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NATURE CENTERS

Nature Center & Wildlife Area

Ecological Reserve

and Visitor Center

Become a Friend of San Jacinto Mountain

County Parks!

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to learn more.

Idyllwild Nature Center

⚠️  Fire Safety Update
          Fire season is here!  
          
Read this fire safety brochure.


 

The Nature Center Museum, Trails, parking & restrooms are now open TH-SUN from 9 am - 4 pm. 
Masks not required for Covid-19 vaccinated guests.

Oct. 30, 2021:  10 am - 2 pm  
Click here for details!

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.

Various seasonal events are held at Idyllwild Nature Center, including the well-known Lemon Lily Restoration Day, Butterfly Daze, Trail of the Acorn Day, and the Wildflower Day. A spacious auditorium is available to rent for special events.

SITE HOURS

Nature Center Trails:  Sunrise - Sunset

Nature Center:  

Thursday-Sunday | 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Closed Mondays- Wednesday and all major holidays

FEES

Please note, costs for events are covered by day use fees. Exceptions may apply.

 

Day Use

Adults | $4 each

Children (ages 12 and under) | $3 each

Dogs - $1 each

(Dogs must be on leash)

Snow Play

Adult | $10 each

Child (ages 12 and under) | $5 each

Mountain views from the trail

Mountain views from the trail

Photo by Michael Frazier

Perfect picnic spots in Idyllwild

Perfect picnic spots in Idyllwild

Majestic pines on the trail

Majestic pines on the trail

Idyllwild Nature Center sign

Idyllwild Nature Center sign

Panning for gold among the pines

Panning for gold among the pines

A beautiful clump of Lemon Lillies

A beautiful clump of Lemon Lillies

Beautiful butterfly hanging out

Beautiful butterfly hanging out

Family crafts at the nature center

Family crafts at the nature center

Blue skies thru big pines

Blue skies thru big pines

trail marker signs

trail marker signs

hikers and their dog enjoying nature

hikers and their dog enjoying nature

Abundant snowfall in the mountains

Abundant snowfall in the mountains

Climbing a big rock among the pines

Climbing a big rock among the pines

Nature Center wildlife exhibit

Nature Center wildlife exhibit

Nature center wildlife exhibit

Nature center wildlife exhibit

Cahuilla artifacts in Nature Center

Cahuilla artifacts in Nature Center

Snow around the bird viewing deck

Snow around the bird viewing deck

Trail Acorn calendar art.jpg

FEATURES

  • 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

 

ADDRESS

25225 Highway 243

Idyllwild, CA 92549

Phone: (951) 659-3850

or (800) 234-PARK (7275)

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 per adult, $2 per child and dogs are free.

TOURS & NATURE EDUCATION

 

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.

Cahuilla Indian Woman
Cahuilla Indian Woman

A Cahuilla Indian Woman works to collect natural materials for woven baskets.

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Cahuilla Woven Basket
Cahuilla Woven Basket

Cahuilla Indians wove baskets from twigs and reeds.

press to zoom
Cahuilla Hieroglyph
Cahuilla Hieroglyph

Ancient Cahuilla hieroglyphs can be found in the Idyllwild area where these Native Americans lived.

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Cahuilla Indian Woman
Cahuilla Indian Woman

A Cahuilla Indian Woman works to collect natural materials for woven baskets.

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Park Friends

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!

Questions?  Call 951-659-3850

Volunteers Recog at IDYL.jpg

Richard & Susie Hampson (from left) are presented a plaque from RivCoParks Ranger Steve Perez in honor of their many years of volunteering at the Idyllwild Nature Center.

Volunteers

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 or stop by the Nature Center for an application.

Questions?  Call 951-659-3850