Ernie Maxwell Trail, Idyllwild, CA

Originally I thought it would be partly cloudy at best.  During the week, the weatherman said there was a 20% chance of rain.  We So. Cal-er's know that 20% means it ain't gonna rain!  But it turned out better than expected...and thank goodness.  Without the sun, it would have been cooooold.

We got to the lower parking area around 8:30 (late start).  Thank goodness there was only 1 car parked there.  This trail is extremely popular, so I recommend getting there early if you want a decent spot.  We were able to park right next to the trailhead.

It was chilly and at first I thought I would need both my vests, because I forgot my jacket.  But after walking for about 20 minutes, I warmed up A LOT! 
This trail is an out-and-back trail. Starting at Humber Park, where we started, the hike is downhill which means, uphill on the way back. 

Whoever said that this trail was easy, must be such an advanced hiker.  At least the grade was reasonable.  But going back....I just want to publicly thank my dog, Jake, who is learning to hike (or mush) which is pull me up a hill.  Without his effort, I would not be sitting here today writing this a matter of fact, I would probably still by walking back uphill on the trail.  Um...maybe it was a bad day for me.

The views were really spectacular.  There were many sounds and smells.  Jake was so busy smelling every little thing, I don't think he looked up at all during the 1st half of this hike.  During the start of the 2nd half, I had to keep telling him to "leave it" because I just wanted him to PULL me UPHILL, not stop and smell the manzanita!

I would recommend this trail. Although I would recommend starting at the bottom and hike uphill first rather than what I did - start at the top so then you have to walk uphill to get home.

Just remember, you will need an adventure pass for this one.  But the San Jacinto ranger station is located in downtown Idyllwild, and you can pop in there to get one.  Otherwise, if you're a pre-planner, they sell them at Big 5 and Sports Chalet. 
Until next time....keep hiking with your Fido!