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Tour San Bernardino National Forest

MainTour Inland Empire Adventure Guide
[ Overview / Adventures / Ski Resorts / San Gorgonio / San Jacinto / Lake Arrowhead / Big Bear ]
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Adventure Links Vacation Resort Tour - San Bernardino N.F.

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Wildlife Tour Southern California
There are many wilderness area and wildlife refuges throughout Southern California. Some are assessible only by quiet scenic hiking trails.

GPS Gear - Pro-Shop Special
Popular for Runners, Boaters, Hikers, Bikers and Adventurers
Recent technology updates have made readily affordable for outdoor adventures a nifty item - the GPS Watch. Prices and great quality GPS watches now run less than $100 from quality manufactures.

Scenic Trails Southern California
The best hiking trails for the region include many beach, desert, parkland, wilderness and mountain routes. Adventure opportunities exist to discover grand vistas, hidden geological treatures and native wildlife.

    660,000 acres of the San Bernadino Mountains were set aside in 1893 by President Benjamin Harrison to manage the mountain sheep and wildfires that frequent the area. This area includes the highest mountains in Southern California. Elevations range from 1,000 feet to Mount San Gorgonio - 11,502 ft. The forest lands are found in two major sections; one covering the San Bernardino Mountains (north of I-10) and the other covering the San Jacinto mountains (south of I-10).

    Explore over 500 miles of trails that include fresh pine forest, scenic mountain meadows and seasonal desert wildflowers. This is a unique region shared by desert cactus and snow-peaked mountains. And the big bodies of water, like Big Bear Lake, that serve as a recreational oasis for parched and thirsty southern Californians.

    We can thank President Benjamin Harrison for setting aside 737,280 acres in 1893 to stop the depredations of sheep and the ravages of forest fires that were destroying the mountain watershed. Thank you, Benjie, you're the man.

    San Bernadino National Forest
    1824 S. Commercenter Cir., San Bernadino, CA 92408-3430; - 909-383-5588

    Wilderness Areas:

    • Cucamonga
    • San Gorgonio
    • Santa Rosa
    • San Jacinto

    Mount San Jacinto State Park
    13,522 acres just west of Palm Springs and encompasses many popular hiking trails on 10,805 foot Mount San Jacinto.

Pacific Crest Trail
Spend a week (or more) hiking and camping this major trail the runs along the ridgetop of the local mountains. This is the premier route for extended mountain backpacking trips in Southern California. Abundant opportunities to explore side trails, camping, fishing, native wildlife and more. On a very clear day (typically after a major storm) you can see far out to the ocean islands to the one side and deep across the desert to the other.

Adventure Tip #1: Get a Permit
Anyone parking a car in the forest lands must have a forest adventure pass posted - this parking permit is available from most any ranger station for $5 or found online at Anyone hiking into any wilderness areas should first obtain a wilderness permit (available free at any ranger station).

Adventure Links Forest Adventures

Romantic Getaways of the Southwest
Lake Tahoe - Popular wilderness destination winter or summer.
Morro Bay - California Central Coastline resort destination.
Sedona - Famous Arizona red rock desert resort community
Lake Mead - Watersport recreation area located near Las Vegas
Park City - Hosted many wintersport competition venues during the 2002 Winter Olympics
Big Bear Lake - Southern California mountain retreat.

    So. California Mountain Ski Resorts
    There are six major ski resort areas operating in the San Bernardino Mountains, less than one hour away from the greater metropolitan area. Activities offer include traditional alpine skiing, snowboarding, family winter fun zones, ski schools and more. Ski season usually runs from December to April. And during the off-season, these mountain areas are also a great place to visit to enjoy suberb scenic vistas.

    Tour Southern California Wintersports Adventures
    Ski Resorts, snowboard parks and everything else about having fun in fresh mountain snow.

    US Forest Service - Campground Info - (909) 866-3437.

    The USFS has provided some 30 primitive campsites, totally isolated from other campers. These sites, called Yellow Post campgrounds, are scattered throughout the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear. To get a site, stop by the Big Bear Ranger Station for a wilderness permit. Arrive early, in the summer, these sites fill up on weekends.

    MainTour U.S. Forest Adventures
    MainTour's special feature of exciting vacation getaways to popular forest retreats. Perfect for people who love the great outdoors.

Adventure Links Tour San Gorgonio Wilderness

    The San Gorgonio Wilderness includes the tallest mountains in Southern California. On a clear day this landmark formation can be seen from across most of Southern California. Usually snow covered and most readily visible immediately following a good winter storm. It is the only area that has a distinct alpine line.

    Its 58,969 acres harbor two small lakes, meadows, streams, 100+ miles of trail, densely forested northern slopes, and rugged terrain.

  • Mount San Gorgonio - 11,502' - twin peaks top out at 11,500 ft elevation.
  • East Peak - 10,691' -
  • Anderson Peak - 10,863' -
  • Shields Peak - 10,791' -
  • Charlton Peak - 10,815' -

    A free forest permit is required for any hike into the wilderness area. Passes can be obtained at Barton Flats ranger station. The reach this area, take SR-38 which originates from the Redlands area.

    San Gorgonio Wilderness
    San Gorgonio Wilderness Association - Regularly updated wilderness trail info.
    The Barton Flats Visitor Center - Staffed and operated May through October and is located approximately seven miles east of Angelus Oaks on the south side of Highway 38.

    Hiking Trails:

  • South Fork Trail - Most popular trail in the region originates at Jenks Lake Road at 6900' and climbs past scenic overlooks and wilderness campgrounds (9200') upto the summit of Mt San Gorgonio. Be prepared to spend several days and nights and snow conditions.
  • Barton Flats - Several trailheads original near or at the Barton Flats ranger station.
  • Vivian Creek Trail - Shortest and steepest route to the top of Mt San Gorgonio. Trail originates off SR-38 at Forest Falls.
  • Deer Springs Trail - Trail to one of the most underused and secluded areas of the wilderness.


  • Heart Bar Campground
  • South Camp Campground -
  • San Gorgonio Campground -

Tour San Bernardino National Forest

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He who has not ascended Grayback [San Gorgonio] is like a savage who listens to the tuning up of an orchestra and goes off pleased - thinking he has heard the concert. - Theodore S. Van Dyke 1875.