Camping in Lake Arrowhead and surrounding areas
Do you love stepping outside your tent or RV in the morning to take a deep breath of fresh, pine-scented air? Though it's hard to believe, such an "alpine" camping experience is probably within a 2 hour drive from you if you live in Southern California! In fact, you'll think you're in Colorado's Rocky Mountains when you go camping in the San Bernardino National Forest.
If you love to camp and hike, Lake Arrowhead and the surrounding San Bernardino National Forest offer many options. Spectacular scenery, plenty of birds and wildlife, and a terrific camping experience awaits those who prefer either "developed" or "remote" camping. Gorgeous towering pines are simply "everywhere." The air is fresh and smog-free. Birds sing in the trees and fish swim in the lakes. It's a setting just right for a superb family campout.
There are two "developed" campgrounds local to the Lake Arrowhead area:
And there are two "developed" campgrounds local to the Green Valley area:
Crab Flats Campground
Green Valley Campground
Yellow Post, or remote camping offers a more primitive camping experience with considerable distance from other campsites and few amenities while being conveniently accessed from a paved road. Visitors who enjoy remote camping are often offroad enthusiasts, or simply desire solitude or seclusion. They bring their own equipment and services such as potable water, toilets, and fire rings, are typically not available.
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 Remote Camping Areas boundaries 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. Call the Forest Supervisorís 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. Fire rings are provided but may be used only when the fire danger level permits - call the Ranger Station, 909-382-2782, for information. Yellow post sites are available on a first-come-first-served basis, free of charge.
For the adventurous, remote camping is allowed throughout the National Forest. Specific guidlines apply when camping outisde of developed sites so call the Ranger Station, (909) 382-2782, before you embark on your trip.
For groups of thirty to ninety people, group campgrounds provide another option. Picnic tables, fire rings, and bathrooms -- and a certain distance from other campers -- make the group campgrounds a popular option for church group and scout campouts. There are three group camps located within close proximity of the Lake Arrowhead Communties; Shady Cove, Tent Peg, and Fishermanís Camp. Reservations are required.
There are numerous hiking trails in the area with the Pacific Crest Trail passing within a few miles of the Lake Arrowhead Communities. Take a look at the hiking and camping trail map and choose one of our many trails and campgrounds available during the warms weather months.