Some of the earliest maps of the area only showed the Strawberry Valley name. Yet, Mrs. Laura Rutledge has generally been credited for naming the area now known as Idyllwild. In 1899, she and her husband managed a sanatorium for patients suffering from respiratory diseases. The sanatorium, a rather large structure, was located in the center of downtown Idyllwild. After the federal government decided to establish a post office in the sanatorium, Mrs. Rutledge suggested “Idyllwild.” The name has remained the same since this recommendation.

The San Jacinto mountains have remained relatively unchanged since the creation of this wilderness. This accomplishment was achieved due to the efforts of early pioneers. These pioneers had the foresight to protect the area and ensure the large, forested region remained intact. Additionally, thanks to the efforts of concerned individuals who launched a movement to establish a state park, a wilderness remains in the San Jacinto Mountains. Today, the California Department of Parks and Recreation administers more that 12,000 acres in an almost primitive condition. Adjacent to the state park are thousands of acres preserved by the U.S. Forest Service under provisions of the National Wilderness Act. Learn much more at the Idyllwild Historical Society Website!


Idyllwild-Pine Cove is located at 33°44’44?N, 116°42’58?W (33.745509, -116.716114)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 35.7 km² (13.8 mi²). 35.7 km² (13.8 mi²) of it is land and 0.07% is water.

The Idyllwild-Pine Cove area is located in Southern California’s San Jacinto Mountains, which contain 10,804 foot high San Jacinto Peak, Southern California’s second highest mountain, after Mount San Gorgonio. At an elevation of about 5,300 feet, Idyllwild lies mostly within a high mountain valley bisected by a small year-round stream, Strawberry Creek. Pine Cove occupies a ridgetop location nearly 1,000 feet higher than Idyllwild.

Idyllwild is nestled deep in the ancient ponderosa pine forests of the foothills.

Normal travel distances and times to the area are approximately 120 miles (two hours) from Los Angeles and San Diego, California.

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