willow creek trail california

Hike of the Month: Willow Creek Trail

As the summer heats up, here's a hike that offers shaded paths, fragrant evergreens, and fantastic views starting in Idyllwild.

Rob Bignell Current Guide, Hiking

willow creek trail california

Willow Creek Trail begins its 8-mile round trip in Idyllwild.

Editor’s note: Remember to exercise caution on any trail and always bring more water than you think you will need, especially during summer. Recent hikers at Willow Creek notified us that some sections of this trail are overgrown and may be difficult to follow. If you go, we recommend hiking with a friend, and if you are ever in doubt about directions, turn around.

Atop Mount San Jacinto, daytime temps are 20 to 30 degrees cooler than on the valley floor. That almost makes the fragrant evergreens, shaded trails, and fantastic views a mere afterthought. Plenty of trails run across the mountain.

You can access some via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, but other routes — including this one — start in Idyllwild. The 8-mile round trip Willow Creek Trail will challenge new hikers and offer a moderate workout for long-timers. In early summer, the mariposa and lemon lilies bloom.

Each month, hiking expert Rob Bignell spotlights a Coachella Valley trail. For more outdoor activity ideas, visit palmspringslife.com/palm-springs-outdoors.