By Marsha Kennedy

Idyllwild Snow Group

The winter of 2016-17 brought an onslaught of snow-play visitors such as the Hill has seldom seen before, but is all too likely to see again. This article is one of a continuing series to report on the activities of the Snow Group, local volunteers addressing snow play, traffic congestion, littering, trespassing and other critical issues.

The Snow Group recently met with Mark Hudgens, superintendent of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness. Questions for him centered on finding local snow-play areas.

Hudgens talked about two within his purview. The first is Mt. San Jacinto State Park, which has 26 parking sites plus three that meet the Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The main road through the park’s campground is plowed in winter and there are public restrooms. Hudgens’ vision is to open the Stone Creek Campground (off Highway 243, across from Camp Alandale) as a second snow-play area. The superintendent is hard at work overcoming the challenges of budget constraints and staffing.

Also, the Idyllwild Community Center projects that by the winter of 2018-19, it will have about 145 parking spaces and a level snow-play area available.

Visitors will continue to flock to Idyllwild during future winter snow events for a day of play. None of our residential neighborhoods will be immune from intrusion, because visitors will find nowhere else to go. Nor is providing small local snow-play areas a permanent solution to that problem. Publicizing those is simply a way of easing the situation until a long-term solution can be implemented.

Read more about the Snow Group or leave comments at and Idy Snow Talk on Facebook.