DAY TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT
A few weeks ago I took my boys and two of their friends to the Idyllwild Nature Center. There was only one problem: it was Monday and the Nature Center is closed on Mondays. It didn't matter too much that day because we did another hike but I wanted the kids to see the Center so today we came back. The boys really liked the Center. In fact, they liked it so much that none of them wanted to go hiking. Finally, Eliot decided to go alone but the rest of the boys stayed behind.
The Nature Center is really easy to find. It's right on Highway 243, just west of Idyllwild and right across from the Deer Springs Trailhead. It's $2 for adults and $1 for kids.
I left the boys at the Center and took Eliot out on the Summit Trail hike. Once you're on the trail the signs are actually pretty good but near the Center, not so much.
Good thing there's not any water in the creek. This is not a very good bridge.
The trail is big and easy to follow. Thankfully, most of it is shaded because despite our elevation of over 5,000 feet, it's still a bit warm today.
There are lots of signs all along the trail making it a good place to bring the family, especially if they are directionally challenged.
There are a lot of boulders for kids to climb on or under.
The trail starts gaining some really good elevation once it starts to leave the campground.
Once you get up a little bit you get a very nice view of Tahquitz Rock.
Eliot has had enough. He heads back to the Center and I continue on. This is the last I see him for several hours and only after a major search involving several agencies is he located. Just kidding. He makes a detour through the campground to get some water but makes it to the Center no problem. It's not really very far.
I get to what I think is the summit and there's a big cross there. Only it's not really the summit.
I wonder across the plateau and find a big pile of logs and wonder if this is the summit. Nope.
I think maybe these rocks are the summit but I can't really be sure. There is really no distinct top to this hill, at least that I can find. How do you call a trail the "Summit Trail" when there's not really a summit?
After all my wandering around looking for the summit I lost the trail and have to go cross country to get back to the Center. I find I'm not the only one who's done it because there are a couple of little use trails up here. Fun stuff.
Once I connect with the trail I easily find my way back to the Center and collect the boys. We head home because I have to work this afternoon but sometime we're going to have to come back to camp at the Campground and do a bit more exploring. I'd like to find that elusive summit some day.