5S06 - Old Control Road

Idyllwild, California (Riverside County)

Last Updated: 07/31/2020
4.7 / 5 ( 3 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 5.39 miles
Highest Elevation: 5121 feet
Duration: About 35 minutes
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Idyllwild
Nearest Town w/ Services: Idyllwild
Official Road Name: 5S06 Old Control Road
Management Agency: San Bernardino National Forest
District: San Jacinto Ranger District


Highlight: 5S06 - Old Control Road
The "Old Control Road" is the highlight of this San Bernardino National Forest trail just west of Idyllwild, California. This road was the only route to Idyllwild from the west and it was completed in 1909. This photo is from waypoint 8 "Half-Way Springs", where the tourists from Hemet on their way to Idyllwild would re-fill the radiators on their Model T Fords. The Spring would pool behind that concrete footing, now covered with leaves. It became so busy in the early 1920's that in the months of July, August and September, traffic had to be controlled with one-way travel times. You had 1 1/2 hours to complete the 6 mile trip. If unable to do so you were required to pull over and wait for the next available time slot or risk a fine or arrest. You might enjoy the 5 page history of Idyllwild here.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
Well marked trailhead with a large staging area for a group.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Banning or Hemet

From Banning go south on Highway 243 to Idyllwild. From Hemet go east on Highway 74 to Mountain Center, go north on Highway 243 to Idyllwild. In Idyllwild go west on Tollgate Road for 1 mile to the stop sign. At the stop sign veer right onto Apela Drive, you'll arrive at the trailhead in 1 mile. If you've down loaded and installed the GPX coordinates you'll know that you pass trails end of 5S06 off Highway 74 on your way up the mountain from Hemet.



Trail Reviews (7)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Anyone know if the old control road is open currently? It looks like bee canyon is closed but i cant find info on this road... Thanks!
–Cory Gruwell (05/30/2019)
–Dennis Clark (05/30/2019)

Writer Information

Dennis Clark

Mapping Crew - California and Idaho

Dennis Clark was born in Los Angeles in 1942 and after 76 years of living in So Cal he moved to Emmett, Idaho with his wife Patricia, has four adult children with many grand and great grandchildren. He has loved the outdoors since his Cub Scout and Boy Scout days while camping with the family. He's an archer, hunter and fisherman but no longer wishes to harm animals. He has been involved with photography since the 1960's. He became more of a serious hiker in 2010 when he started Geocaching and has hiked the three tallest peaks in So Cal, Mt San Jacinto, Mt San Gorgonio and Mt Baldy, along with most of the lesser peaks in search of caches. Geocaching started his love for the USFS Trail system as he used the trails frequently to get to certain trailheads. He had a 2002 Ford Ranger 2wd and its amazing where that little pickup took him. In 5 years of weekly geocaching he was only stuck once in some Palm Springs sand. His 2016 Wrangler Sport Unlimited was purchased in 2015. He has become quite lazy in the hiking department as he can now drive to most locations. He's looking forward to posting some trails and don't hesitate to ask him for any help you might need.
For individual use only, not to be shared.