In the middle of Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Los Angeles, and San Diego nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains, lie the amebous towns of Idyllwild, Pine Cove, and Fern Valley—three unincorporated (although census-designated) mountain communities with an impressive concentration of design-minded cabins.
The Idyllwild area is the largest and most well-known of the three, and is often used to reference the entire region. The historical homeland and an important destination today for the Mountain Cahuilla Native Americans, the area was called “Strawberry Valley” by settlers. The towns lie at the base of Mount San Jacinto State Park, and spots like Tahquitz Peak and Suicide Rock are popular destinations for nature-lovers. The surrounding terrain is covered in bright pine trees and huge boulders, making it excellent for rock climbing, mountain biking, camping, hiking and more.
All three communities maintain a small town, quirky feel, and it’s not difficult to find 420-friendly cabins to crash at, or good breweries, cafes and shopping downtown in this mile-high paradise. And while you're there, make sure to look out for Mayor Max, a golden retriever legitimately elected into office.
Below’s list of the best Idyllwild vacation cabins, mostly located in Idyllwild-Pine Cove, showcase the region’s quirky and friendly vibe and vibrant mid-century and 1970's era cabins. Julias Shulman and The Dude would no doubt both approve.
16 Best Cabin Rentals in Idyllwild-Pine Cove
Vibe: Architectural Wonder
Take a step back and take in the perfectly rustic and retro vibe of this cabin in the woods. Sleek wood paneling gives way to small portions of exposed boulders that the house is built on and into. Nature lovers will appreciate the way that design and nature are in harmony with one another, inside and out, and it’s not just because of the hot tub that’s positioned to face the sun setting behind the mountains...but it helps.
Vibe: Green Mountain
Floor-to-ceiling knotty pine paneling and some questionably mountain-inspired decor do not take away from the scenic views that you can spot from the comfort of the Lazy Arrow Lodge’s big, wraparound deck. You’ll probably want to spend most of your time out there, but inside, the glass-fronted walls let in tons of natural light to enjoy when you aren’t relaxing around the fireplace.
Vibe: A Room with a View
If you’re looking to spend most of your getaway on a deck with an incredible view, this cabin is for you. While the interior has plenty of to offer, with modern furnishings and charming wood accents, the deck is the main attraction here. Look out over Idyllwild’s beauty from the hot tub and picnic table or gather around the outdoor lounge area complete with a fireplace. Idyllwild Nature Center is nearby, where one can begin to learn about the Cahuilla Native culture and history of the San Jacinto Mountains.
Vibe: Cabin with a Hot Tin Roof
This pared-back mountaintop retreat is modern and minimal by design. Downstairs, a wide-open floor plan flows upward into an airy loft space featuring braided rugs and hammock swings, of course. The tin roof and pipe railings bring an industrial touch to this otherwise clean cabin that plays off the subtle rustic, relaxed vibe. Just in case you were wondering, there’s another hammock outside.
Vibe: Alpine Nostalgia
While we don’t condone the plush chocolate brown leather sofas or patterned upholstery, this rustic A-Frame is, well, pretty damn idyllic. Built in the 1960s, decades later it still has that vintage charm in the form of wood siding, red window panesm and a spacious deck that’s built right into the surrounding woods. It sits streamside, plus, there’s rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking in the San Jacinto forest nearby.
Vibe: Art Haus
Featuring not one, but two king beds amongst its funky and friendly interior, get ready to idle a while at the Idyll Pine Treehouse. Relax on the multiple private decks, boot up the smart TV with all the streaming services on a rainy afternoon, or make the short trek to the center of town for some shopping and grub.
Vibe: MCM Hunting Lodge
Take in the views of Marion Mountain from the floor-to-ceiling windows of this tastefully decorated A-Frame. With mid-century pieces from top-to-bottom, inviting earth-tone color pallet, pops of cozy textiles, luxurious master bath, and heated floors, this is the perfect place to sit back and recharge. Pop a record on and take your morning coffee outside to the deck to relax among the trees, or head to town for a day of exploring.
Vibe: Views, views, views
Located on a quiet dead-end street, relax in the hot tub and take in the mountain views from your own private deck at the Mountain Treehouse. The inviting interior includes a full kitchen, a stylish living room with wood-burning stove, and two cozy bedrooms with linen duvets and 100% cotton sheets. Outside, a private path leads directly to the Ernie Maxell hiking trail for some exercise.
Vibe: Pet-friendly Oasis
Jewel-toned greens, plush velvets, and vintage floral wallpaper make this top-rated woodland cabin a romantic escape. Hiking trails and fruit trees abound among the lush property and the pet-friendly hosts encourage guests to bring their furry friends along to explore it all-they'll even have their own lush doggie-bed awaiting.
Vibe: 12 Sided Paradise
This custom Dodecahedral cabin comfortably fits six guests underneath its exposed wooden beams and expansive roof. A wraparound deck gives 360 views of the surrounding forest, and carefully curated decor makes the interior just as inviting.
Vibe: Southwestern Villa
Six decks, five acres, and four floors will just have to do for your weekend getaway. Do your best to rough it for a few days and nights in this sprawling Santa Fe-inspired home, if not for the views but the private trails on the property. Design details like a herringbone ceiling with wooden beams add some character, but if nothing else, you can at least enjoy the warmth of the fireplace from the comfort of your own bedroom.
Vibe: Organic Mid Mod
Fall asleep and awake to the sounds of Strawberry Creek at this newly renovated A-frame. The interior features spacious windows and a distinctly retro vibe, while the large deck outside is a popular spot to hang out for many guests, especially the 8-person jacuzzi.
Vibe: Nourish to Flourish
This sweet and peaceful A-frame hosts a modern boho feel perfect for a self-care weekend. If the glorious mountain air wasn't enough, yoga mats, sustainability-made robes, and local organic bath and body products are provided for a full spa weekend.
This peaceful retreat features soaring views of the surrounding mountains, a remodeled spa-like master bath, spacious decks, and an overall serene spirit. And while this mountain top cabin feels remote, cell and wifi strength is strong for the remote workers.
Vibe: Creative Crash-Pad
This modern rustic A-Frame was designed for creative retreats or a romantic getaway. The interior is simple yet thoughtfully put together, and a large wooden table and ample space to cook provides the space for great family-style meals. A front and back deck are great spots for relaxing and taking in the sun or stars, complete with chairs and a bbq for outdoor grilling.
Vibe: Grown-Up Cedar Treehouse
Looking for luxe creature comforts in the mountains of Southern California that can fit a large group? Book your stay at this woodland cabin clad in cedar siding (so is the hot tub, btw) with huge floor-to-ceiling windows that show off this spectacular view. This might not be a place for those who favor minimal design or tiny footprints, but it’s hard to beat that location and its easy access to outdoor destinations like Tahquitz Rock (or Lily Rock) and Humber Park.