Earlier this year, back in February, many of us may remember the pouring rain and sinister storms that shocked the community. As a result, Highway 74 was destroyed, and the part of the highway that connected Hemet and Idyllwild was closed off for repairs.
Many in the San Jacinto Valley travel to Idyllwild to enjoy the nice weather, fun activities, and beautiful nature. For months, we have had to take major detours, either traveling through Palm Desert or Temecula to get to Idyllwild. With Independence Day now officially upon us, our weekend plans of celebration may need to be changed. Recently opened only for Saturdays and Sundays a few weeks back, we have received some exciting news from Caltrans. Highway 74 will be open and available to use this weekend, exclusively for Independence weekend.
The highway will be open for 20 hours a day, up until Sunday, July 7th, according to Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga. The road’s hours are from 4:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., as they have been ever since the original reopening. However, Caltrans has extended the weekend to include Thursday, July 4th, and Friday, July 5th, as well.
All drivers who travel up the mountain will be escorted via a pilot-vehicle. Stopping and passing is prohibited.
If you have never been to Idyllwild, it is a perfect place to spend your 4th of July, or any other future holiday or gathering.
According to Idyllwild.com, “Idyllwild is nestled in the San Jacinto mountains. Set among tall pines, sweet smelling cedars and Legendary rocks. The town has kept its “small town” atmosphere. Locally owned shops and restaurants are all you will find here. Come and experience the peace and quiet of Idyllwild. If you are ready to get away from the traffic jams, or the noisy city life, this is the town for you. Idyllwild has perfect day hikes for the quick weekend hike, as well as the high country for the longer “overnight” hiking journeys.”
There are many different points of interest in Idyllwild.
The Mount San Jacinto State Park offers many hiking trails with views of the desert terrain. The 22.88-square mile park is in the San Jacinto Mountains, with a great portion of it being a part of the San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Idyllwild Park features 202 acres of land that contain lakes for fishing, trails, shaded campsites, and a Nature Center. The Center consists of a museum that educates on local ecology and Cahuilla Native culture.
Lastly, Suicide Rock is a 7,510ft-high granite outcrop that is popular among climbers for its 300 or so climbing routes.
This 13.73-square mile area of land is sure to have plenty of memorable options for any occasion this summer. Be sure to take advantage of Highway 74 being opened this weekend, towards Idyllwild!
The author of this story can be contacted at [email protected]