Mount San Jacinto State Park is located in the San Jacinto Mountains and can be reached via Highway 243 from Idyllwild (CA) or by tram from Palm Springs. Elevation in the 14,000 acre park ranges from 6,000 to the 11,000 feet peak of Mt. San Jacinto, the 2nd highest point in southern California. The park’s granite peaks, sub-alpine forests and mountain meadows offer visitors a primitive high-country experience with many hiking trails and spectacular views. The park offers 4 developed campgrounds and several hike-in camping locations (wilderness camping permit required).
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, one of the largest and longest single-lift tramways in the world, carries passengers 2.5 miles from the Valley Station in Chino Canyon to Mountain Station, on the edge of the Mount San Jacinto State Wilderness. After a lift of nearly 6,000 feet, visitors can explore the alpine forest and hike trails of varying difficulty.
Dark Canyon campground is one of four developed campgrounds in Mount San Jacinto State Park. The campground is found at remote forested area at an elevation of about 5,800 feet. Located next to a small mountain stream (access prohibited to protect the endangered mountain yellow-legged frog), the campground has 17 (multiple single-family) sites for tent and small RV camping. All sites are equipped with tables, campfire rings and grills. Mature cedar and pine trees provide ample shade and privacy between campsites. It provides access to a number of hiking trails including Azalea Trails G.S.C. and Seven Pines Trail (3.8 mile loop).
Amenities & Services
Season: Late May through early September.
Dark Canyon Campground Best Campsites: 18 and 20.
25905 Highway 243 Idyllwild
Dark Canyon Campground
From Banning, California, turn right onto 8th Street, then left on Lincoln Street, then right on San Gorgonio Avenue, which turns into Highway 243. Continue south on Highway 243 for approximately 20 miles, just past the Alandale Fire Station. Then turn left at Azalea Trails Road/Stone Creek Campground Road and continue for 2.5 miles.