Earnie Maxwell Scenic Trail

Idyllwild, CA
Length: 5.00 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

[Total: 3    Average: 3.7/5]

This trail is probably my favorite family friendly trail in Southern California which is a really big deal because there are so many amazing ones! This trail is a 5 mile out and back, covered in fun rocks to scramble on (optional), mostly shaded by beautiful tall trees, and has gorgeous views. If you plan on doing the entire 5 mile hike, I highly recommend starting from the trailhead at Tahquitz-View Dr. That parking area is far less crowded, you start your hike going up hill, and the turn around point will have gorgeous views of the surrounding peaks. However if you only plan on doing a portion of the trail, I suggest starting at Humber park. The parking there is very crowded and you will be starting your hike going downhill, but the views are worth it. Either way, you will need an Adventure parking pass, which you can buy at most local stores. The trail can get snow in the winter, so make sure to check the weather before you go. There are bathrooms at Humber park, which is also a great place to picnic.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, and Summer
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 859 ft.
Stroller friendly No
Stroller terrain No Wheels
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Camping Nearby, Creek / River, Natural Play Area, Picnic Area, Rockclimbing, Shaded Hike, Viewpoint, and Wildlife Viewing

Beautiful trail with gorgeous views of Tahquitz/Suicide Rock.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $5.00 for your Adventure Pass.

Trail Contributor

[Total: 3    Average: 3.7/5]

Hike it Baby member since spring 2016. Current HiB Asheville NC Branch Ambassador. Past HiB San Diego CA and Orange County CA Branch Ambassador, and past National Team volunteer for Community Values, HiB30 Challenge Prizes, Mentor, and Ambassador Continued Education teams.


Trail Map

Getting There

On the south edge of Idyllwild, take Saunders Meadow Road past Desert Sun School, turning left on Pine Avenue, then right on Tahquitz View Drive. Drive past the South Fork Trail junction to the start of the Ernie Maxwell trail. There will be a trailhead marker on the right side of the dirt road.