San Bernardino National Forest

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About San Bernardino National Forest

The San Bernardino National Forest is nestled in the mountains above Los Angeles, offering a much needed respite from city life with huge wilderness areas, ample camping, amazing lakes, and winter sports. Snow way, right? Those looking for a relaxing stroll can also find a variety of short hikes to beautiful waterfalls and family-fun lakes that offer boating, paddling, fishing, and much more. Experienced hikers looking to train for climbing peaks like Everest, often come to the San Gorgonio Mountains, the highest peak in Southern California. This national forest is just waiting to be explored!

Campgrounds in San Bernardino

Serrano Campground

1. Serrano Campground

100% Recommend (6 Campers)

Put that bike rack on your car to use and load it up for the awesome trails around Serrano Campground. This family-friendly site offers a plethora...

Tori
Tori: Serrano is an awesome spot, centrally located to awesome hiking, biking, fishing and water sports! Bathrooms are clean, and...
69 Saves
Barton Flats Campground

2. Barton Flats Campground

They don’t call it the Rim of the World for nothing. Winding more than 100 miles through the San Bernardino Mountains, this scenic byway boasts...

David
David: Take the hike to Jenks Lake while you're here. It's less than an hour hike uphill and very much worth it!
58 Saves
Boulder Basin Campground

3. Boulder Basin Campground

"If you like to keep your camping primitive, Boulder Basin Campground is a must. You’ll find yourself inhaling deep breathes of fresh mountain air...

Dani
Dani: This is a really nice and secluded campground. You feel very far away from the rest of the world. Great hikes nearby. The only...
57 Saves
Applewhite Campground

4. Applewhite Campground

At the core of San Bernardino National Forest, and less than 2 hours from LA, you’ll find the tasty fresh oasis that is Applewhite Campground. Two...

50 Saves
Dogwood Family Campground

5. Dogwood Family Campground

100% Recommend (4 Campers)

Located amongst beautiful thickets of trees, Dogwood Family Campground is certainly a breath of fresh air. Hike the trails a mere 15 minutes away...

Backstage
Backstage: Good Campground Sites: 7-10, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 31, 39, 45, 46, 49-52, 57, 59, 65, 66, 68, 70, 71, 72, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81,...
25 Saves
Fern Basin Campground

6. Fern Basin Campground

"Nestled in an aged grove of oaks, you’ll find plenty to do around Fern Basin Campground: just enough rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking...

Dani
Dani: Nice spot here with some hiking trails nearby. You sleep below the trees which is lovely. A bunch of the campgrounds face the...
22 Saves
Tool Box Springs Yellow Post Sites

7. Tool Box Springs Yellow Post Sites

Tucked away in the depths of the San Bernardino Forest, Tool Box Springs Yellow Post Sites are a cozy haven away from the hustle and bustle of...

Christopher
Christopher: Perfect secluded primitive camping tucked up in the hills of San Bernardino National Forest. No amenities except a fire pit and...
19 Saves
Marion Mountain Campground

8. Marion Mountain Campground

"Time to ditch the technology and embrace some wildly freeing nature? We’ve got the perfect spot. Tucked away in the San Bernardino National...

12 Saves
Santa Rosa Springs Campground

9. Santa Rosa Springs Campground

Looking to get off the grid? Head on out to Santa Rosa Springs Campground. This cozy campground only has three primitive sites available—perfect...

10 Saves
Black Mountain Yellow Post Sites

10. Black Mountain Yellow Post Sites

California’s epic San Bernardino National Forest has a lot to brag about… we’re talking breathtakingly gorgeous mountains, countless tall trees,...

Scott
Scott: Grab a campfire permit from the ranger station in town.
9 Saves
Holcomb Valley Campground

11. Holcomb Valley Campground

83% Recommend (3 Campers)

Ancient trees surround each site in the Holcomb Valley Campground—just north of Big Bear Lake—giving this pastoral area an air of solemnity and...

Michael
Michael: Attendant are super nice. We stayed a couple nights, and loved it. Pit toilets weren't bad. If you can do without the fire...
9 Saves
Keller Peak Yellow Post Sites

12. Keller Peak Yellow Post Sites

Experience dispersed camping at the Keller Peak Yellow Post Sites. Put on your primitive pants if your planning a stay here. The only amenities...

Nick
Nick: For those who don't know Yellow Post sites are FREE. With that means all you get is a table and fire ring. No bathrooms, no...
8 Saves
Pinyon Flat Campground

13. Pinyon Flat Campground

Hoo boy. Pinyon Flat Campground is a good one, yet is still lesser known than other spots in the San Bernardino Forest. Pitch your tent in one of a...

8 Saves
San Gorgonio Family Campground

14. San Gorgonio Family Campground

Prepare your flashlight to tell your spookiest story, because San Gorgonio Family Campground offers campfire programs over summertime weekends....

7 Saves
Joe Elliot Yellow Post Sites

15. Joe Elliot Yellow Post Sites

Want to go somewhere that truly feels like the middle of nowhere? Despite their seemingly remote location, Joe Elliot Yellow Post Sites are just...

7 Saves
Pineknot Family Campground

16. Pineknot Family Campground

If someone's told you you've always got your head in the clouds, they may be right if you're staying at Pikeknot Family Campground. Clocking in at...

5 Saves
Black Mountain Group Campground

17. Black Mountain Group Campground

"WANTED: 100 nomadic party animals. If that’s you and 99 of your closest pals, what are you still doing staring at your computer? Sound the alarm...

Sara
Sara: The bathrooms are normally very stinky. A high clearance vehicle is a pretty big must. Check with the ranger station to make...
5 Saves
Horse Springs Campground

18. Horse Springs Campground

If you’re looking for a place to glamp, Horse Springs Campground ain’t it. This semi-desert area tops in at 5,800 feet above sea level, and...

4 Saves
Tool Box Springs Campground

19. Tool Box Springs Campground

Free camping? You heard (erm, read) right! If you don’t mind roughing it for a few days, but want to save some valuable cash, Tool Box Springs is a...

4 Saves
Hanna Flat Family Campground

20. Hanna Flat Family Campground

Tumble into your own enchanted forest at Hanna Flat Campground. An ideal family or group destination with multiple site and reservation options...

4 Saves
Coldwater Canyon Yellow Post Sites

21. Coldwater Canyon Yellow Post Sites

Set up camp at one of the Coldwater Canyon Yellow Post Sites, and get a feel for the unique, raw beauty in San Bernardino Forest. This is the...

Christopher
Christopher: Nice little secluded spot. Have to handle some moderately rocky jeep trails to get to it. There are two marked spots with fire...
4 Saves
Green Valley Family Campground

22. Green Valley Family Campground

Nestled between Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, Green Valley Family Campground is a pretty sweet refuge if you need a break from the hustle and bustle...

Nick
Nick: This campground is only second in my long list of favorites in the San Bernardino's. As you drive up the camp ground...
4 Saves
North Shore Campground

23. North Shore Campground

This weekend, take a digital detox in the piney woods of the North Shore Campground. Located just miles from the San Bernardino National Forest,...

Terra
Terra: we camped here in May 2015. Great little campground, good spacing between sites and it was nice to have the car close to your...
3 Saves
Gobbler's Knob Yellow Post Sites

24. Gobbler's Knob Yellow Post Sites

Looking for somewhere to go to just… be? Escape the summer crowds found in so many other camping spots, and retreat into the wilderness at...

3 Saves
Coon Creek Yellow Post Sites

25. Coon Creek Yellow Post Sites

The sheer expanse of the San Bernardino National Forest means that conditions are extremely variable. Before departing on your excursion into the...

2 Saves
Heart Bar Family Campground

26. Heart Bar Family Campground

100% Recommend (3 Campers)

Get lost in that beautiful oak-y vibe at the Heart Bar Family Campground. This spot is the perfect place to bring your little ones in tow without...

Megan
Megan: This was a great campsite. Sites are far enough away from each other for privacy, trees weren't too dense, leading to great...
2 Saves
Stockton Flats Yellow Post Sites

27. Stockton Flats Yellow Post Sites

Why not take a break from everyday life, set up camp, and recharge? Stockton Flats Yellow Post Sites are a great spot to get back to nature. These...

2 Saves
Clark's Ranch Yellow Post Site

28. Clark's Ranch Yellow Post Site

Feeling a little fed up with the suburban car camping and crowds? At Clark’s Ranch Yellow Post site it will be just you and the wild as there is...

2 Saves
Mission Springs PCT Trail Camp

29. Mission Springs PCT Trail Camp

Get a glimpse of the Pacific Crest Trail up close and personal without having to lug a pack on your back to do it. The Mission Springs PCT Camp is...

2 Saves
Santa Rosa Yellow Post Sites

30. Santa Rosa Yellow Post Sites

If you’re feeling the need to retreat into the wilderness, Santa Rosa Yellow Post Sites is the perfect haven away from the busy busy world. These...

2 Saves
Crab Flats Family Campground

31. Crab Flats Family Campground

Crabby kids? That's blasphemy at Crab Flats Campground. Who can be upset when they’re surrounded by huggable tall pine, oak, and cedar trees? And...

brandan
Brandan: Half the fun is getting there!
2 Saves
Fisherman's Group Campground

32. Fisherman's Group Campground

"Pack your bags and start hiking, cause you’ve got a 2. 5 mile trek before you get to Fisherman’s Group Campground. The further the trip the better...

2 Saves
Arrastre/Deer Sprgs PCT Trail Camp

33. Arrastre/Deer Sprgs PCT Trail Camp

Sit up straight and eat your dinner on a real table for a change. When you are thru-hiking the PCT something this small could seem like luxury....

1 Save
Little Bear Springs PCT Trail Camp

34. Little Bear Springs PCT Trail Camp

On Cheryl Strayed’s old stomping grounds? Come crash for the night at Little Bear Springs PCT Trail Camp. Rest is key so spend your time here doing...

1 Save
Big Pine Flat Family Campground

35. Big Pine Flat Family Campground

You hear that? It is the mountains calling you, and you must go. Why not bring the whole family while you’re at it. Big Pine Flat Family Campground...

1 Save
Paiute Canyon Yellow Post Sites

36. Paiute Canyon Yellow Post Sites

Wanna get into the wild? If you’re looking to rough it, look no further than Paiute Canyon Yellow Post Sites. Grab your gear, food, water, plus a...

1 Save
Gray's Peak Group Campground

37. Gray's Peak Group Campground

Gray's Peak Group Campground has a one-up on the 'mile high club' at an altitude of over 7,000 feet. Get your groove on in your favorite tent and...

1 Save
Tent Peg Group Campground

38. Tent Peg Group Campground

"Round up 40 of your closest friends and scramble over to Tent Peg Group Campground for a weekend you won’t forget. We’re talking bomb BBQ,...

1 Save
Holcomb Crossing PCT Trail Camp

39. Holcomb Crossing PCT Trail Camp

Recommended for those who brave the epic Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), Holcomb Crossing PCT Trail Camp is equipped with campfire rings only....

1 Save
Bench PCT Trail Camp

40. Bench PCT Trail Camp

Hiking 18 miles a day ain’t easy, and we’re sure by the time you get to Bench PCT Trail Camp (hike-in only), you’re gonna care less what’s around...

Thomas Hunting Grounds Yellow Post Sites

41. Thomas Hunting Grounds Yellow Post Sites

Feeling like you want to start roughing it a little more, but not quite ready to throw on your backpack and head into the hills? The Thomas Hunting...

Doble PCT Trail Camp

42. Doble PCT Trail Camp

After a long day on the trail, you might feel like a winner by stumbling into the hike-in only Doble PCT Trail Camp. A table means that you won’t...

Ironwood Group Campground

43. Ironwood Group Campground

Looking for a true test on your ninja-like dexterity? Get in on the target ranges and off-highway vehicle trails near Ironwood Group Campground. At...

Megan
Megan: Unless you are avid off-roaders, avoid at all costs. We took a girl scout troop up here, intentionally looking for a group site...
Skyline Group Campground

44. Skyline Group Campground

Fire up the grill and crank up the tunes, Skyline Group Campground is the perfect spot if you're geared toward a group getaway! Make good use of...

Coon Creek Cabin Group Campground

45. Coon Creek Cabin Group Campground

Get away from the city sprawl, and out into another world for a while. You can have your pick of first-come, first-served, primitive sites at Coon...

Bluff Mesa Group Campground

46. Bluff Mesa Group Campground

"Wanna really get away from it all? The dense forest of the Big Bear Lake area already provides plenty of natural privacy, but you can take that a...

Council Group Campground

47. Council Group Campground

That sweet smell of pine isn't coming from your car freshener, it's from the legit source at Council Group Campground. Take in that fresh air and...

Juniper Springs Group Campground

48. Juniper Springs Group Campground

If you’re all about embracing Mother Nature in all her concrete-void glory, then look no further than Juniper Spring Group Campground. Striped of...

Tanglewood Group Campground

49. Tanglewood Group Campground

Book your next family reunion at Tanglewood Group Camp, a secluded destination tucked among dense forest in the Holcomb Valley that still provides...

Lobo Group Campground

50. Lobo Group Campground

Set amongst the pine trees of the San Bernardino National Forest, Lobo Group Campground is modest site featuring a pedestal grill, picnic tables,...

Boulder Group Campground

51. Boulder Group Campground

So you’d like to enjoy the sweet solitude of the Big Bear Lake area and throw a party, too? Boulder Campground gives large groups exclusive...

Buttercup Group Campground

52. Buttercup Group Campground

“That’s the power of Pinesol, baby. ” Buttercup Group Campground is located in the pine-scented outskirts of the San Bernardino National Forest,...

Deer Group Campground

53. Deer Group Campground

Be the hero in your group of friends by treating everyone to a memorable getaway at rugged, peaceful Deer Group Campground, where you can all enjoy...

Green Spot Equestrian Group

54. Green Spot Equestrian Group

"Set the beast within you free, but just not your equine. The Green Spot Equestrian Group Campground wins the horseshoe game in campground...

Big Pine Flat Equestrian Group Campground

55. Big Pine Flat Equestrian Group Campground

Revel in a pine forest haven at Big Pine Flat Equestrian Campground. This spot is perfect for living out all of your wild west fantasies. Scale...

Heart Bar Equestrian Group Campground

56. Heart Bar Equestrian Group Campground

Where our horse owners at? If you've got your own Black Beauty, you're already qualified to camp at Heart Bar Equestrian Group Campground. Trot...

Oso Group Campground

57. Oso Group Campground

Oh, so you think you know about Oso? Well, just as a refresher, Oso Group Campground is located right along Highway 38 in a lovely pine forest....

South Fork Family Campground

58. South Fork Family Campground

When the mercury rises, soothe that summer sizzle and get outa town. Head up to the South Fork Family campground for your next summer outing and...

Nick
Nick: I grew up in the campground and still love it today! South fork sits along side the head waters of the Santa Ana River and...
Shady Cove Group Campground

59. Shady Cove Group Campground

Load up some film in that vintage camera that's been sitting in the back of your closet, because Shady Grove Campground was made to be...

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38 Reviews

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Hipcamper Backstage

Good Campground Sites: 7-10, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 31, 39, 45, 46, 49-52, 57, 59, 65, 66, 68, 70, 71, 72, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 84-86, 92-94🌲
Poor Sites: 24, 29, 30, 32, 35, 36, 41-44, 54-56, 58, 61, 63, 64, 69, 74, 78, 82, 83, 90🌲(Screenshot)
Hike to Blue Jay Village/Jensen Market from Dogwood Canyon Road just behind camping site 57 and 59

Helpful 4
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Hipcamper Michael

Attendant are super nice. We stayed a couple nights, and loved it. Pit toilets weren't bad. If you can do without the fire rings and the pits, there is plenty of free NF camping in the area.

Helpful 2
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Hipcamper Christopher

Nice little secluded spot. Have to handle some moderately rocky jeep trails to get to it. There are two marked spots with fire rings that have an awesome overlook above coldwater canyon. No amenities. Perfect for dispersed camping and exploring the canyon.

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Hipcamper brandan

This is a very clean camp. We had a good spot up and through the trees. Kids put on a little show in the amphitheater and had fun riding their bikes around the twisted roads. Showers were awesome too. Got a little loud when school let out but not bad.

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Hipcamper Nick

This campground is the most beautiful I've seen in the San Bernardino National Forest, available to car camp at. The remoteness of it is enhanced with the gorgeous Incense cedar trees that tower over each site, and make your neighbors seem a good distance away.

The campground is a bit more pricey than most others, but comes with running water, flushing toilets, and FREE hot showers, which shocked the hell out of me. I know for taking my girlfriend camping or getting a quick night out, this is the place to be.

All in all the only down side I could think of would be the price is more, and some of the sites are a little close together. In the end, highly reccomended!

Hipcamper Nick

This campground is only second in my long list of favorites in the San Bernardino's.

As you drive up the camp ground immediately forks. All the best sites sit to the right. The right (eastern) side of the camp ground has far fewer sites to choose from and has great shade for the large pines that grow there. Site 35-36 are both beautiful double sites with lots of shade, room, and privacy, while site 37 is a single with the same.

All sites to the left (western) side of the campground are relatively close and exposed, but closer to the off road highways so the choice is yours. Either way this is a great place to camp with running water and flushing toilets.

Hipcamper A
A

Pine Knot campground is perfect for families!

Hipcamper A
A

There are many campgrounds with yellow posts, signifying undeveloped sites with picnic tables and fire pits, but no toilets or water. These sites are free!!

Hipcamper A
A

Take the kids to the Children’s Forest for ecological education programs; the whole family will learn fun facts from the visitor center and interpretative trails.

Hipcamper A
A

This is the place of anglers’ dreams; the area is known for its trout, but there’s a wide variety of fish in the lakes and streams. Try Lake Hemet!

Hipcamper A
A

There are hikes for everyone here, and you’ll be sure to see some amazing things along the way, like the heart rock and some killer waterfalls.

Hipcamper Jeff

This is a nice campground well situated for families. It has the nice advantage of being and easy drive from Los Angeles and Orange counties. Stay here when schools are in session for a little peace and quiet.

Hipcamper Scott

Grab a campfire permit from the ranger station in town.

Hipcamper Dani

This is a really nice and secluded campground. You feel very far away from the rest of the world. Great hikes nearby. The only thing is that the dirt road into the campground is a bit long and rough and adds some time to your drive.

Hipcamper David

Take the hike to Jenks Lake while you're here. It's less than an hour hike uphill and very much worth it!

Hipcamper Dani

Nice spot here with some hiking trails nearby. You sleep below the trees which is lovely. A bunch of the campgrounds face the middle and are a little close to each other, and there's limited parking if there are lots of cars in your group. Check if you can use fire here before going (but if you can't there's a great outdoors/climbing/hiking store in town not far away).

Hipcamper Vivian

This is a very nice campsite. The showers were a plus and really well kept, cant complain about that. Jenks lake trail is nearby and a good challenge.

Hipcamper Terra

we camped here in May 2015. Great little campground, good spacing between sites and it was nice to have the car close to your site. Restrooms are nearby, it was a quiet in the evenings when we went even with it being full. There is a nearby trail, not a loop, and uphill on the way back-so be warned. I liked the location, it wasn't to far of a drive to Lake Arrowhead village or to keep driving down the road to some great trails- do the Pinnacles trail if you get the chance.

Hipcamper Curtis

Great campground. An easy drive from the LA and OC area. Close to Big Bear. We used a group camp site that provided lots of room for tents and space to play.

Hipcamper Curtis

Great campground. An easy drive from the LA and OC area. Close to Big Bear. We used a group camp site that provided lots of room for tents and space to play.

Hipcamper Ian

Great campsite, bathrooms and showers are well kept. Convenient bear storage for food, etc. at each campsite. The camp supervisor was also very friendly (unfortunately I forgot her name). Short hike to beautiful Jenks Lake and relatively short drive to the beautiful but overcrowded & unfortunately littered Big Falls.

Hipcamper Christopher

Perfect secluded primitive camping tucked up in the hills of San Bernardino National Forest. No amenities except a fire pit and in some spots a table. Get a fire permit from the local ranger station. Beautiful views from the top of Thomas Mountain.

Hipcamper Megan

Unless you are avid off-roaders, avoid at all costs. We took a girl scout troop up here, intentionally looking for a group site to avoid interactions with other campers. Having stayed at group sites before, I didn't think this would be any different. We had 4 different groups off off-roaders come and try to intimidate us off the campground. One had the audacity to park and attempt to "share" the site with us. There is a yellow post site down the road and dispersed camping in the area but all were booked. One group started howling and making noises to scare us off at 11pm. Ranger was informed on two different occasions and put the groups on warning. Avoid unless you're an off-roader or like loud, drunk, rowdy neighbors.

Hipcamper Nathan

Very well kept campground, excellent job by the camp hosts in early summer of 2016. Be aware - for RV campers, there is a $5 charge to use the dump station, even if you camped there, it does accept credit cards.

Hipcamper Tori

Serrano is an awesome spot, centrally located to awesome hiking, biking, fishing and water sports! Bathrooms are clean, and firewood is available to buy at the check in area! Make sure you check our the Cougar Crest Trail, located right next to the campground!

Hipcamper Cruz

Awsome beauty at this campground and its sorroundings like jenks lake and all the hiking trails. However, if you relish camping and the quiet stillness of the forest..youll go crazy with the amount of amature or maybe they just dont care campers, from doing dishes at the water spigots to not picking up after their dogs but the worst is the amount of careless people who are loud way into the night usually young drunk adults playing beer pong...the host do nothing to quiet them... the the showers were nice, the bathrooms get crowded in the morning... people doing there whole bathroom routine in them. And thats my nugget..Id go back

Hipcamper Rebecca

Great campground! A sunset hike up to the Black Mountain fire lookout is a must. The views are amazing. The six mile bumpy dirt road to get to the campground is well worth it.

Hipcamper Irene

Serrano Campground is a nice place to get away from the big city. Roughly a 2-hour drive from L.A., Serrano offers scenic hikes, short walks to the shore, and decent-sized campgrounds. Across the lake is the town of Big Bear where you can easily access grocery stores or restaurants. The camp hosts at Serrano are absolutely lovely. They make it super convenient for you to check in and they monitor the campsites routinely throughout the day. The bathrooms have flush-toilets and even sometimes provide hand-soap! All in all, I would say Serrano is a great place to get away and relax- even if it's just for one night! Be sure to make your reservations EARLY because this is one of the more popular campgrounds in Big Bear!

Hipcamper Megan

This was a great campsite. Sites are far enough away from each other for privacy, trees weren't too dense, leading to great star gazing and the hosts were absolutely charming. Will be camping here again.

Hipcamper Nick

Heart bar is a group site campground featuring vault toilets, bear boxes, and running water. The campground makes for a great stop for those looking to visit Big Bear Lake, hike San Gorgonio, or go fishing on the Santa Ana River.

The campground is bare on the forest floor with no scrub or brush but surrounded by thousands of tall, thin pines. The camp sites are a good distance apart but you would be able to hear loud neighbors for sure.

One nice part about the campground is the abundance of sites to choose from, and a meadow a small walk away that is often full of grazing deer in the evenings.

I would rate this campground a 7/10, but only when the fire pits are open.

Hipcamper Nick

I grew up in the campground and still love it today! South fork sits along side the head waters of the Santa Ana River and connects back packers to the south fork trail to San Gorgonio.

The sites are perfect for those looking to relax, and has excellent shade coverage thanks to the Incense cedars that flourish in the Santa Ana river's water. Choose a site that sits outward along the loop and you'll get more privacy. Those sitting further back and facing towards the highway (west) will also get the river to themselves.

Great campground, 8/10!

Hipcamper Nick

For those who don't know Yellow Post sites are FREE. With that means all you get is a table and fire ring. No bathrooms, no water.

This campground runs along the road that takes visitors to Keller Peak Fire Watch Tower. There are 9 sites and only 4-6 are remotely close together. All the others sit far apart. My favorite is site 9, near the summit of Keller Peak. It has the best view by far and it well shaded, but is also the most exposed to the elements sitting high up near the summit and not well sheltered from the wind any direction but west.

That being said these are the place to be when you wanna get away!

Hipcamper Jim

Have good clearance on your vehicle; steep potholed dirt road going up.

Hipcamper Natalia

Great access to the water's edge of Big Bear Lake, and good views of the town of Big Bear. Nature Center nearby has several trailheads and lots of info!

Hipcamper Sara

The bathrooms are normally very stinky. A high clearance vehicle is a pretty big must. Check with the ranger station to make sure it's open because of weather and time of year. :)

Hipcamper Mark

Bikes and skateboards could be fun here

Hipcamper Mark

Bikes and skateboards could be fun here

History of San Bernardino National Forest

The San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains were hunting and gathering areas for Native Americans for thousands of years before the first Europeans arrived. The Cahuilla lived in the desert areas in and around the San Jacinto's, and the Serrano had camps in the wooded San Bernardino Mountains.

Much of the evidence of their camps and settlements is now gone due to development. The Serrano lived in pit houses and constructed brush shelters during the milder times of the year. They moved from the lower elevations where they resided in the winter months to the higher elevations in the springtime to gather plants. It is still possible to find smooth grinding stones (mannos or metates) and mortar holes in rock, where acorns and seeds were prepared for food. Occasionally visitors find pieces of pottery or arrowheads.