Situated among tall, shady pines in the Barton Flats Recreation Area within San Bernardino National Forest, Lobo – Oso provides a welcome respite from the California summer heat and is an excellent getaway for very large groups.
Both sites located at the campground can comfortably host up to 75 people and come equipped with amenities like multiple tables, a campfire circle with a number of surrounding benches and grills, well-maintained vault toilets, and potable water. Though there are no utility hookups, there is plenty of space for several RVs.
Nearby Jenks Lake, though small, is a great place for visitors to take non-motorized boats and fishing rods. It’s stocked with rainbow trout, and fishermen can also possibly hook into largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, and catfish. For those that prefer river fishing, the famed Santa Ana River is also accessible from the campground and is an excellent place to cast flies for trout.
Several hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails are just steps away from the campground. This includes the Santa Ana River Trail, which, after weaving through the San Bernardino National Forest, finds its terminus at the Pacific Ocean. The nearby Rio Monte Trail also spurs off of the campground and leads hikers to the Rio Monte Panorama, and along with it, sweeping views of the deep gorge of the Santa Ana River Valley.
This area has been receiving tons of attention and notoriety lately after President Obama signed a proclamation declaring the Sand to Snow National Monument in February 2016. In addition to a significant Native American and pioneering history, this 154,000-acre swath of land now protects 12 species of endangered wildlife as well as over 240 different species of migrating birds. True to its name, a long enough jaunt through the national monument will take visitors from lowland Mojave and Colorado deserts to alpine conifer forests, and that’s not to mention riparian forests, creosote bush scrub and woodlands, freshwater marshes, and Mediterranean chaparral found in between.
Note: Lobo - Oso Group Camps are typically open from the end of April through the end of September. For specific seasonal dates, call San Bernardino National Forest Headquarters at 909.382.2600.