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THE BEST CAMPING NEAR
San Bernardino National Forest, CALIFORNIA
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Most Recent San Bernardino National Forest Camping Reviews
Good for what we needed.

Camped here as a launch point to see the blooms near Lake Elsinore. Very standard campground with basic amenities. Road noise was a little rough for those looking for a quiet getaway.

The best of the best

So beautiful, welcoming and filled with excellent amenities that you’ll never want to leave.

Expensive, and nice!

We spent 2 weeks here. The weekly rate is much better than daily. It is a nice resort with clean amenities. The gym was great and the pool was not busy which made it a nice place to work from. The main downside is it is near the train tracks, which runs often.

Great option outside the park

Clean facilities, quiet campground and easy access to the park. There was a long line waiting for dump site at checkout time.

Private RV Park

This is for Silverlakes property owners only. Strong security. Non-members not allowed.

Hidden Gem

Idyllwild County campground is not that easy to find, but when you finally find it you will be glad you did. It is dog friendly, clean restrooms, showers and very friendly staff. The fees for camping are low and it's exciting to be away from everything but know there is a safety net of rangers and other staff around if you need them. Hike to the Nature Center using Perimeter or Hillside trails and you are in for a treat. They have good exhibits, and a bonus bird watching area. I love this park for day use as well - when it's 100 degrees + in the summer a drive up to Idyllwild is like going to heaven.

Bouldering heaven at Joshua Tree

Great campground in Joshua Tree NP, rustic - just put toilets & drinking water available but some sites are tucked right up amongst the red rocks. Great for bouldering, desert night sky spectacular too.

Alternate to staying in JTree

Stayed here when we went to Joshua tree. All campsite in the park were full so we luckily snagged one of these the sites are nice and clean with a fire pit. Only gripe is that has little wind protection which wind can get crazy out there sometimes. We just put our car in front to block and we’re fine

Lake skinner thanksgiving

An amazing family friendly camp site. I have been coming to this camp ground for over 30 years and it continues to be one of my favorites. From kids play grounds to fishing, hiking and watching the Hot Air Balloons launch its fun for all.

Summer camp getaway

It's a great place for a quick getaway from everyday living.

Little Tight in Spacing but So worth it!

We got in and checking in was very thorough! We headed to the pull through 30amp sites which are all to the left. Parked in end spot of the first row after the pool in tight spot( palm trees are close) and electric wasn’t working. This side is only one way streets so pulled out and headed to the right side of property which is all 50amp spots that are back in only. After two rounds around outer two lanes we found a good spot close restrooms. Bathroom are very clean, there’s great activities and Veterans Day event near city were awesome. We spent a lot time at pool which was awesome for us Northerners as that never happens in November. We love Palm Springs!

Veterans Day weekend

Clean campsites, clean showers & toilets. Lots of biking & hiking trails. Primitive camping & RV camping. I’m normally a tent camper but this time I chose to stay at a campsite with water & electricity 😁

Downhill

Lake Hemet campground has really gone downhill. We used to spend summers there with many family members in multiple campers, catching lots of trout. We went this spring, I didn't recognize the place, it was run down, over grown, it was like it no body was caring for the place. They hadn't stocked trout in over a year. We paid $200 for 10 days. NOT worth it. Find another campground

Beautiful secluded campground

This campsite is located at the junctionof the Deer Springs Trail and the PCT, and is breathtaking. Only 3 or 4 sites available so make reservations in advance or stop by the office in Idyllwild if you’re feeling lucky . I stayed there in October and snagged the last site. The sites are dispersed and marked with small signs. There is an outhouse towards the top of the site. You must hike in but it is absolutely worth it.

One of the worst Campgrounds we have stayed in

Expensive trashy sites, fire pits were too full of ashes to use, garbage literally everywhere, bathrooms were gross despite park personnel going in and out of them all day. Staff seemed to be pretty indifferent when I called to report that a kid was shooting a BB gun across my campsite. I had to drive away from my site for safety. We will never stay there again. (To be fair the superintendent of Silverwood did apologize, made a lot of excuses, but did refund our money despite having a no-refund policy)

One of the best we have stayed in

Reasonably priced, clean beyond belief, spacious campsites, full amenities. This hands down a great place to stay!

Hidden gem. Great family place.

Close to Arrowhead and Twinning Peaks

Quick Get Away

Good location to get out of Temecula for a quiet night. There is hiking and horse trails, but no other draw. The downside is the standard Forest Service pit toilets.

Outstanding RV park

Very nice hot tubs and swimming pool

Great place

This campsite is great. Me and my wife stay here a couple times a year and we also bring our grown kids and with our little grandkids.

Beautiful Get-Away

I was really excited to head out to this campground/ site because it was a close drive from my home, but far enough away to get up in the mountains.

My sister, her 3 kids, and 2 dogs jumped into the car and headed out towards Idyllwild, CA. Though this is techincally condisdered Pine Cove, CA, it is only about a 10 min drive away from the adorable town of Idyllwild! The campsite had room for 1 car, and was allotted 8 people. A long picnic table and a campfire ring with a grill opition! We set up a hammock in the front, a slack line on the side, and a dog run behind our campsite! We took the kids on the nature walk and they loved it! Big brother read the signs about the pine cones to his little sisters! We went into town as well and bought a big bundle of local fire wood at Mountain Mike's off Cicle Dr. for only $10. ( The best firewood ever ) We mostly just hung out at the campsite for the kids to run around and be kids! They made some friends with some neighbor campers, so all 5 kids ran around having the time of their lives!

Summary:

Pros:

  • Close to Idyllwild
  • Clean site(s)
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Camp hosts were very nice
  • Fire rings w/ grill
  • Picnic Table
  • Non potable water faucets
  • Privacy between sites on the back side ( where we stayed )
  • Hiking trials out of the campground
  • Nature walk off the campground
  • Dumpsters for trash

Cons:

  • No bear bins ( but there was not too much of a warning for the bears there )
  • The bees ( the ones that like your food )
Joshua Tree

Great campground near some amazing climbing and hikes. Beautiful sunset views and spots are very specious but fill up by early afternoon. No big rigs! Very noisy and crowded and bathrooms and garbages get overrun quickly.

This is a nice spacious campground with plenty of trees

Great campground. The host was friendly and very helpful. There is clean water, clean restrooms and showers. The showers go hot and cold in a second but this is a water conservation area so no big deal and they are free. Firewood is available from the camp host and is about 6 dollars enough for one evening. There is a fire pit with a cooking grill at each site. The restrooms were clean but very busy at certain times as people use them as washrooms. Everybody respected the evening quiet time but some children were a bit noisy at 6 am. That was just one family so didn't seem to be typical. No cell phone signal so print out your reservation details before you go. Don't ask how I know this. We had a wonderful time and would go back tomorrow if it were open. I believe it is closed till the new season. The other campers were really friendly.We definitely be back .

Open Spaces and great views of San Bernardino

This is such a great campsite. It was my first backpacking campsite, and I've revisited once since then. There are lots of established campsites and they're easy to find. Expect very high winds at night. Setup your camp behind established rock walls and trees and you'll be okay. Both times I've gone, I was in a hammock, and the wind was a bit of a problem.

The views from this campsite are amazing and there's a fresh spring just a 1/4 mile up the trail. It's not too far, and the hill isn't too steep, but it is a 9000ft elevation, so it's a bit of work. Well worth it though, and a fun place to stay.

Great campground close to town!

Its nice to find a campground close to the town. I met some PCT hikers and had a great time listening to their stories. Well maintained and easy to find.

Quick escape close to home

I'd heard great things about Serrano, but had never camped there before. We were really looking forward to our quick escape to the mountains, especially as the weather in the suburbs had been really hot. It was a relatively easy drive. The sites don't really have much privacy, and you can easily see your neighbors, but it's still spacious. Some of the sites seem larger than others. We liked ours, but there were some shrubs. The shrubs helped with the privacy, but it also meant a LOT of squirrels. People must feed the squirrels because as soon as we sat down to have a snack or eat they were everywhere. Oh well, camping life. Aside from that, the site comes with a bear locker and fairly large picnic table. The bathrooms are kept pretty clean and there was easy access to water. I would definitely come back! It's nice to feel far away from home, but you're really not as it's just a two hour drive. You're also walking distance to the lake. You can always drive to pick-up forgotten items, food, ice, etc. if needed.

Close to all the action

3 minute walk into downtown idyllwild, with its great bars and restraunts. Strangely also seems seculed from downtown and quiet. About 2 hours drive and you can take the tram car in palm springs up to the top of Mt. Jacinto and cool off, maybe there will be snow?

Friendly

Great campground. Close to many attractions.

Parking big rig between the palm trees can be a challenge.

Best off hwy 38

By far this has got to be the best and largest campground on the 38. First reason is the pricing. At only $21 per night for a single site, this is the best priced campground in the area excluding free yellow post sites. With this price however you get the basics. No showers, no rv dump station, just water from the pipe, toilets, picnic tables, fire ring, and a bear box. can’t complain about that though.

second reason; there are many many sites to choose from. this camp ground has several loops that each contain roughly 20 campsites, sometimes more. on any given day you should be able to drive up, though a reservation is definitely still recommended.

3rd; the location. Topography-wise this camp sits right over a small meadow that boarders the San Gorgonio wilderness. it sits higher above the highway and displaces sound nicely. this spot is excellent for wildlife viewing and entry to the wilderness for hiking and exploring. The campground is also littered with tall standing pines and even some massive junipers, providing ample shade. You can’t help but feel like your are elsewhere like the Eastern Sierra with the dry desert winds the blow in and chill on the mountains and the smell of the sage brush. This campground is only about 20 min out from big bear lake as well, and does have cell reception (unfortunately).

Highly recommend sites 32, 37, 47, 58, or 24 & 49 which are both double sites. This was due to their more isolated positioning to other spots, shade, flat ground, and proximity to bathrooms and the beautiful little meadow where deer graze in the evenings. happy trails.