Dark Canyon Campground

San Jacinto Mountains

San Jacinto Mountains

San Jacinto Mountains
Attractions and Activities

The San Jacinto Mountains provide great outdoor experiences year-round.

  • Birders look for Steller's jays, mountain chickadees, Clark's nutcrackers, red crossbills and others.
  • Hiking and horseback riding on mountain trails
  • Visit the Idyllwild Nature Center
  • Join a guided tour in Mount San Jacinto State Park
  • Take the Panorama Point Trail Interpretive Audio Tour
  • Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
  • Children ages 7 to 12 participate in the Junior Ranger Program in the state park.
  • Make the arduous hike to the summit of San Jacinto Peak. (best in spring or fall)
  • Watch for wildlife such as raccoons, weasels, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and perhaps even a bear or bighorn sheep
  • Winter cross-country skiing

Key Dark Canyon Campground Regulations

  1. Dogs must be kept on leash and attended at all times.
  2. Confine campfires to the provided fire pits. Fire restrictions may be imposed at any time due to hot, dry weather conditions.
  3. Obtain firewood locally to avoid bringing in pests.

Dark Canyon Campground

Dark Canyon Campground is in the San Jacinto Mountains and the San Bernardino National Forest north of Idyllwild. Activities in the area include mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, and ATV/OHV riding. Wonderful views of the area can be achieved from the summits of nearby peaks.

Dark Canyon Campground has 17 campsites in a forested setting. The San Jacinto River passes next to the campground, but access is restricted in order to protect the yellow-legged frog.

Campground Basics
Location: Azalia Trail Road, off Highway 243, 5 miles north of Idyllwild
Elevation: 5,800 feet
Mileage from Gateway Cities: Riverside - 55 miles
San Diego - 119 miles
Campground Open: Late May through early September
Number of Sites: 17
Max. People per Site: 8 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 1 vehicle and 1 towed vehicle, ($5 for other vehicles)
Pets: On leash, always attended
San Jacinto Ranger District: (909) 382-2921

Reservations available whenever campground is open; a few sites are first come, first served
Booking Window: Reservations can be made from 3 days up to 6 months in advance of arrival date.
Maximum RV/Trailer Length: 17 feet
Wheelchair Accessible Sites: None designated
Fees: $12 per night
Reservations: Contact the Idyllwild Ranger Station at 909-382-2921 or 909-382-2922
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, 1:00 PM

Dark Canyon Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, fire ring with grills, food storage boxes; no hook-ups
Campground: Vault toilets, piped water
Showers: No
Dump Station: No
Nearby attractions: Seven Pines Trail leading to wilderness camps and on to San Jacinto Peak,
Mount San Jacinto State Park and its Panorama Point Trail (universal access, 1-mile loop to scenic viewpoint),
Black Mountain Scenic Area,
Lake Fulmor Picnic Area and trail,
Pacific Crest Trail,
Idyllwild Nature Center,
Humber Park, Devil's Slide Trail to Tahquitz Peak,
Indian Mountain OHV Trail

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