7 day-use and camping sites reopened in the San Bernardino National Forest – Daily bulletin


A record number of visitors to the San Bernardino National Forest and nearby national monuments may soon increase, as the US Forest Service reopens seven additional recreation areas this weekend.

With the retreat of on-site shelter, hotel and restaurant closure orders that were in effect for three months to flatten the coronavirus curve, more people are heading to the local mountains for outings. a day or longer stays, report forestry officials.

“Everyone was locked up. Then the restrictions started to lift. And what we’re hearing is people canceling long-distance trips and everyone’s traveling locally, ”said Zach Behrens, US Forest Service spokesperson representing the 680,000-acre San Bernardino Forest.

“We are experiencing unprecedented population levels,” he said on Thursday (June 18th).

  • Banning angler Mike Kimball uses a float tube to fish in Fulmor Lake on a warm night along the Palms to Pines Scenic Drive between Banning and Idyllwild on Friday, September 7, 2018 (File photo by Terry Pierson, The Press -Enterprise / SCNG)

  • Fulmor Lake in the San Jacinto Mountains of Riverside County appears peaceful on Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (File photo by David Downey, The Press-Enterprise / SCNG)

  • Hikers stand at the base of Bonita Falls near Lytle Creek in the San Bernardino National Forest on Thursday, June 6, 2019 (File photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin / SCNG)

  • US Forest Service fire prevention patrol captain Eric Gandolfi, right, and US Forest Service public information officer Lisa Cox, walk through the San Bernardino National Forest near Kilkare Road and Mountain Home Village on Wednesday June 17, 2020. The Forest Service re-opened seven more days of forest use and camping in and around Idyllwild, Big Bear and Running Springs starting June 19, 2020. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press -Enterprise / SCNG)

  • A sign explains the fire restrictions at the entrance to the San Bernardino National Forest near Mentone on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. The Thurman Flats picnic area reopened on June 19, 2020. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda , The Press-Enterprise / SCNG)

  • A yucca plant emerges from the scorched ground of a recent 5-acre brush fire near Kilkare Road and Mountain Home Village in the San Bernardino National Forest on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise / SCNG)

  • Bathers practice lifting rocks at Mill Creek, keeping cool on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Other areas of the San Bernardino National Forest are reopening after being closed for months due to COVID-19. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise / SCNG)

  • A family plays in the water of Mill Creek to cool off as swimming pools are still prohibited as locals find new ways to cool off during the COVID-19 quarantine in the San Bernardino National Forest on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. ( Photo by Terry Pierson, La Presse-Entreprise / SCNG)

  • The Perez d’Indio family came to fish and picnic at Lake Hemet during a carp fishing tournament in the San Jacinto Mountains. (File photo by William Wilson Lewis III, The Press-Enterprise / SCNG)

With the reopening of additional campgrounds and day sites in the forest, as well as national monuments in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, people will have more choices and more room to spread out, increasing the social distancing.

The following areas reopened on Friday June 19:

• Fern Basin Campground: Located 6.5 miles north of Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. About 22 locations. Cost: $ 10 per night. For further information: Idyllwild Ranger Station, 909-382-2921

• Fulmor Lake: Located off of Hwy 243 approximately 10 miles north of Idyllwild. Day use area with lake, easy hikes, fishing, jetty, picnic tables, toilets.

• Lake Hemet: A day use area and reservoir in the San Jacinto Mountains. Open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Check with the Hemet Lake Municipal Water District for campground information.

• Keller Peak Yellow Post Sites: Access via an asphalt road near Running Springs on the Rim of the World Highway. Nine secluded campsites, available on a first come, first served basis only. No toilets or drinking water. Information: l Big Bear Discovery Center, 909-382-2790.

• Mont Marion campsite: Located 7 miles north of Idyllwild. Hikes, views. About 25 locations. In wooded area; altitude 6,400 feet. Cost: $ 10 per night. For further information: Idyllwild Ranger Station, 909-382-2921.

• Pinyon Flat Campground: Located in the Santa Rosa Desert, with Palm Desert the nearest town. About 18 locations. Cost: $ 8 per night. Information: Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountain Monument Visitor Center, 760-862-9984.

• Thurman Plains Picnic Area: Located at 9025 Highway 38, Mentone, 92359, approximately 3.5 miles northeast of Mill Creek Ranger station. Good for picnicking, bird watching, walking. Features a large shade structure covering the picnic tables. Barbecues provided. For further information: Mill Creek Ranger Station, 909-382-2882.

These areas reopened on May 22: Barton Flats Campground, Big Pine Flat Family Campground, Crab Flats Family Campground, Dogwood Family Campground, Green Valley Family Campground, Hanna Flat Family Campground, Heart Bar Family Campground, Holcomb Valley Campground, Day Use Lake Jenks Region, North Shore Campground, Pineknot Family Campground, San Gorgonio Family Campground, Serrano Campground, South Fork Family Campground and Wildhorse Equestrian Campground.

The Forest Service reminds visitors to practice social distancing and to keep at least 6 feet from others and to refrain from congregating in groups. On a trail, visitors are encouraged to let others pass, and they are encouraged to wrap and remove trash.

For more information, visit the San Bernardino National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf.

Campsite reservations can be made at www.recreation.gov. Most regions require an Adventure Pass ($ 5 per day; $ 30 per year).


Sally J. Minick

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