Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California

Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California
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settlement_type = CDP
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map_caption = Location in Riverside County and the state of California

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = California
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Riverside
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area_total_km2 = 35.7
area_land_km2 = 35.7
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area_total_sq_mi = 13.8
area_land_sq_mi = 13.8
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population_as_of = 2000
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population_total = 3504
population_density_km2 = 98.2
population_density_sq_mi = 253.9
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timezone = PST
utc_offset = -8
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utc_offset_DST = -7
latd = 33 |latm = 44 |lats = 44 |latNS = N
longd = 116 |longm = 42 |longs = 58 |longEW = W
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postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 92349
area_code = 951
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 06-36203
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Idyllwild and Pine Cove are two adjacent communities located in the San Jacinto Mountains in Riverside County, California, United States. "Mile-high Idyllwild" is a popular southern California mountain resort about one mile (1.6 km) in altitude. Residents call the area "the hill." The population was 3,504 as of the 2000 census. Idyllwild is flanked by two large rocks, Tahquitz Rock (also called Lily Rock) and Suicide Rock, which are famous in Southern California rock climbing circles. One of Idyllwild's attractions is that it offers all four seasons, yet in snowy winter is only an hour's drive down to the warm desert on the scenic Palms to Pines Highway. Another advantage--to many--is that it offers no lake for speedboats and no downhill skiing , thus the hill has been minimally developed over the years and remains a center for hiking, mountain and rock climbing, and horseback riding. Idyllwild also has a fine cultural scene, which includes a music and arts school formerly affiliated with the University of Southern California and an annual jazz festival every August. The Idyllwild community also generally includes the hamlets of Mountain Center and Garner Valley, though individual residents embrace this association to varying degrees.

Neither Idyllwild nor Pine Cove are incorporated municipalities. In order to provide statistical information, the United States Census Bureau has defined Idyllwild-Pine Cove as a single census-designated place (CDP). The statistical information applies to the entire CDP, although local views of the community vary somewhat from the definition of the CDP.


Idyllwild was once the summer home for bands of Cahuilla Indians, who migrated to the area to escape the heat of lower elevation deserts. The Cahuilla's grinding slabs can still be seen in Idyllwild.

A Cahuilla legend recounts how tribesmen chanted over the body of their fallen chieftain Tahquitz, or Takwish, who had been possessed by an evil spirit and killed his sweetheart. Suddenly his body began to glow like fire, and he rose and settled on Idyllwild's Tahquitz Rock. According to the legend, Tahquitz is trapped beneath the rock with a rattlesnake and a condor for company, and when the mountain shakes and trembles, it is not an earthquake, but Tahquitz up to his evil tricks on Lily Rock.

Idyllwild was known originally as Strawberry Valley because of the wild strawberries that grow there, especially beside the creek that runs through the town, Strawberry Creek. Shepherds regularly brought their flocks to the valley. In the 1880s, the Domenigoni family of San Jacinto homesteaded land near what is now the Idyllwild Arts Academy. In 1889, George and Sarah Hannahs built a summer camp next to the site of their sawmill in upper Dutch Flat; they named it Camp Idyllwilde. By the 1890s a toll road had been built from Hemet, which opened Idyllwild to settlement, logging, and tourism. A post office was established in 1893; at this time, the town was called Rayneta after the Hannahs' son Raymond.

In 1901, the Idyllwild Sanatorium was built to treat tuberculosis patients. The sanatorium was soon remodeled as a resort called "Idyllwild Among the Pines," and, later, "Idyllwild." In 1901, the town's official named was changed to Idyllwild.

With the invention of the automobile, Idyllwild became a weekend tourist attraction for people in Southern California. For many years, the town presented itself as an alpine village, and hotels and businesses had German or German-sounding names, but this practice ended during World War II.

From the 1930s to 1950s, Idyllwild was a center for the production of pinecraft furniture, sometimes called "knotty pine furniture," the fine log furniture made in the Arts and Crafts style. Under the direction of Charles "Selden" Belden, the furniture was produced by the Idyllwild Pinecraft Furniture Company and, later, C. Selden Belden Idyllwild Pinecraft. The furniture is now "collectible" and can be found in many Idyllwild houses and cabins.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, there was an influx of hippies in Idyllwild, which changed the nature of the town and alarmed many longtime residents. Timothy Leary lived on a ranch in nearby Garner Valley, with the ranch serving as the headquarters of The Brotherhood of Eternal Love. [Hollingshead, Michael (1974) " [ The Man Who Turned On the World] ."Abelard-Schuman. Chapter 9.]

From 1974 to 1979, Idyllwild hosted the Idyllwild Bluegrass Invitational, then the only bluegrass music festival in California. Idyllwild also hosted the Bear Flag Festival in 1970s, a festival to honor California's Bear Flag and to mark the passing of the Grizzly Bear in California, the last of which, according to local legend, was killed at Hurkey Creek in Garner Valley. .

Most High school-age students in Idyllwild attend school in Hemet, which requires them to travel by school bus some convert|35|mi|km and convert|3000|ft|m to and from school. Since the 1950s, some Idyllwild parents have agitated for a high school in the town, and there have been many attempts at establishing high schools, but most of the schools proved short-lived. Startup schools that failed included Hi-Lo Alternative (a public school located at what is now the Idyllwild Arts Academy, operated by Mary Glavin), New Schole Ranch (a private school in Mountain Center), and Freedom Schools, Inc. (a private school operated in Mountain Center by Mary Ellen DuBay). Desert Sun School (later called the Elliott-Pope School), a private boarding school that accepted day students, closed in 1995 after operating for 65 years in Idyllwild.

The Tribe of Tahquitz Boy Scout honor society was created in Idyllwild in 1925. The Yosemite Decimal System of grading routes was developed at Tahquitz by members of the Rock Climbing Section of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club in the 1950s. ["Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills", 6th Edition, The Mountaineers, Seattle, Washington, ISBN 0-89886-426-7. P. 550.] In 1962, the Elvis Presley musical "Kid Galahad" was filmed there. These westerns were filmed at the Garner Ranch in Garner Valley: "Guns and Guitars" (1936), "Heading for the Rio Grande" (1936), "Springtime in the Rockies" (1937), "Brothers in the Saddle" (1949), "Riders of the Range" (1949), and "Storm over Wyoming" (1950). The Garner Ranch also stood in for the Ponderosa in episodes of the TV show Bonanza.

The nearby Garner Valley and Lake Hemet is still a popular area for filming backdrops for movies, television shows and commercials. The 1980s television series Air Wolf and various GM, Dodge and Ford commercials have all been filmed here.


Idyllwild-Pine Cove is located at coor dms|33|44|44|N|116|42|58|W|city (33.745509, -116.716114)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 13.8 square miles (35.7 km²), of which, 13.8 square miles (35.7 km²) 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 convert|10804|ft|m|sing=on high San Jacinto Peak, Southern California's second highest mountain, after Mount San Gorgonio. At an elevation of about convert|5300|ft|m, Idyllwild lies mostly within a high mountain valley bisected by a small year-round stream, Strawberry Creek. Pine Cove occupies a ridgetop location nearly convert|1000|ft|m 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.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 3,504 people, 1,615 households, and 965 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 254.6 people per square mile (98.2/km²). There were 4,002 housing units at an average density of 290.7/sq mi (112.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 91.58% White, 0.57% Black or African American, 1.00% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.05% from other races, and 4.08% from two or more races. 8.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,615 households out of which 22.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.73.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 19.9% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 35.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $35,625, and the median income for a family was $48,520. Males had a median income of $36,734 versus $31,125 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $23,443. About 6.8% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.

The total crime index for Idyllwild is 57% higher than the national average (6.3 Idyllwild, 3.6 national average). [FBI Uniform Crime Reports]

The area has a mixture of full-time residents and vacation or weekend homes typical of mountain resorts in proximity to large metropolitan areas.


In the state legislature Idyllwild-Pine Cove is located in the 37th Senate District, represented by Republican Jim Battin, and in the 64th Assembly District, represented by Republican John J. Benoit. Federally, Idyllwild-Pine Cove is located in California's 45th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +3 [cite web | title = Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest? | publisher = Campaign Legal Center Blog | url= | accessdate = 2008-02-10] and is represented by Republican Mary Bono Mack.

Youth and the arts

The community has been the home for over thirty years of Idyllwild Arts Foundation, formerly known as ISOMATA—Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts—and now known simply as the Idyllwild Arts Academy (IAA). ISOMATA was, at one time, a part of the University of Southern California. This private high school offers young people from across the United States and around the world a myriad of artistic educational experiences in a sleep-away camp-like setting. Students major in music, theatre, dance, visual art, creative writing, moving pictures or interdisciplinary arts. The Academy also has a well-respected program specializing in performing, visual, theatre and other fine arts.

Within the community, there are many art galleries and weekly art events, most featuring local practicing artists. A strong music and local theatre element exists, with various small venues featuring everything from classical music to current popular music and jazz.


External links

* [ Idyllwild Town Crier, the area's newspaper]
* [ Idyllwild Area Historical Society]
* [ The Desert Sun School Web site]
* [ 2006-2006 Visitor's Guide]
* [ Seems It Does Snow in Southern California] , a January, 2006 article from the "New York Times"
* [ The Idyllwild Arts Academy Web site]
* [ Tribe of Taquitz Web site]

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