Southern California

Route to Southern California Mountain Resort to Stay Shut for Months

What to Know

  • State Routes 74 and 243 are under construction
  • Officials say it could stay closed until next year
  • Alternative routes to Idyllwild are long and circuitous

A scenic highway leading to the Southern California mountain resort of Idyllwild will remain closed for months as crews repair substantial damage caused by winter and spring storms.

The Press-Enterprise reported Monday that Caltrans says there's no projection for when an extensively damaged section of State Route 243 will reopen. Officials say it could stay closed until next year.

Perched high in the San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild and neighboring communities are popular retreats for visitors from Southern California's metropolitan areas. A Valentine's Day storm washed out a large portion of the road. Late spring storms added to the damage already done by Southern California's wet winter.

"The roadway was being attacked from all sides," Caltrans spokesman Shane Massoud told the Press-Enterprise.

Another way in, State Route 74, was also closed for a time after major storms in February and May. Caltrans this month started allowing mountain access on the 74 with pilot-vehicle escorts.

Alternative routes to Idyllwild are long and circuitous, and merchants tell the newspaper that business has suffered.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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