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.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience San Bernardino National Forest and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
128 reviews
Excellent
92
Very good
30
Average
4
Poor
1
Terrible
1

eurydice2017
London, UK334 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
San Bernardino National forest provides wonderful views and a great ride. I started in Palm Springs and went to Idyllwild village, through San Bernardino forest. It is a lovely, lovely scenic drive as you go up the mountains, through gorgeous flat areas and can even stop at the lake to change the scenery. The weather change is quite dramatic too, from hot desert temperatures to cool, rain and snow up in the mountains. Definitely worth doing
Written February 7, 2020
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.

travelingCAgal
San Diego, CA709 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
This was a lovely picnic area! We drive here from nearby Idyllwild. You walk down a road that is closed to traffic and there are several picnic tables amidst the trees. There is a lot of ferns growing in the area and there is a stream at bottom of slope. However, everyone must stay back ten feet to protect the endangered Yellow-Legged frog. Very nice place for a picnic. Don’t forget to put your adventure pass on your dash (or National Park card).
Written August 15, 2022
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.

PamRoad
Texas1,044 contributions
Feb 2023
We drove through the SBNF from San Diego on route to Palm Desert. The mountain scenery was just beautiful. We did not have time to hike or tour the area, but did enjoy several nice overlooks. Definitely one of the more beautiful drives around San Diego away from the coast.
Written March 12, 2023
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.

RJay4
Indiana63 contributions
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 April 10, 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, CA54 contributions
Sep 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 September 2, 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
72 contributions
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 May 5, 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, CA248 contributions
Sep 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 August 26, 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,NY67 contributions
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 April 23, 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 CA156 contributions
Sep 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 September 14, 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, TX2,375 contributions
Jul 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 July 5, 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.

Showing results 1-10 of 116
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

San Bernardino National Forest - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about San Bernardino National Forest

We recommend booking San Bernardino National Forest tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 4 San Bernardino National Forest tours on Tripadvisor