About Camp Owl Pine: Idyllwild
Welcome to Camp Owl Pine! Located near the upper end of Idyllwild’s historic district (within two hours from LA/OC/SD), our fully stocked camp sits on one corner of a densely forested two-acre parcel on Strawberry Creek and is designed to be an experience for adventurers/city dwellers alike. Simply pack your personal items (clothes/shoes/snacks) and you are ready to visit!
Camp Owl Pine features a vintage 1955 Trail Chief pop-up trailer, made in Michigan,it’s the only one we have ever found. Inside the trailer you'll be extra comfy on a memory foam mattress with wool/cotton topper, fresh linen sheets/pillows and down feather comforter. Plus interesting books, space heater, playing cards and stationary. The camp zone includes a kitchen/lounge deck with vintage butterfly chairs and is stocked with essential items for your trip including a Yeti with ice + sparkling water, camp stove, sink, pans/utensils/cutting knife/plates/cooler/olive oil/instant Via coffee/tea/etc. The camp has string lights and lights/lantern/flashlight for post-sunset ambiance. There is no available electricity at camp. All lighting is rechargeable battery-powered. The lantern has a phone charge port (bring your cord).
When nature calls, head over to the outhouse/shower zone for a hot shower (*see note below during forecasted temperatures below 32 degrees) under the trees. Fluffy towels provided, remember to pack flip flops. Juniper Ridge and Dr. Bronner's natural soaps are stocked in the bathroom and kitchen. The bath area features an eco-lux composting toilet.
While on the property you can: listen to the crunch of leaves as you walk original rock paths (circa 1920s) down to Strawberry Creek, enjoy the sound of live music from a neighboring cafe, star gaze (Idyllwild is home to AstroCamp), collect pinecones, forage wild mint, smell the dirt, spot animals including deer/birds/squirrels/raccoons/coyotes, commune with nature. Undeveloped for almost 100 years, the property also features an unparalleled landscape of boulders, pine, oak, cedar, fir, sequoia, wild cherry trees, manzanita, holly, etc. Depending on the season, discover wild strawberries, roses, Humboldt lilies, sweet peas, and more in this ever-changing environment. In the distance is the summerhouse (which is now our full-time residence) and carriage house (the original garage which housed a Packard/chauffer, turned modern day guest rental).
Camp Owl Pine is a low-key/relaxing/inspiring retreat from the daily hustle and bustle. Idyllwild (population 3,870) is known for fresh air, mountain vistas and is a hub for hikers along the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail. San Jacinto mountain highlights include world-class rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking. That said, the property is in "town" and near residential neighbors/restaurants (live music wraps around 9pm). Our camp is ideal for outdoor lovers who want to walk to dinner - it's a magical mix of nature/access to the village.
*WINTER/SPRING SEASON UPDATE AT CAMP OWL PINE: We love the idea of camping in cold weather so we're opening our camp to be year-round (a space heater will be in the trailer for toasty relaxation). For all reservations during the winter and spring months (approximately November-April when day temperatures average 55-60 degrees with lows typically in the 30s) - please note: if there's a cold-snap and temperatures are below 32 degrees during your reservation, the water supply for the outdoor shower/sinks is turned off to prevent the fixtures from freezing. We will provide fresh water jugs at both the bath/kitchen sinks for drinking/washing dishes, etc. so the big change is no shower. The composting toilet operates in all temperatures. We are also offering campers the option to cancel without fee in the event that snow is forecasted during your trip. Camp will be operational in the snow - it's up to how adventurous you feel at the time!
- Follow us on Instagram: @TheOwlPine
- Nightly rate includes regional tax + camp cleaning fees
- We offer two "add-ons" for fun during your stay (pay via cash onsite or Venmo):
- Morning scones made fresh from our kitchen & lattes pulled on our Rancilio machine for two, delivered to camp - $15
- Saturday afternoon brisket (for two), smoked on property for 18 hours - $30 (3 days advanced notice required)
- Listing type: Private
- No. of sites: 1
- Accessible by: Drive
- Accommodation: Cabins & Lodging
- Check in after: 3PM
- Check out before: 11AM
- Cancellation policy: Super Strict
- On arrival: Meet and greet
- Minimum nights: 2
- Accepts bookings: 3 months out
The vibe at Camp Owl Pine: Idyllwild
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Camp Owl Pine is a dream! Michael and Cat have put so much thought into providing everything you could need during your stay. It was so nice to not pack our entire collection of camping gear for once!
About the camp: The kitchen is stocked with all your cooking essentials (sink, camp stove, pots/pans, utensils, spices, etc). The kitchen deck is spacious and a great place to cook and hang out in the cozy butterfly chairs. The heated outdoor shower is amazing–day or night! Because of the French drain, we appreciated Michael and Cat leaving biodegradable soaps (Juniper Ridge + Dr. Bronner's!) in the shower so we didn't have to worry about harming the trees/soil. We slept so comfortably on the memory foam mattress inside the pop-up. You definitely won't be cold, there's plenty of bedding and a cotton/wool topper. The two large windows allow plenty of airflow in the evenings, too! Strawberry Creek runs through their property and there's a hiking trail you can follow into the main downtown area of Idyllwild. Definitely spend some time wandering the rock paths and exploring the property itself.
If you want to have the full Camp Owl Pine experience, ask for the breakfast scones + coffee and the 18 hour smoked brisket prepared by Michael... AMAZING!
About the location: We had never heard of Idyllwild before we visited Camp Owl Pine, but we quickly fell for its small, mountain-town charm. Across from camp is Cafe Aroma, a fun place to grab a bite + drink while listening to live music. We were able to hear soft jazz music playing from camp, it really added to the calming ambience of the property. Idyology was another great restaurant with live music that's just two minutes away from camp (get the fried chicken!)
This is the perfect place to stay if you haven't been to Idyllwild before. So many great hikes and an interesting history! We can't recommend this place enough. Michael and Cat are wonderful, kind hosts who provide an unforgettable camping experience for their guests.
My wife and I had a great Labor Day weekend at Camp Owl Pine! The camp is on an awesome, large property with beautiful trees, boulders, stone pathways and an awesome natural plunge pool in the creek just down a small hill. The wildlife was abundant while we were there, including a deer family that wandered near camp a few times, Blue Jays, squirrels, etc. It's a great mix of feeling like you're in a peaceful forest while also being right in town, with a bunch of restaurants and shops very close by. It was great listening to chill music from the nearby cafe until about 9 when it stops and the auditory landscape changes to forest mode, with the trees rustling and crickets chirping.
The camp setup was thoughtful, cozy, and creative and it was cool to see all of the small touches that Michael and Cat included in constructing it. The trailer is great with a super comfy bed and lots of awesome Idyllwild-appropriate vintage reading material. The outdoor shower is big and has great hot-water on demand. The composting toilet was great - it surprisingly doesn't smell at all. The deck is a perfect place to read and drink a beer or two, and the camp stove and yeti cooler completed the camp vibe while being perfect for storing beer and snacks and boiling water for our Aeropress. We love camping, but being able to leave LA last minute-ish without much planning and just some clothes and snacks was a nice change.
Michael is super cool and provided good recommendations for things to do, including the Ernie Maxwell scenic trail, which starts just a few minutes from the camp in Humber park. We recommend Owl Pine without reservation and will be back ourselves (perhaps in winter next time)! Thanks Michael and Cat!
Camp Owl Pine has been one of my absolute favorite Hipcamp experiences to date! The camp is meticulously put together and the thought put into the camping experience is apparent from the moment you pull into the property and walk down the guided path to the site.
The trail chief pop-up, outdoor kitchen, hang out area, and open air (heated) shower made for a perfect home base as we explored the picturesque mountain community over the weekend.
The hosts, Cat & Michael, are absolutely wonderful and put a tremendous amount of care into assuring we had a perfect stay.
Pro tip: Take Michael up on his brisket offerings. Was the best meal we had during our weekend stay in Idyllwild :)
After hiking for almost 12 miles earlier in the day (the San Jacinto Wilderness is incredible!), arriving at Camp Owl Pine was a welcome and restful retreat. Michael & Cat, in addition to being super friendly, have an incredible attention to creative detail. The campsite is outfitted with a lot of woodsy details, in addition to a very comfy and warm bed. This is truly next-level camping.
The very best moment of my stay was on Sunday morning: while sipping coffee and enjoying the wildlife, a harp started playing! There is a cafe across the street, and the music drifted over, like a personalized morning serenade.
All-in-all, I highly recommend a stay at Camp Owl Pine!
This was our first Hipcamp experience and we couldn't have asked for better hosts than Michael and Cat! Their property is incredible and it is in the perfect location.
We didn't arrive until around 10pm, but Michael greeted us with some of the best spiked hot cider. It was one of the first nights where it finally started to feel like fall and they had supplied plenty of blankets to keep us warm throughout the evening.
The kitchen is fully stock with everything you can need. The bathroom and shower are awesome. First time ever using a compost toilet and it didn't smell at all! The shower was perfect and warmed up instantly!
Overall, I would highly recommend Camp Owl Pine! The scones and coffee on the last morning were the perfect way to end our trip. Next trip, we will definitely have to indulge in the Brisket!!
Looking forward to staying at Camp Owl Pine again!
Staying at Camp Owl Pine was an amazing outdoors experience. We loved seeing so many deer pass right by the camp site. The running stream on the property is beautiful. Being here was very relaxing. The outdoor kitchen helps for preparing meals and the outdoor shower had good pressure and very warm water. We loved the place. Your surrounded by nature.