San Bernardino National ForestLeave review
About San Bernardino National Forest
Campgrounds in San Bernardino
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...
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...
"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...
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...
Located amongst beautiful thickets of trees, Dogwood Family Campground is certainly a breath of fresh air. Hike the trails a mere 15 minutes away...
"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...
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...
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...
Experience dispersed camping at the Keller Peak Yellow Post Sites. Put on your primitive pants if your planning a stay here. The only amenities...
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...
"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...
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...
This weekend, take a digital detox in the piney woods of the North Shore Campground. Located just miles from the San Bernardino National Forest,...
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...
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...
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...
Drop some San Bernardino knowledge on us.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!!
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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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!
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!
A decent campground within a couple hours of the major population center that is LA. The campsites are pretty well spaced out which is nice for a little more privacy and there is a decent amount of trees throughout the campground. The vault bathrooms aren't the best, but I have seen much worse. Bring a light with you to the bathroom because it was dark even during the day. There really isn't a whole lot to do in the area, but this is good campground if you just want to chill and hangout on a short weekend getaway. Be aware they charge $5 on any second vehicle at your campsite, even though it says you're allowed 2 vehicles.
Serrano is a convenient and comfortable campground, ideal for families and campers who want some nature without roughing it too much. There are a lot of sites and during the summer months it can get pretty full. There are flushing toilets, hot water, and even showers. I really like the location of the campground. There is a paved bike path that goes through the campground and along some pretty views of the lake. It also connects to the Big Bear Discovery Center.
Hard to get to without a 4-wheel drive or other car with good ground clearance. In the summer, mosquitoes can be an issue. Love coming here for good bouldering and to get away from the rest of Southern California / LA. The only place down here that I can escape to trees / some semblance of alpine.
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.