SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — As the seasons change, campers in the San Jacinto Mountains are enjoying cooler temperatures and fall color. They may also notice new signs advising them of changes to come when they return next year: more online reservation opportunities for campsites.
To better prioritize staff time in the field, walk-in campsites will be converted to reservation-only at Marion Mountain, Fern Basin and Boulder Basin campgrounds, all which currently have a mix of walk-in and reservation sites.
The change will occur when the three campgrounds open for Memorial Day Weekend in 2019. Group campgrounds, like Black Mountain, are already reservation-only. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance on Recreation.gov.
Dark Canyon Campground will remain walk-in only, as well as Pinyon Flat Campground in the neighboring Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, which is co-managed by the U.S. Forest Service with the Bureau of Land Management.
The reduced time spent on fee compliance, collection, accounting and transferring federal money will enable staff to spend more time on public contacts, cleaning restrooms, emptying trash cans and addressing maintenance needs at campgrounds and in day use areas.
For the remainder of 2018, campground operations are continuing as normal. Fern Basin and Marion Mountain campgrounds close on November 12. Boulder Basin, Black Mountain and Dark Canyon campgrounds are already closed for the season.