Welcome to Camp Owl Pine located near the upper end of Idyllwild’s historic district, it's an easy 10 minute walk to the center of town. 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. Follow us on Instagram: @TheOwlPine.
Camp's lighting is powered by rechargeable batteries. There is one available power cord in the trailer for the space heater (or to charge a phone, etc.) - otherwise you are off-grid during your stay!
Upcoming Local Events:
- Idyllwild Historical Homes Tour 9/15
- Art & Wine Walk 10/13
- Halloween parade (passes the house!) 10/31
- Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in the village square 11/24 (Thanksgiving weekend)
Vintage 1955 Trail Chief pop-up trailer:
- Made in Michigan, it’s the only one we have ever found
- New memory foam mattress with wool/cotton topper
- Space heater
- Fresh linen sheets/pillows and down feather comforter plus Pendleton wool blanket
- Interesting books, playing cards, Scrabble, Jenga and stationary
- Battery-powered string and interior lights
- Vintage butterfly chairs
- Space heater + propane
- Yeti cooler with ice + sparkling water
- Camp stove + propane
- Sink + Dr. Bronners soap
- Pans/utensils/cutting knife/cutting board/plates
- Olive oil/instant Via coffee/tea/sugar/salt/pepper/herb seasoning/hot sauce/aluminum foil
- Outdoor string lights and lantern
- Hammocks (2 in the trees next to the deck)
- Hot shower (*see note below during forecasted temperatures below 32 degrees)
- Fluffy towels + robe, remember to pack flip flops for the redwood deck
- Juniper Ridge + Dr. Bronner's natural soaps/shampoo/conditioner are stocked
- Eco-lux composting toilet/tp
- Sink / mirror
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 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.
*COLD WEATHER CAMPING (possible November - April): 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. Fresh water jugs will be provided at both the bath/kitchen sinks for drinking/washing dishes, etc. so the big change is no shower.
- Nightly rate includes regional tax + camp cleaning fees
- Camp is designed for two guests only, we are unable to accommodate larger groups
- 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 - $20
- Saturday afternoon brisket (for two), smoked on property for 18 hours - $40 (one week advanced notice required)
- 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, Calif.
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 :)
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!
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!
Camp Owl Pine is a campers dream come true. The thought put into the place and the little touches are awesome. After hiking in Idyllwild my wife and myself show up at the camp. We are greeted by Michael with a refreshing vodka soda. The camp site's beauty is almost beyond words. We enjoyed everything about the place. The deck area with the sink and fully stocked kitchen, the outdoor heated shower, compost toilet, Yeti stocked with sparkling water. I read other reviews and they are said make sure you requested the brisket meal, which I did. I am going on record and say it was the best brisket I have ever had. After dinner we walked across the street and enjoyed a little bit of live music. Returned to the camp site and sat on the deck and listed to some music and had a couple of beers. The trailer was so cozy with awesome linen on the super comfy bed. In the morning we were greeted with homemade scones and lattes that Michael had made. I highly recommend this place and I have been singing it's praises to all of my friends. We will be back for sure.