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Secluded/NF Camping Near Idyllwild
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By Brigette
From Seattle, WA
Jun 3, 2011
At the anchors.

Can anyone recommend a spot to camp within reasonable driving distance of Tahquitz/Suicide that would be away from other campers? Rustic is fine, free would be great. Would rather drive a little longer in order to be in a secluded spot.

Any specific recommendations from (recent) locals would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Brigette


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By JonM
Jun 11, 2011
On the descent of the West Ridge of Conness

I've car camped up by the South Ridge trail on a Labor Day weekend with no else up there. It's a great spot. I don't think you need a high clearance vehicle but I had one.


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By Tim McCabe
Jun 11, 2011

Haven't been there for years, we used to camp south east of Town.

Take the highway south like you would go to San Diego but then turn left on the road that's the back way down to Palm Springs. There's a private campground as I recall after that it's all FS land. We took the first dirt right I believe.

You can also get there directly by getting off at the right exit for the back road. It's a longer and more scenic route.


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By Steve Powell
From Alhambra, California
Jun 13, 2011

I second South Ridge


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By alleyehave
From San Diego, CA
Jun 13, 2011
Start of Pitch 3

I third south ridge.


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By x15x15
Jun 16, 2011

i take my jetta to south ridge, or i did. there is one section that aint too easy with a low-rider. although i did see a car at south ridge trail head a month ago, it was also missing parts of its front end. it was funny!!! so, until it gets graded again, which i hope it don't, it is easier to get to the trail head with a high clearance vehicle...

there is a great bivy, with a good view, just before the bumpy section, that a civic could get to.


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By alleyehave
From San Diego, CA
Jun 20, 2011
Start of Pitch 3

southridge's dirt road has significantly worsened since last season. I wouldn't take anything without decent clearance up that road now. It's gotten to the point now where people who dont know how to drive on steep dirt roads will inevitably make it worse with ruts and cuttin their tires loose going up hill. Tread lightly!


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By x15x15
Jun 22, 2011

and the local teenagers love tearing up that road too. not a whole lot to do in idyllwild if you're just a regular kid looking for some good fun...

south ridge is a great placer to camp. just don't camp at the trailhead. hang a right just before you get there and go find a good spot to bivy down the road. and every now and then, be prepared to listen to teenagers party all night long. better yet, go join the fun... i have stumbled accross a few keggers up there, and as long as you can drink swill, every event has been welcoming.


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By ZYM0T1C
Aug 12, 2012

Boulder Basin at the top of Black's Mountain is awesome. Popular with the bouldering crowd. The site can get busy though especially on the upper ridge. Lower sites are usually pretty empty on an average weekend. There are around 35 site I think. Lots of trails big boulders to climb and also a fire look out tower you can hike up to and go up in when it's open. If that is still to busy for you they do have yellow post sites further down the road. You will most likely see no one at these sites other than an occasional car looking for firewood or going to the ridge trail head. The one set back is a lot of the time fires are not allowed at the yellow post sites.


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By Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Sep 30, 2012
old 1/4" bolt.

The road up to South Ridge is easily passable with a vehicle without high ground clearance. Take the Saunders Meadow Road from Hwy 243 in Idyllwild and turn left on Pine Avenue. Continue to a right turn on Tahquitz View Drive, then a right onto a dirt road at the sign for South Ridge Trail. The camping is primitive, with no water, no toilets, and no showers.


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By generationfourth
From Irvine, CA
Oct 3, 2012

why do people bump this once a year?


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By Sam Cannon
From Holladay, Utah
Jun 9, 2014
a

bump - because I was just looking for this info myself. Talked to the guys at Nomad Ventures and they recommended the South Ridge area. Will report back on road conditions (taking my very low clearance Civic up there).


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By jubalee
From Winthrop, WA
Jun 10, 2014

I drove up there this morning. The road was great. I drive a honda fit. You're good to go.


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By Sam Cannon
From Holladay, Utah
Jun 13, 2014
a

For anyone searching for directions and coming across this thread, here is what helped us:

Take a left at the elementary school on to a road called "Saunders Meadow," then a left on "Pine Ave," then a right onto "Tahquitz View(?)," and then right before the road turns into a dirt road, there's a right turn onto a another dirt road that is marked by a sign for "South Ridge" that we missed trying to find at night.

Some of the camping areas (marked by yellow posts) have benches and a fire pit, but not all. There is tons of space with a lot of flat ground.

And as Jubalee mentioned, the road is fine for low clearance vehicles, at least as of June 2014.


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