Field Mag Editors
*Traveling during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic increases your risk and the risk of those around you. Please be mindful and observe local restrictions, stock up on supplies and fuel close to home, wash your hands, WEAR A MASK, and practice social distancing with locals. Your safest bet: bookmark this article for 2021.
*Field Mag may earn a modest kickback when you book through the following links.
Southwest of Palm Springs and Joshua Tree, two hours from downtown Los Angeles, 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 uncanny concentration of amazing cabins.
Idyllwild 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. Surrounded by Tahquitz Peak (with nearby Lily Rock) and Suicide Rock, the terrain is covered in bright pine trees and huge boulders, making it a popular spot for rock climbing, mountain biking, camping, and hiking today.
All three towns maintain a small, artsy feel, and it’s not difficult to find 420-friendly cabins to crash at, or good food and shopping downtown. Below’s list of the best vacation rental cabins on Airbnb, 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.
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: Wooden Planetarium
This geodesic dome home is packed with all sorts of features, like the hot tub out back, the in-house sauna, spiral staircase, sunroom, sitting areas, huge stone fireplace and furnished patio - not to mention the auxiliary cabin with a ping-pong and pool table. Great for a group trip, adventure with the crew to the many recreational spots nearby, like Foster Lake, Mount San Jacinto Park, Hurkey Creek Park and more.
Vibe: One with Nature
Built atop, among and over mountainous boulders is this optical marvel of a house. With an equal amount of wooden planes and corners outside as in, this house is a destination to explore itself. Peek outside from the various windows and skylights or take in the views of Suicide and Lily Rock from the patio(s). A casita on the property provides space for a couple more people to come along and pets are welcome too. Nearby Lake Hemet is a popular spot for outdoor activities, as well as the hiking trails throughout the Idyllwild area.
Vibe: Cozy Cabin
With it’s warm wooden interior and accents, you’ll feel right at home in this mountain cabin. Woodstoves inside and out provide cozy gathering spaces no matter the weather, and board games and books abound in the event that it keeps you inside. Lake Fulmor is nearby for kayaking and fishing or if you’d rather not leave, take in the views from the deck, complete with a picnic table and BBQ.
Vibe: Cabin-kit Cute
Full of bright, cheerful mid-century modern pieces, this colorful A-Frame is straight out of a 60’s cabin kit. A woodstove provides some heat while the expansive deck is a great place to feel the cool mountain breeze. A close walk to town and all its amenities, this A-Frame is a great option for the design aficionado looking for a little fun.
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: 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: Tre(e)s Chic
Hang out in the trees in this peaceful dodecahedral cabin. Built around a Ponderosa Pine, the interior features mid-century modern and wooden pieces, as well as highlights like stained glass and a lofted second floor. A wraparound deck features an indoor/outdoor dining area and plenty of space to lounge, while a bocce court below provides some outdoor gaming. Deer Springs Trailhead nearby, which connects to the PCT, is a great way to get some exercise in during your stay.
Vibe: Choose Your Own Adventure
Once and a while we stumble upon a truly remarkable rental and Idyllwild’s own Hicksville Pines Bud and Breakfast is one of these places. A 420-friendly property that oozes humor and camp, take a trip here if you are in need of something different and memorable. Rent one of the unabashedly-themed A-Frames, like Room 420, complete with a vending machine and majestic bedroom or the Honeymoon Suite, inspired by the famed Penn Hills Resort in the Poconos, featuring a heart-shaped jacuzzi in the living area, plush bed and mirrored ceilings. And of course, Idyllwild has plenty of “nature-y shit to see” according to the B&B’s local guide, so you won’t be bored here!
Vibe: Log Off
Across the street from the Hicksville Pines Bud and Breakfast lies their Log Lady Lodge, named after the Twin Peak’s character, featuring rustic log cabin accents, a woodstove, and cozy sitting areas, full kitchen, hot tub, and sauna, this is the place to bring the fam or a few friends for a place of your own while still enjoying the amenities Hicksville Pines has to offer.
Vibe: Log Cabin Lush
If you’re a bit of a maximalist, this one’s for you, although this house adheres to no specific style. Full of eclectic art and furniture, the interior of the house comes together in a cozy, unique, and charming package. Outside, there’s a jacuzzi for relaxing as well as plenty outside to explore, including the sweet little Strawberry Creek. A vintage RV on the property is available to rent if you’re looking to take a small group and downtown Idyllwild is just a short walk away.
Vibe: MCM/Boho/Mountain Rustic
This treetop A-Frame has cool, stone flooring running throughout its wooden interior and is furnished in a mid-century style. Its floating deck and hammock are great places to take in the mountain air, as well as the many hiking trails nearby. A small side yard/dog run out back provide a safe place for you doggie friend to get some fresh air too.
Vibe: Flower Power
Turn back time in this 70’s inspired, vintage A-Frame-ish cabin. Built in the 1960’s the owners and their family went to great lengths to preserve the groovy vibe of this woodland cabin, including the surrounding acre of land complete with various gardens where one can commune with nature in. Hang out around the cast iron stove and bright patterns of the interior or spend time outdoors at Humber Park.
Vibe: That is a Nice Boulder
Not only does the Boulder Lodge have great views of Taquitz peak, a cozy modern interior full of plush seating, two decks and a seating area out back for outdoor lounging, but a giant fireplace/boulder hybrid at the center of the house to boot. If the interior doesn’t suck you in for the duration of your stay, the house is in walking distance to Deer Springs Hiking Trail and 1 mile from downtown Idyllwild, for all your adventuring needs.
Vibe: Sunny Solitude
What this cabin lacks in size, it makes up for in architectural details and impressive views. A kitchenette provides some cooking amenities, but the short walk to town makes dining out easy. A good base camp for adventurers, crash here after a day of hiking.