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Idyllwild

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Below is some general information about Idyllwild:

Idyllwild is in the San Jacinto Mountains in Riverside County, California, United States. “Mile-high Idyllwild” is a popular southern California mountain resort about one mile (1.6 km) in altitude. Idyllwild is flanked by two large rocks, Tahquitz Peak (with nearby Lily Rock) and Suicide Rock, which are famous in Southern California rock climbing circles. One of Idyllwild’s attractions is that it offers all four seasons, yet in snowy winter is only an hour’s drive down to the warm desert on the Pines to Palms Scenic Byway. Another advantage—to many—is that it offers no lake for speedboats and no downhill skiing, thus the hill has been minimally developed over the years and remains a center for hiking, mountain and rock climbing, and horseback riding. Idyllwild also has a fine cultural scene, which includes a music and arts school formerly affiliated with the University of Southern California and an annual musical festival called Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines every August. The Idyllwild community also generally includes the hamlets of Mountain Center and Garner Valley, though individual residents embrace this association to varying degrees.

Idyllwild was known originally as Strawberry Valley because of the wild strawberries that grow there, especially beside the creek that runs through the town, Strawberry Creek. Shepherds regularly brought their flocks to the valley. In the 1880s, the Domenigoni family of San Jacinto homesteaded land near what is now the Idyllwild Arts Academy. In 1889, George and Sarah Hannahs built a summer camp next to the site of their sawmill in upper Dutch Flat; they named it Camp Idyllwilde. By the 1890s a toll road had been built from Hemet, which opened Idyllwild to settlement, logging, and tourism. A post office was established in 1893; at this time, the town was called Rayneta after the Hannahs’ son Raymond.

Idyllwild and the nearby areas of Garner Valley and Lake Hemet have been used for filming since the silent film era. Although most of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Squaw Man (1914) was filmed in Los Angeles and vicinity, footage of cattle on the open range were shot at the “H.J.” Ranch at Keen Camp, midway between Idyllwild and Garner Valley. A number of Westerns have been filmed at the Garner Ranch in Garner Valley: Guns and Guitars (1936), Heading for the Rio Grande (1936), Springtime in the Rockies (1937), Brothers in the Saddle (1949), Riders of the Range (1949), and Storm over Wyoming (1950). The Garner Ranch also stood in for the Ponderosa in episodes of the TV show Bonanza. In 1962, the Elvis Presley musical Kid Galahad was filmed in Idyllwild and vicinity. The 1980s television series Air Wolf and various GM, Dodge and Ford commercials have also been filmed in the area. The biker funeral procession from the 1966 film The Wild Angels was filmed in Idyllwild. Notable landmark includes Silver Pines Lodge which was named Hillbilly Lodge at the time of the filming.

The community has been the home for over thirty years of Idyllwild Arts Foundation, formerly known as ISOMATA—Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts—and now known simply as the Idyllwild Arts Academy (IAA). ISOMATA was, at one time, a part of the University of Southern California. This private high school offers young people from across the United States and around the world a myriad of artistic educational experiences in a sleep-away camp-like setting. Students major in music, theatre, dance, visual art, creative writing, moving pictures or interdisciplinary arts. The Academy also has a well-respected program specializing in performing, visual, theatre and other fine arts.

In January 2010, Idyllwild hosted the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, with over 40 official selections from around the world. The annual festival reached break-even in 2012 (showing 67 films) and continues to grow. For 2013 it was renamed the Idyllwild CinemaFest. Within the community, there are many art galleries and weekly art events, most featuring local practicing artists. A strong music and local theatre element exists, with various small venues featuring everything from classical music to current popular music and jazz.

Source: Idyllwild on Wikipedia