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Barton Flats Recreation Area

San Bernardino National Forest

San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California

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Barton Flats Recreation Area

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  • Barton Flats Recreation Area Visitor Center.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • Barton Flats Recreation Area Visitor Center.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • Picnic area at Barton Flats Recreation Area Visitor Center.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • Picnic area at Barton Flats Recreation Area Visitor Center.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • Restroom facilities at the Barton Flats Recreation Area Visitor Center.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • Guard Station at Barton Flats.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • Grayback Amphitheater.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • View of Sugarloaf Mountain (9,952 ft) from South Fork Campground.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • South Fork Campground.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • Lobo Group Camp.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • Restroom and shower facilities at Barton Flats Campground.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • Double campsite at Barton Flats Campground.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • Barton Flats Campground.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • Typical campsite at San Gorgonio Campground.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
  • San Gorgonio Campground.- Barton Flats Recreation Area
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Numerous public campgrounds, group camps, and private camps. Jenks Lake. Access to San Gorgonio Wilderness.
Cons: 
Very heavily used area during summer.
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Region:
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
California Adventure Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Even though this area experiences heavy traffic during peak summertime weekends, it’s more often than not a preferred choice for recreationalists over the extremely well traveled Big Bear Lake.

Situated within the San Bernardino National Forest, Barton Flats Recreation Area is a gateway into the wild and beautiful San Gorgonio Wilderness area and the newly designated Sands to Snow National Monument. It’s just a short 1.5-hour drive from Los Angeles and a mere 40 miles from Redlands. Most stop in Redlands for provisions, fishing licenses and supplies, though Big Bear is much closer.

The Barton Flats Visitor Center is a worthy stop—knowledgeable rangers abound and are friendly when answering questions about the area. Members of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association are constantly developing and presenting programs for children and adults alike, the most popular being the astronomy class. Be sure to inquire about nature walks if you care to learn more about the surrounding flora and fauna.

For those hoping to spend some time exploring, Jenks Lake is one of the most popular destinations within the recreational area. It’s stocked with trout during the spring and summertime, and it has plenty of amenities to make a lakeside day comfortable and enjoyable.

Barton Flats Recreation Area, and Jenks Lake specifically, is an excellent place to go see fall color. Black oak, creek dogwood, chokecherry, Rocky Mountain maple, bigleaf maple, white alder, black cottonwood and Frémont cottonwood trees are all dramatic additions to a fall color palette, and the short 1-mile hike from Barton Flats Campground around part of Jenks Lake provides the perfect sampling.

Planning to stay overnight? Barton Flats, Lobo - Oso, San Gorgonio, and Heart Bar Campgrounds are all great options and come packed full of amenities like fire pits and grills, hot showers, and flush toilets. Wildhorse Family Equestrian Campground is choice for anyone bringing horses along. Most of these campgrounds are only open from mid-May through the end of September, so be sure to call 877.444.6777 for seasonal specific open/close dates. Also note that because of recent drought, there are intense fire restrictions in place during periods of hot weather. 

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(26 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(46 within a 30 mile radius)

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