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    Ernie Maxwell Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    7.4 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    254 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Ernie Maxwell Trail is a spectacular nature hike in Southern California that features a variety of terrain and wonderfully scenic views. While out hiking the trail, you will gain a small amount of elevation as you work through the forest and take in the awesome views of surrounding mountain peaks. Sections of this route are a bit narrow and rocky, but it is still a great trail that the entire family can enjoy.

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    Route Description for Ernie Maxwell Trail

    Even though it isn’t an overly long or challenging route, you will still need to arrive prepared for the Ernie Maxwell Trail. Rough terrain in certain sections of the trail can be difficult for some to traverse, so wear proper hiking footwear for the best traction along the trail. Additionally, if you are planning on hiking this trail in the winter, hiking poles and microspikes are recommended to better traverse the icy ground. Be sure to obtain a free permit prior to setting out on your adventure.

    Although there isn’t really a main viewpoint or vista, the Ernie Maxwell Trail is a beautifully scenic hiking route that will be sure not to disappoint. The route features a peaceful woodland setting and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains throughout, making for a fun adventure in Southern California.

    Setting out from the trailhead, you will follow the path south and into the cover of the forest, where you will cross over the banks of Fern Valley Creek in just 104 m. From here, the trail will continue on to the southwest for another 0.9 km, offering intermittent views of nearby peaks before arriving at another creek crossing.

    Take some time here to appreciate the tranquility of the woodland atmosphere, enjoying the views as you hike along the hillside above Fern Valley for the next 2.8 km. Here, you will descend slightly to arrive at the endpoint of the trail at the edge of Tahquitz View Drive. Turning back along the trail, you will retrace your steps and relive the beautiful views on the way back to the point where you began the Ernie Maxwell Trail.

    Insider Hints for Ernie Maxwell Trail

    • Make sure to obtain a permit prior to your adventure.
    • Wear Proper hiking footwear.
    • Arrive early for parking.
    • Hiking poles and microspikes are recommended in cold/icy weather.

    Getting to the Ernie Maxwell Trail Trailhead

    The starting point for the Ernie Maxwell Trail can be found along Fern Valley Road, just 4.0 km northeast of Idyllwild.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Ernie Maxwell Trail Elevation Graph

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    Ernie Maxwell Trail Reviews

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