For 2014 and 2015, sections of the Pacific Crest Trail damaged by the Mountain Fire in July 2013 remain closed. The closure, from Cedar Springs Trail (mile 162.5) north to South Ridge Trail (mile 178), had forced hikers to walk beside Highway 74 to Mountain Center then on Highway 243 into Idyllwild. In certain sections on both highways, the roadside space is narrow and had placed hikers close to relatively high-speed vehicular traffic.
Now the PCT Association advises there is a legal way to bypass the closed portion of the trail and avoid proximity to high-speed vehicular traffic: “Traveling northbound on the PCT, take the Cedar Springs Trail down to the trailhead [TR. 4E17]. Walk Morris Ranch Road to Highway 74. Walk north along the Highway 74 corridor, past Hurkey Creek Campground. Turn right on May Valley Road. Take that road [technically Road 5S05] and turn left on 5S21 to stay on May Valley Road. Turn right onto the South Ridge Trail. Take the South Ridge Trail (TR. 3E08) uphill, past the South Ridge Trailhead and rejoin thet PCT near Tahquitz Peak.”
Through-hikers may detour into Idyllwild from the South Ridge Trail.