Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail

EASY 63 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Idyllwild, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.6 miles 1009 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

forest

views

wild flowers

Easy family hike, lovely forested trail, great views of Tahquitz/Suicide Rock This is a perfect setting for a leasurly family hike. The trail acends very gently from the south end of Idyllwild to Humber Park, passing through a wonderful dense forest of pines. As you approach Humber Park, spectacular views of Suicide and Tahquitz rocks come in to view. Once you reach Humber Park, walk up the road a few hundred yards to the Devil's Slide Trail head and find a peaceful spot for a picnic lunch. If you still have some energy left, hike a half mile or so up the Devil's Slide trail for unbelievable views of both Tahquitz and Suicide rock. Return the way you came. Adventure Pass is required.

26 days ago

very peaceful. good place to get nature pictures.

29 days ago

Nice hike, not busy. Beautiful fall scenery.

1 month ago

1 month ago

Nice easy hike. Views often hidden by trees.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail, some good scenery but trees will get in the way of the best views and camera shots. It's a rather busy trail with lots of hikers, their dogs, car noise from the road next to it and construction noises from nearby homes. Not the most ideal trail considering what the area offers, but it's easy enough for everyone and family friendly. An Adventure Pass is required for this trail, but a Wilderness permit isn't according to a posting on the Ranger Station board.

AllTrails has you starting the trail in the south and walking north which is a slight uphill trail most of the way, parking starting from here is on the side of the road. If you follow Fern Valley Road from Idyllwild it will lead to Humber Park where the north trailhead is located right next to the first set of parking spots. This allows you to "warm up" walking downhill before the trek back.

2 months ago

2 months ago

This is a beautiful, rolling trail that winds across the mountainside through a variegated forest of Ponderosa pine, fir, Western red cedar (or hemlock - I'm bad at telling them apart), and both evergreen and deciduous oaks along with manzanita shrubs wherever the sun pokes through. There is parking at the end the app sends you to as a trailhead, but it's alongside a dirt road and is quite limited. If you use the parking lot at the park, be sure you remember your Adventure Pass as it's National Forest and I did see a ranger there. If, like me, you forget your pass, there are places just outside the park where you can squeeze your vehicle onto the side of the road to park before you hit the steep edge. The trail does have some elevation change, though in the low hundreds of feet. The lower end is at the dirt road, so if you use the parking lot be prepared for a gentle climb on the way back. Footing is decomposed granite, though this is indeed mountain hiking so there are occasionally clusters of small boulders to navigate around. If you have weak ankles or just want to be on the safe side, hiking boots might be advisable. Most of the trail is smooth, though. For the same reason, although the trail allows horses this is really a spot for trail horses and not a weekend trail ride for a show horse. Finally, remember to bring plenty of water - there is no running water at either parking area although the park has pit toilets - and don't forget that even in the shade, at over 4,000 feet in Southern California the sun is very strong. Sunscreen is still a good idea for those who are sensitive to the sun.

3 months ago

Great trail with pretty much shade everywhere,which is great for dogs !

hiking
3 months ago

My family of 7 loved this hike! Perfect for my children. We have 5 children under 10. The baby was on my back and I felt sturdy on the trail carrying her. My only criticism is that the APP took us to the end of the trail to start where there wasn't parking. We made it work but found out from other hikers that it's easier to start at the other end.

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

Beautiful, shady trail!

3 months ago

Planned to mtn. Bike, sign at the trailhead says no biking.

4 months ago

Great easy hike.

4 months ago

Great for a beginner like me

hiking
4 months ago

really enjoyed the hike but sadly, I thought I was on devil's slide, ooops. I did hike up devil's slide for about 40 minutes after, but that one will have to wait.

but this was a great warm-up for today is deer spring trail, tomorrow back to devil slide, the real one this time.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy with beautiful scenery

hiking
5 months ago

So, I was in Idyllwild today to get our Wilderness Permit for tomorrow's hike on the Devils Slide Trail to Tahquitz Peak Lookout. Drove up to the trailhead to walk around a little bit, then decided to explore the Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail. I ended up making it a 4 mile hike. This was a nice little trail. It's 2.6 miles one way. The trail is pretty much half shaded and half sun. At around 1145 in the morning it was close to 90 degrees. The sun was hot and so was the breeze while in the sun. However, in the shade it felt about 15 degrees cooler and the breeze felt great. Starting this hike from Humber Park means you pretty much go down for the first part of the hike and up for the return leg. Bugs and Horse Flys were abundant on the trail due to the heat, so use bug spray if you go. Great easy family hike!

5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

It was nice and had shade. Really nice.