parks & Open Space District.

The Friends make possible a great variety of cultural and natural history interpretive programs, new exhibits, wildlife observation, facilities, equipment and resources to help children and adults gain appreciation and enjoyment of the San Jacinto Mountains. Benefits of membership include the satisfaction of helping the Nature Center teach people from all over the world about our beautiful and fragile mountains, free admission for members and their families (with Family Membership) to the Nature Shop and all programs & events, invitations to the Friends’ semi-annual potluck dinner and monthly board meetings, and biannual subscription to the Taquitz Telegram newsletter. All memberships are tax deductible

Becoming a Member

Yearly Membership Levels Basic Categories

  • Individual – $25.00
  • Couple – $40.00
  • Family – $60.00

Higher Categories

  • Supporting – $200.00 and above

Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the Friends.

The Nature Center relies on a dedicated volunteer corps to assist with environmental education programs, visitor services, trail and facility maintenance and administration. New volunteers are needed year round, especially during our busy summer season. Your desire to help others learn about the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains is all the experience you need!

Some of the benefits of being a volunteer include:

  1. Meet new people and share your enjoyment of the outdoors in a beautiful setting.
  2. Gain satisfaction by helping visitors learn about our mountains.
  3. Opportunities for you to learn about Idyllwild’s natural & cultural history.
  4. Free admission to the Park & Nature Center.
  5. 20% off all items in the Nature Shop.
  6. Invitations to potlucks & other events.
  7. Gain experience in the field of Parks & Recreation.

If you would like to become a volunteer or get more information please call (951) 659-3850, or stop by the Nature Center and pick up an application.

Download Nature Center Map
Download Brochure
Download Trail Maps

Upcoming events at Idyllwild Nature Center:

Wildflower Day

May 26 @ 8:00 am - May 27 @ 5:00 pm
Idyllwild Park
54000 Riv. Co. Playground Rd
Idyllwild, CA 92549 United States
+ Google Map

Join Idyllwild Nature Center Memorial Day Weekend for their Annual Wildflower and Art Festival! For more information, please call (951) 659-3850.

Find out more »

Lemon Lily Restoration Day

June 23 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Idyllwild Park
54000 Riv. Co. Playground Rd
Idyllwild, CA 92549 United States
+ Google Map

Come and find your place in the forest, among the beautiful Lemon Lilies. Join Idyllwild Nature Center as they celebrate the Annual Lemon Lily Festival with a community wide event filled with children’s arts and crafts, live music, native plant sales, food, and more! For more information, please call (951) 659-3850.

Find out more »

Trails Committee Meeting

July 25 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Idyllwild Park
54000 Riv. Co. Playground Rd
Idyllwild, CA 92549 United States
+ Google Map

The trails committee meets on the 4th Wednesday, on a quarterly basis, at various locations from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm Questions: Loree Broderick 951-955-4306 Kyla Brown 951-955-4306

Find out more »

Butterfly Daze

August 4 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Idyllwild Park
54000 Riv. Co. Playground Rd
Idyllwild, CA 92549 United States
+ Google Map

Visit Idyllwild Nature Center for Butterfly Daze! Join us for a fun-filled weekend featuring the Monarch Butterfly where all will enjoy arts & crafts, games, hands-on opportunities to learn the migration characteristics and life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly and more! For more information, please contact Idyllwild Nature Center by calling (951) 659-3850

Find out more »

Trail of the Acorn

October 20 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Idyllwild Park
54000 Riv. Co. Playground Rd
Idyllwild, CA 92549 United States
+ Google Map

Come celebrate the bounty of the forest and the history within during Trail of the Acorn! For more information, please call (951) 659-3850.

Find out more »

Educational Programs

School Tour Programs focus on mountain ecology, wildlife adaptations, their habitats, flora and fauna. Visit Bedrock Mortars above a stream lending itself as an outside classroom as students connect culture to resources- past to present. Programs can be tailored to fit your specific curriculum or interests.

The park is located within an ancient Cahuilla Indian village and provides insight into early cultures with an Archaeologist’s frame work.

During the summer a continuing schedule of natural and cultural history programs are offered. Naturalist led walks, natural history lectures, campfire programs and Crafts for Kids are also offered on summer Saturdays. At this time we are not offering any Saturday events, however, keep checking back for an update. 

The Friends of San Jacinto Mountain County Parks are generously supporting a brand-new mini-grant field trip program! Beginning January 1st, The Friends will be providing grants to eligible educational groups to help offset the costs of visiting Idylliwld Nature Center.

Who Is Eligible? Formal and non-formal educators, schools, youth organizations, adult continuing education programs, scout groups, and community outreach groups with demonstrable financial need.

To apply, fill out the application found below and return the application to Park Interpreter Amanda at:

or mail to:

Idyllwild Nature Center
PO Box 341
Idyllwild, CA 92549.

Contact Us:

Idyllwild Nature Center

Address: 25225 Highway 243 Idyllwild, CA 92549

Phone: (951) 659-3850

If you have additional questions, for a speedier response – please contact Guest Services for more information.

Contact Guest Services Now!

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