Idyllwild Campground is in the center of the small town of Idyllwild, CA. Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness is North and San Bernardino National Forest is Northeast of Idyllwild Campground. Because the campground is in the center of town, you can hear sounds from the road at night. The sound might be worth it if you consider that it's a very short walk to the town store stocked with everything a camper might have forgotten or might need at the last minute, including ice or firewood. The campground also has real bathrooms and a token shower. ($1 for 5 minutes) We camped July 3rd and 4th and had no other campers near us.
The nearby Ranger station/Forestry Building was never open, but the local people helped us with all of our questions on permits. Wilderness permits are needed for parking at the trail heads. They can be bought in town at the Chevron Station or Ranger Station for $5. You also need a hiking permit. There are "do it yourself" permit stations at the Idyllwild Campground and the Ranger Station in town. The permit is needed in case you are reported missing. You simply need to fill out a small form stating which trail you intend to hike and drop it in the box at the ranger station/campground. Keep the carbon copy with you and carry it while hiking.
We tried the Deer Springs Trail to Suicide Rock because the trailhead is 1 mile from the Idyllwild Campground. The hike is 6.6 miles round trip climbing to an elevation 7500 feet (starting at ~5200 feet). It took us 4 hours to complete and was absolutely fantastic! The views were beautiful, especially the last 1 mile to Suicide Rock, starting right past the trail split. We hiked on the 4th of July and the trail was not crowded, we even had Suicide Rock to ourselves!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC