San Bernardino National Forest

Quick Facts

San Bernardino National Forest

California

(909) 382-2600

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Located about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, California, lies the San Bernadino National Forest in the San Gabriel, San Bernadino, San Jacinto, and Santa Rosa mountains. The Rim of the World Scenic Byway is the major access route through the forest. The National Children's Forest is the site of the most devastatng fire in the history of the San Bernadino National Forest. The 45 minute self-guided trail will tell the story of how the forest was replanted in a unique cooperative effort with the Hunt Wesson company and area children.

Today, the San Bernardino National Forest serves as southern California's outdoor year-around recreation destination, as well as providing valuable watershed protection. Drive the scenic Rim of the World Scenic Byway and Palms to Pines Scenic Byways to discover your local National Forest.

Map of San Bernardino Nat'l Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 34.351605, -116.846466

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Activities

  • Boating

    Boating is a very popular activity.

  • Bicycling

    Mountain biking is a growing sport in the mountains. Riding is permitted on designated routes, which include the forest road and trail network, except for the Pacific Crest Trail, short nature trails, and any trail leading to, or inside designated Wilderness areas.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The San Bernardino National Forest has two spectacular drives that are part of the National Scenic Byway System. Both routes contain diverse and remarkable landscapes with spectacular views. Watch for interpretive panels along the way.

  • Camping

    Some campgrounds are reserved campsites, and on weekends or holidays; reservations are highly recommended. Most campgrounds can accommodate both tent campers and RV`s. All campgrounds have picnic tables and restroom facilities, and some even have showers and other amenities. Most campsites accommodate up to 6 people and 2 tents. There may be an additional cost for more than one vehicle.

    The Forest Service describes camping as either "developed" (usually accessible by road and including minimal facilities like picnic tables, restrooms and fire-rings), and "remote" (areas usually accessible only by trails, and may or may not have minimal facilities). During winter months some locations may be inaccessible due to snow or closed, check with the local Ranger Station for updated conditions.

    San Bernadino also offers many opportunities for remote camping. Remote camping is camping outside of a developed site. Undeveloped camping provides more solitude and an opportunity to "rough it." Camping is allowed in Yellow Post Sites, Dispersed sites, and in Wilderness campsites.

  • Climbing

    Opportunities are available.

  • Fishing

    The San Bernardino National Forest has miles of streams and several reservoirs where you can cast your line. Whether you choose to fish along one of the wild trout streams, or try your luck from a fully accessible fishing pier, the San Bernardino National Forest offers an outdoor adventure for the entire family.

    Most of the lakes and streams on the San Bernardino are stocked with rainbow trout during fishing season and also contain bass, bluegill and catfish

  • Hiking

    The National Forest provides hikers of all abilities with amazing and scenic hikes. Day hikes and longer backpacking trips through hundreds of miles of trails will not leave a hiker disappointed.

  • Historic Sites

    Interpretive Sites on the San Bernardino National Forest are varied, and each offers a unique insight to the National Forest. During winter months some locations may be inaccessible due to snow or closed, check with the local Ranger Station for updated conditions.

  • Horseback Riding

    One of the most pleasurable ways to see the San Bernardino National Forest is on horseback. Horseback riding is permitted on all National Forest roads and trails, except for nature trails. The Spitler Peak and Fobes trails in the San Jacinto area connect with the Pacific Crest trail and have spectacular views of the desert floor below. The nearby McCall Equestrian Park and Ribbonwood Equestrian campgrounds offer overnight camping. The San Gorgonio Wilderness trails are very popular and the Forest Service maintains the Heart Bar Equestrian Group Camp and Wildhorse Equestrian Campground nearby. Big Bear has a series of gentler trails which also connect with the Pacific Crest Trail.

  • Hunting

    Popular game animals include mule deer, mountain and valley quail, and turkey. Waterfowl can be hunted on Baldwin Lake in Big Bear and Lake Hemet in San Jacinto. Band-tailed pigeons, cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, and black bears can also be hunted.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    The Off-Highway Vehicle system on the San Bernardino National Forest is one of the best in Southern California. A variety of experiences and a large number of miles are available for 4-wheel driving, ATV, UTV and motorcycle use.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic areas on the San Bernardino National Forest are varied. Many are accessible to persons with disabilities, some have drinking water on site, and some have fishing nearby. Use picnic sites, and other day use areas only between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. During winter months some locations may be inaccessible due to snow or closed, check with the local Ranger Station for updated conditions.

  • RVing

    Campgrounds in the National Forest can accomadate RV's.

  • Water Sports

    Many water sports are available.

  • Winter Sports

    Cross-country and downhill skiing as well as snowshoeing, snowboarding, and snowplay are just a few of the activities that you can enjoy on public lands. Licensing, fees and seasonal restrictions vary from site to site.

Seasonality/Weather

Open year-round though some facilities and visitor centers close seasonally due to weather.

Directions

Driving

San Bernadino National Forest can be accessed from several roads in the San Bernardino area off Interstate highway 10.

Flying

Less than a two-hour drive from Los Angeles.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(909) 382-2600

Campground reservations

(877) 444-6777

Links