The best camping near
San Bernardino National Forest, CALIFORNIA

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Beautiful camp

Don’t believe the rangers if they say it’s full or if the full sign is up - it’s often not accurate or updated daily.

This campground was my favorite in JT - the sites are well spaced offering privacy and quite.

Regular NPS campground, pit toilets abound, table and fire ring per site. The usual.

Location is great and close by to al the main attraction!

WTC Navigation Campground

Indian Cove has served as the annual outing for the Sierra Club Wilderness Travel Course to teach its students land navigation. I took this course in 2016 and recommend it to anyone interested in learning how to backpack the back country or just want to feel more confident in the wilderness. The campground ihas a number of sites to choose from, although they aren't always clearly defined. There's also a few table picnic tables to use.  There's no electricity and cell service was limited as I recall. There are also a number of good trails nearby.

Crowded and No Privacy

The campground is in a great spot but it has alot of traffic and minimal privacy

Seclusion at its finest

This campground is AWESOME, if you like dispersed campsites then this is perfect! It is easily accessible but doesnt get too crowded

Great location for exploring

This campground has some really cool sites that are HUGE! This campground is well kept and has many trails to explore. If youre up for it, you can hike to the other nearby campgrounds and lake!

Secluded but easily accessible

When I lived in San Clemente, this was a great campground just to get away! This campground can get rowdy because it is so easily accessible but nothing too crazy! Great views especially at sunset!

Beautiful

Wonderful park. Plenty of grassy areas and you are not on top of your neighbor. Access to the lake to go fishing.

Amazing Class "A" RV Resort

Motorcoach County Club 

Located in the famous Palm Springs resort area and just east of La Quinta and Indian Wells lives another resort community known for its breathtaking beauty. Motorcoach Country Club offers majestic views in every direction from your choice of three unique styles of lots. Motorcoach Country Club accommodates Class A Motorhomes (30' and larger) and features all of the luxuries you would expect to find at a 5-star resort.

Perfect for a quick trip!

Feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere but so close to home! Perfect for a quick night trip. My friend and I decided at 8 pm that we wanted to go camping. It’s a first come first serve but there was only one other camper there. The fee is $20 self pay per night. Clean sites, with bathrooms, dumpsters and water.

Barton flats

Cool spot to drive in and pitch a tent last minute. Jenks lake is just up the road. You can catch trout, bass and small little blue Gil and crappie. Lots of places to hike and is very convenient

Good Overnighter

This is a good spot to spend the night. It’s close to Ice House Canyon trail.

Mountian Men

This campground is right by the town. You can walk there within minutes. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. A little louder than what I would want. It’s still a nice spot. A couple guys and I went up there to get away and we enjoyed our time. Good hiking spots within a few minutes of driving. Not much to do around the campsite other than go into town.

Camping is camping

The camp sites are good. You are within a mile from the lake and little town there. Good lake for fishing. Trails near the sites. There are some great views as you hike up the mountain.

Good Overnight Spot

This is a nice quiet spot that lets you enjoy an outdoor experience. All sites have fire pits. Dumpsters are available as well. A few nice trails near. I don’t think they take reservations so it might be a first come first serve. We stayed overnight and didn’t pay for it.

Great Spot!

This is a pretty secluded spot. Great hiking or backpacking spots that lead to the peak. We camped for one night, didn’t pay for the spot, and no one showed up to collect. Maybe we got lucky. It’s still a great overnight spot.

Great

First time tent campers. We reserved spot #8. This site was large, flat, had nice shade from large trees, but also offered lots of sunshine. It really was one if the biggest and, to me, best sites, compared to others there. One of the water faucets with potable water was on the outskirts of our space, not at all bothersome. The toilets and dumpster were conveniently close, but not too close to be noticed. The campground was easy to find, and kept very clean. The camp host came by on his cart with his dog to make sure we had everything we needed. We brought our own wood in for the fire. The location here is great, because it is located away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but easy and close to get back in. We arrived on a Friday, enjoyed some wineries on Saturday, and went home Sunday. There is a popular trailhead inside the campground. I will definitely come back.

Memorable and COLD

We camped here on our way to summiting San G (as we lovingly call it).  Although it was May and the weather was beautiful at sea level, it was cold up here!  There was snow on the ground but the air was the coldest I've ever felt.  

We got to the camping area and it's tucked in the woods so there's lots of nooks and crannies even though it's a primitive open group camping area.  It's right next to a dry lake - go figure - and there are lots of areas to go explore beyond the trail that leads to the top.  

The ranger was there to spend a few nights and said that the night before hit negative digits!  We thought we were prepared with our "all weather" bags and backpacking tent, but I promise you I have never been so cold in my life.  I laid there awake the entire night, and couldn't move a muscle or freezing air would seep in.  The ranger said it only got down to 7 degrees.  When light finally hit we heated some water and went to sit on the frosty ground in the open field/lake and when the sun finally hit us it was like life-changing.  

FYI it's leave no trace and don't attract bears

A once in a lifetime experience

This was probably one of the most epic camping experiences ever, but I wouldn't do it again.  The hike to the peak was nuts - we stayed at halfway camp in negative degree weather - and then summited on day 2.  My hands turned yellow from holding my pack and accidentally cutting off circulation and my boyfriend got altitude sickness with 50 feet to go.  It was rough.  But we summited right at sunset and after a quick celebration picture we hurried to set up our tent and crash.  There are a few "campspots" that people have outlined with a rock barrier to protect from wind, although it was still insanely difficult to set up camp in that blowing wind and cold air.  One quick sip of whiskey and then we were out like a light.  Morning came fast and the wind never quit so we packed up camp and hiked down for 20 minutes before pulling out coffee to have breakfast in peace.  There were a couple kids who hiked in shorts and barely any equipment - they were crazy & in love and I'm sure didn't know what they were getting themselves into.

First CA camp trip was a winner

In other states I’ve spent months in a tent. This is my first CA  trip. I found it via The Dyrt. We took 51 and 52. It was perfect. Sun comes up early and drop down late in this site. It back to what I think is the Santa Ana river down a hillside. It’s flat. It’s quiet. However travel via the 91 freeway was intolerable. Be clear to find a decent travel path. But thanks for a first lead in CA.

If you can get a site, do it!

I really love Idyllwild and Fern Basin is one of the few campgrounds there.  This is the definition of small mountain town so make sure to stop and check out the little coffee shops in "town".  The campground is fairly small and off a pretty rugged dirt road, but it's worth it.  I've stayed here a few times and it's always peaceful and quiet.  This is a tenter's campground if you ask me.  There's lots of hikes around the area - some steep, some like a dirt road.  There's an area off the far end of the campground that has big boulders that you can climb up on for a perfect view of the sunset.

Private sites and helpful staff

Each campsite here is pretty private and has a lot of shade. Close to the lake but we had to walk down a bit to go swimming. Some sites are smaller than others but it was only the two of us so everything worked out well. Park rangers here were very helpful, fun to talk to, and offered other suggestions for the coming camping weekends if I didn’t want to stay here again. Sites were 45 dollars or 10 for parking and 35 for the site. One vehicle included in the stay.

Will not return.

The campsites are along a busy road. Lots of noise and lights during the night. The lake was absolutely disgusting. Dead fish all along the shore and floating in the water. Gross and stagnant, overrun with mosquitos.

Great central location for Lake Arrowhead & Big Bear

I was looking to take my Jeep off-roading in the Big Bear area. I just needed a simple tent site where I could have a campfire at night, and as usual I hadn't booked very far in advance. By luck, I found Green Valley Lake. 

When I went online to reserve my spot, the only site left was site #1, so I grabbed it. Searching for reviews or pictures of that site, there were comments about it being too close to other sites, too close to the road, too close to houses, etc. When I got there I found a different story. After asking the camp host, I found the site - isolated from the rest of them in its own private little grove. The parking spot for the site is a considerable distance away, next to site 2. There are 2 trails leading to the site - one from the parking spot that cuts through site 2, and another one that ends near the entrance gate. It was a bit of a hike to get my gear in and out, but it was worth it for the privacy. Plenty of trees provide shade, and isolate you from the road and your neighbors. There was some noise, but they were completely blocked from view. 

The campground itself is very well maintained. The bathrooms were clean, with flush toilets, running water, and lights. The sites themselves don't have water, but there were faucets all over the campground so you could fill up a jug and take it back to your site. This is bear country, and bear lockers are installed at every site. The hosts were very nice, and sold firewood at their trailer for $8 a bundle. There was no AT&T cell service at the site, but there was a few miles down the road. 

The campground is about a mile past the village of Green Valley Lake, which has a small market and a restaurant. A few miles further is Arrowbear, which has a couple very well stocked markets and gas stations. Running Springs is a few more miles down the road, and has all the services you would need in a small town. 

For off-roaders like myself, the Big Pine Flats trail starts just a couple miles down the road, and offers a fairly easy and fun drive to just north of Big Bear Lake, and continuing on to Baldwin Lake. 

The next time i camp up in the Big Bear area, this will definitely be on my list of places to camp again.

Hidden Gem

I loved this place, this hidden gem is located in the in the middle of the city, with the feel of the outdoor. Lots of trees, biking and hiking trails, fishing area, beautiful views, very peaceful, family friendly, pet friendly, the C9 RV spot was very spacious, I also liked the A & B area. Not every site has a fire pit. Definitely coming back again.

Apple Canyon Campsite #2

Large campsites with picnic tables.

Do not use campsite #1 unless you have 4WD, you will get stuck.

Fire restrictions are in effect check website for updates.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sbnf/home/?cid=fsbdev7_007776

Great Campground

We happened to find a great spot here on Labor Day weekend. Total luck shot. We got a great spot where we saw an amazing sunset. We’ll definitely be staying here again.

Best group camp

Every trying to make sure you have a spot at Joshua tree? Make sure to reserve way ahead of time and you may be able to enjoy this group camp. Located in between all the major attractions of the park. With all the boulders around this campsite it’s a great place to enjoy watching the night sky.

Great Car Camping

I took my co-workers here and they loved it! We had campsite 101, which was beautiful. It didn't have the sweeping views that a few of the campsites have, but it was probably the most isolated campsite in the campground, so it was great for us because we tend to stay up by the fire talking late. Sunsets and sunrises were stunning. A local warned us of wind but it wasn't a big issue. The campground manager was great.

Joshua Tree Easy

Probably the easiest campground to get to in Joshua Tree. It has some really cool sites but most seem to be stacked on top of each other for Joshua Tree. It's close to some really cool hikes like the dam, the mill and the mine. I love Joshua Tree and all it has to offer but this isn't my top choice to stay in Joshua Tree.

Nude Hot Springs

This destination is known for nudity. There are 4 hot springs, and a creek. There isn't too many people that visit here; but just enough people so that you are not completely alone. The hike in and out is intermediate to expert level, there is no ammenties there. Bring in plenty of water and food, AND BRING OUT WHAT YOU BRING IN!