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Camping In Idyllwild

Small Campgrounds
These are developed campgrounds with 25 sites or less. For the camper who wants a campground without the crowds. Most of these campgrounds are low cost ($10) or even FREE of charge. Some are on narrow side roads, well off the highways & may require a good map. Fire rings, picnic tables & pit / vault toilets are usually provided.

REI ecoSensitive: Take it Easy on Mother Nature 
Buy from REI here, before you get up here,
and help support the site too.

Primitive Camping

These include undeveloped & partially developed camp areas with dispersed remote camping. For the self-contained camper who wants some seclusion. The "yellow-post" fire safe areas in Southern Calif. National Forest Lands are among these listed. Back roads to privacy - many dirt roads lead the avid camper to out-of-the-way sites. Most National Forest Lands let you camp almost anywhere with a fire permit. Sites may have picnic tables & fire rings, but usually NO toilets. Some sites may be as bare as a rock fire ring in a small clearing. A detailed backcountry map is advised. A high clearance vehicle/sport utility vehicle (SUV) is sometimes needed to reach these wilderness roads/camping spots. Check with the ranger station for road conditions and Permits & Passes needed.

 

Small Campgrounds

Dark Canyon; Number of Sites: 22 Elevation: 5,800; Vegetation: Pines; Toilet: None; Water: Piped; Fee: $10 [Creek-side camping] Idyllwild 7 miles north on Hwy.243, right turn onto Forest Service Rd.#4S02 & continue 3 mles down to the campground. Open April-October

Fern Basin; Number of Sites: 22; Elevation: 6,300; Vegetation: Pines; Toilet: Vaulted; Water: Piped; Fee: $10; [Creek-side camping] Idyllwild 7 miles north on Hwy.243, right turn onto Forest Service Rd.#4S02 & continue 1 mile to the campground. Open April- October

Marion Mountain; Number of Sites: 24; Elevation: 6,400; Vegetation: Pines; Toilet: Vaulted; Water: Piped; Fee: $10; [near Mount San Jacinto State Park] Idyllwild 7 miles north on Hwy.243, right turn onto Forest Service Rd.#4S02 & continue 2 miles to the campground. Open April- October

Primitive Camping

 

Thomas Mountain; Number of Sites: 6; Elevation: 6,800; Vegetation: Pines; Toilet: None; Water: None; Fee: $0; [Good mountain back road exploration & pretty secluded spots] Hwy.74 east, pass Lake Hemet, right turn onto Forest Service Rd.#6S13 for 4 miles & left on Forest Service Rd.#5S13 & go 3 miles to the camping area.

Boulder Basin; Number of Sites: Few; Elevation: 6,500; Vegetation: Pines; Toilet: None; Water: None; Fee: $0; [Good mountain. Back road exploration & pretty secluded spots] Idyllwild 9 miles north on Hwy.243, right turn onto Forest Service Rd.#4S01.

Camp Fire Permits

California suffers numerous wildfires every year. Please don't be the cause of one. Campfire permits are issued at no charge to insure fire restrictions are followed correctly.

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