Camping in the San Bernardino Mountains

Wherever you live in Southern California, you're just a short drive away from a spectacular wildlands adventure! San Bernardino National Forest is home to a variety of campgrounds and remote camping locations—each with its own unique character and services. The Forest Service describes camping as either “developed camping” or “remote camping.”

Developed Camping

Developed camping takes place in established family or group campgrounds or primitive yellow post sites. Visitors to developed campgrounds enjoy services such as picnic tables, fire rings, toilets, and information boards. In many locations, developed campgrounds have potable water, showers, and electrical hook-ups. A fee is charged at developed campgrounds in the form of a recreation use fee charged on a per-night basis (e.g. Serrano Campground), or an Adventure Pass or any other public lands pass accepted by the Forest Service (e.g. Yellow Post Sites).

Most developed sites open in May and close in October. The most popular developed sites on the San Bernardino National Forest may be reserved through Reserve America by calling the reservation number at 1-800-444-7275, or customer service at 1-800-695-2269. Yellow Post Sites may be reserved by obtaining a permit at the local Ranger Station. For additional reservation information please call the Forest Supervisor’s Office at (909) 382-2600.

Remote Camping

Remote camping takes place outside of established campgrounds or campsites. Visitors who enjoy remote camping bring their own equipment, often seek solitude, and do not expect services such as potable water, toilets, and fire rings.

A Forest Adventure Pass or any other public lands pass accepted by the Forest Service is required for remote camping and must be displayed on your vehicle (unless vehicle is parked in a free area or on the last Saturday of every month.)

Also, due to the unsupervised nature of remote camping certain activities are often more restricted than in developed camping. Check at the nearest Ranger Station for a map with the boundaries of the Remote Camping Areas and a description of the current fire restrictions when you obtain your free fire/stove permit there. Campfires, charcoal BBQs, and remote camping itself may be restricted certain times of the year due to the Fire Danger Level. Please call the Forest Supervisor’s Office at (909) 382-2600 for the current Fire Danger Level and current restrictions.

The general rules for remote camping are to camp at least 200 feet away from springs, water, meadows, trails and forest roads. Your camp should be more than 0.25 miles away from any designated campgrounds, picnic areas, trailheads, private property, or state highways. Camp out of sight of others and do not disturb them.

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