San Bernardino National Forest

San Bernardino National Forest

San Bernardino National Forest
4.5
About
This region encompasses 660,000 acres of the San Bernadino Mountains with elevations ranging from 1,000 feet to the highest at Mount San Gorgonio at 11,502 feet.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles128 reviews
Excellent
92
Very good
30
Average
4
Poor
1
Terrible
1

RJay4
Indiana58 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
My wife and I spent a day in the San Bernardino National Forest - specifically, in the mountains along Routes 38 and 18, from well east of Big Bear City to about Crestline, where we descended back down to the valley.

Yep, it's beautiful. But we found the management by the forest service to be poor and capricious. First, the signage is uniformly poor everywhere. Major picnic and recreation areas might or might not be acceptably marked, but other than that, forget it. For example, major scenic turnouts that are even labeled on maps have no signage associated with them - you just come upon them (bang!) along the road and have to make an instantaneous guess about whether this is "it" or not.

An issue more specific to us, but still telling of management attitude: We were up there early in the season - April 8. We came from near Chicago, so we checked this out well ahead of time. We read on their website, as well as being told, that the areas we would be visiting would be opening on April 7, weather permitting. Both April 7 and 8 were beautiful days up there - sunny, high 66 on the 7th, 68 on the 8th. Although there was some snow left on steep shady areas of the mountains, we encountered NO snow on any roads or in any of the natural areas we stopped in. In short, the weather DID permit - yet we found ONLY ONE of the national forest areas we stopped at to be open. The rest we tried to visit were closed and locked up tight - not only no explanations, but nobody to ask.

There is really no excuse for these problems. People need signs, and need to make plans. Our trip was hobbled by poor signage and our plans were semi-trashed by the capricious management decisions, or bad information, or both, of the forest service.

How can they get away with this? Easy - they are a beautiful mountain area adjacent to the most populated cities in the country, which is cool in the summer while the cities cook. People will come up there no matter how poorly it is managed - the forest service doesn't have to care. I can't imagine what this place must be like in mid-summer when crawling with people. The natural beauty will be there, but otherwise, lower your expectations of the management of the area, or you will be very disappointed.
Written 10 April 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

taltal1313
Irvine, CA60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2014 • Family
We were in this campground after reading many good recommendation, and it was a real great experience! The sites are HUGE , lots of privacy, clean toilets, the ranger is very nice and offering many trails in the area. The sites are clean and most of them pretty shady.
You drive from Redlands through Lugonia Ave. then on the 38 , about 40 minutes drive and beautiful scenery.
This is one of the best campground we have visited for tents and RV. Near the Forest Falls trail, with its great waterfalls and pools.
Written 2 September 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Penny E
71 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
We saw Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead. We loved the scenic drive, it was fresh and cool. Lake Arrowhead had several shops and restaurants. There were plenty of stopping places on the drive too.
Written 5 May 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RiTCHIE H
Los Angeles, CA276 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2012 • Friends
The Beauty of the many small towns in the Mountains
in the San Bernardino Mountains is so Magical.
Filled with lakes and fishing, water sports, and just the pure
beauty of the Mountains here.
The Huge Factor, is the people here, this is one of the
nicest communities anywhere !!

The eating and Lodging fit any budget, from camp, to
fancy Hotels, and bed and BK.

These Mountains have it All,

Ritchie H.
Written 26 August 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary O
Baiting Hollow,NY63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2013 • Family
great place to hike and explore. we found an abandoned gold mine and were able to venture into it. had the correct gear with trail markers and lights. fun experience.
Written 23 April 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SparkydogEscondidoCA
Escondido CA142 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2014 • Couples
We visited Serrano mid week in early September after kids were back in school. Listed as a Heavy Use campground, we made reservations in advance for the full hookup Snowberry Loop. As it turned out, there were plenty of sites open in all the loops, however, when we left on Friday the Strawberry Loop was filling up. A very nice, clean, and well maintained campground with plenty of pine trees and fair separation between sites. In fact site 57 in the Snowberry loop is one of the nicest sites (privacy) we've seen in any campground. Sites 48 and 43 in the same loop are also good. Because of the full hookups, there are no restrooms in that loop, but the walk to another loop is not terrible, especially given the shortcut trails that have developed. The campground is within walking distance of the lake and there is a small general store (limited supplies) just across the road. A major road passes by the upper side of the campground that can create some annoying noise (especially motorcycles), but over the 4 days we were there it was minimal. The Alpine Pedal Path (paved) runs between the campground and the lake and makes a nice place to stroll or bike with several lake access points. Take it to the Discovery Center (closed Tuesday/Wednesday) a pleasant informative experience and they're dog friendly! In fact Big Bear Lake is very dog friendly; beaches, restaurants, attractions--even canoe and kayak rentals. Be aware that the only designated swimming area is in the city park. I didn't want to take a dip anywhere we went along the shore. The lake is currently low, given the drought conditions. Overall a surprisingly pleasant and peaceful location close to major metropolitan areas. Remember the designation of "Heavy Use" during the regular season.
Written 14 September 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

VanEsq12
Dallas, TX3,968 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2014 • Couples
This forest offers hikes for persons at all athletic levels. There are lots of beautiful trees and rocks to see. I highly recommend bringing a picnic lunch, finding a nice quiet place to stop and then just listening. The sounds of the wind in the trees, the lizards skittering, and birds calling is amazing.
Written 5 July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

1rmcbrl
San Bernardino, CA568 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2013 • Family
Went up end of October of this year: beautiful fall leaves & crisp weather. Ate at the Belgium Waffle which was wonderful. Fed ducks & squirrels and then shopping at Bass & Van Huesen Outlets. Then ate a chocolate covered apple, rolled in roasted nuts at the Rocky Mtn Chocolate factory. Ran through the Christmas store next to the Pentelon Outlet. The drive home was very pretty.gyhhhyyb
Written 29 November 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nate R
Unknown8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Business
Awesome place to drive through and site see. I stayed in the town of Crestline California and would definitely recommend it in the summer months!!!
Written 17 November 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rick S
San Bernardino, CA29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Friends
If you are from out of the area it is a beautiful relaxing road trip. Start by exiting the 210 fwy on why 18 up to crestline, then keep going, stop off at lake arrowhead, running springs, keep going to Big Bear Lake. There is a lot to see and do here. Keep going on the 18 to the 38 and go to Bryant Street, make a left and go to oak glen, another place with little shops and fresh apple pie.
Written 8 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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