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Camping at Pineknot Campground

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Overview of Pineknot Campground

Pineknot Campground is a popular camping destination located within the San Bernardino National Forest near Big Bear Lake, California. It is situated at an elevation of 6,900 feet, which provides a cool escape from the lower elevations during the summer months. The campground is nestled in a forested area, offering a picturesque setting with access to a variety of outdoor activities.

Reservations and Fees


  • Reservations for Pineknot Campground can be made online through the National Recreation Reservation System (Recreation.gov) or by calling their toll-free number. It is advisable to book well in advance, especially for peak season weekends and holidays.
  • Some sites may be available on a first-come, first-served basis, but securing a reservation is generally recommended.


  • Camping fees are charged per night and typically vary depending on the type of campsite and amenities provided.
  • There may also be additional fees for extra vehicles, and these are subject to change, so it's best to confirm the current rates when making reservations or before arrival.

Facilities and Amenities


  • Pineknot Campground offers several campsites suitable for tent, trailer, and RV camping, though RV hookups are not available.
  • Sites usually include amenities such as a picnic table, campfire ring, and grill.

General Amenities:

  • The campground provides basic amenities such as flush toilets and drinking water.


  • Some campsites and facilities are designed to be accessible to visitors with disabilities.

Activities and Recreation

  • Hiking: There are numerous trails accessible from the campground, catering to all levels of hikers. One popular nearby trail is the Pineknot Trail, offering scenic views and a moderate hike.
  • Biking: Mountain biking is a popular activity in the area, with trails suitable for various skill levels.
  • Fishing: Big Bear Lake, a short drive from the campground, is known for excellent fishing opportunities, particularly for trout.
  • Boating: The lake provides boating amenities, though you will need to check local marinas for rental information and launching conditions.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, squirrels, and possibly even bears; always observe wildlife from a safe distance and follow bear safety guidelines.

Essential Tips and Regulations

Fire Safety:

  • Campfires are usually permitted in provided fire rings, but there may be fire restrictions during dry conditions. Always check current fire regulations and have a valid California campfire permit when required.

Wilderness Protection:

  • Follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize impact on the natural environment.
  • Dispose of garbage properly and secure food from wildlife, particularly bears.


  • Pets are typically allowed but must be on a leash and under control at all times.

Quiet Hours:

  • Observe quiet hours as stipulated, which are usually from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

Check-In and Check-Out:

  • Be mindful of check-in and check-out times to ensure smooth transitions for all campers.

Before embarking on your trip to Pineknot Campground, it's crucial to check the latest information as conditions and regulations can change. Always consult the United States Forest Service (USFS) or the campground's official information sources for up-to-date details and alerts.

Location of Pineknot Campground
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