San Bernardino National Forest Guide

The San Bernardino National Forest was designated a national forest in 1907, and it currently contains several departments and three Ranger Districts. There are multiple opportunities for outdoor recreation inside the park with hundreds of miles of hiking trails, 42 campgrounds, seven wilderness areas, four winter resorts, seven scenic rivers, and two of the tallest mountains in Southern California. You can also enjoy some of the best off-highway vehicle (OTV) riding in the region. 

RV Rentals Near San Bernardino National Forest

Shape Hiking Trails

San Bernardino National Forest Hiking Trails

Things to Do

Activities in San Bernardino National Forest

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How to get to San Bernardino National Forest

Address: Mill Creek Visitor Center, 34701 Mill Creek Road, Mentone, CA 92359

Fee: Entry fee $0

Visiting San Bernardino National Forest provides a seemingly endless array of opportunities to see a large swatch of Southern California. The forest is close to the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego to the west, Bakersfield to the north, and Las Vegas a bit further to the east. There are lots of national forests and wilderness areas, and several national parks are in close proximity. Driving an RV as you journey through the forest and beyond is an excellent avenue to everything you most want to visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About San Bernardino National Forest

What is the closest town to San Bernardino National Forest?

Big Bear is the closest town to San Bernardino National Forest. Oak Glen is also a nearby town. Yucaipa is one of the closest bigger cities where travelers can restock supplies, buy groceries, and find restaurants and lodging.

Does San Bernardino National Forest offer free camping sites?

Yes, there are free camping sites in San Bernardino National Forest. Dispersed camping is allowed in the forest and does not cost. Campers need to make sure the area is left as they found it, with no sign of camping or disturbances when they leave.

What type of wildlife lives in San Bernardino National Forest?

Wildlife in the San Bernardino National Forest includes bald eagles, peregrine falcons, bighorn sheep, black bears, mountain lions, and a variety of birds and small animals.

What is the best time to visit San Bernardino National Forest?

Summer is the best time to visit the San Bernardino National Forest. The temperatures are much cooler than in nearby San Bernardino or Los Angeles, so hiking and mountain biking is pleasant.

The forest is also a great winter destination, however, with snowshoeing and opportunities for downhill and cross-country skiing.

Do you need a permit to fish or hunt in San Bernardino National Forest?

Yes, you do need a permit to hunt in the San Bernardino National Forest. Everyone 16 and older also needs a permit to fish in San Bernardino National Forest, however, there are certain days during the year when anyone can fish without a license.