Available car-camping in the San Bernardino mountains

Home Forums Trail Conditions Available car-camping in the San Bernardino mountains

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    • #4024

      This is not strictly related to the wilderness area, but I know of no other local resource or forum where I might get this question answered.

      I’m just curious how busy the camping is at yellow-post sites now, with other campsites being closed. Has anyone here had recent experience in that regard?

      Most of my experience in the local mountains has been with wilderness camping or car camping at the many developed campsites which are pretty much all closed now. I don’t have much experience with car camping in undeveloped sites locally.

      We’d like to go camping with our boys, but we aren’t really equipped for backpacking with young children (2 and 4), so wilderness camping is not an option right now.

      We also don’t want to pull up to a first-come first served yellow-post site and find it jam-packed with cars and people, and no open sites. Are we better off just doing day trips to random remote spots in the mountains, and heading back home (Which is what we’ve been doing with our weekends lately.) or are there some remote dispersed or yellow-post sites where we can get away for a weekend, and be unlikely encounter crowds?

      We’re willing to tackle mild-to-medium difficulty roads, providing a lifted/modded 4×4 isn’t required equipment. We have a Subaru Forester which is reasonably capable for mild off-roading, has a pretty beefy after-market skid plate, and we carry some basic recovery/get-unstuck gear, but it’s certainly no Jeep.

    • #4026
      Tin Cup

      I am not real familiar with local camp grounds (I usually go up to eastern sierras to car camp) but I would say if you went during the week you should be safe as far as crowds go . I don’t know what’s currently open these days .

    • #4029

      Trevor: as much as i loathe promoting anything facebook-related, there is an active SGWA group page there (which keeps me coming back!) in which many of the fine people you’ll encountere here likewise participate.  One recent thread pertains to this same topic that you’ve raised.  Yellow Post campsites along 1N02 and East Flats campground were suggested by some commenters.  I’d start by checking into those…

      • #4033

        I no longer have a fb account, but thanks for relaying that information.

        I was looking into the Coon Creek yellow-post sites, which are on 1n02, as those are listed as being open on the forest service page.

        Do they have fire rings? Are campfire permits currently being issued? It looked like you could get them online.

        Also was looking at Mission Springs PCT trail camp, for a bit more remote experience. It is marked as open, but there are only two sites.

        Now we’re talking about going mid-week instead of the weekend, so maybe either spot would be less likely to be crowded.

    • #4036


      I do not have a facebook account either.  The SGWA FB group is public, so you can read posts without an account.


      ^I think that’s the one stbrnnr is talking about in his post.

    • #4037

      Here is the USFS San Bernardino Recreation Conditions Report website:


      Remember you will need a fire permit to even use a propane stove but you can get a Cal Fire Permit online which there is a link at the web page above.

      Also I don’t know if I would recommend remote camping with very young children because can take a while to get help.

      SGWA volunteer

    • #4044

      I’ve been doing some research to see what dispersed camping areas are open in the SJ/SB areas. It seems that the yellow post sites in the SJ area are closed for now (doesn’t make sense to me, but…). There is legally available dispersed camping in the San Bernardinos and the San Gorgonio area. Got my Cal Fire permit online to use stove (or fire) in about five minutes.

      Shawn, you’ll get a variety of responses regarding the wisdom of taking young kids camping. I consider myself a reasonably cautious person, but you can’t raise kids in bubble wrap to protect them. My daughter and son first went backpacking with me at age five. Any dispersed camping site in SoCal isn’t likely to take much longer to get to medical aid than if you’re in a campground. I wouldn’t be waiting on an ambulance, but I would want to know in advance where the nearest medical help is located and how to get there.


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