Dark Canyon Campground San Bernardino National Forest California

25905 Highway 243
Idyllwild, California 92549
(909) 382-2921
Lat / Long:

33.80361, -116.73111

Dark Canyon Campground has 15 campsites for tents, trailers and small RVs and is located hear the town of Idyllwild in the San Bernardino National Forest. All campsites are first-come, first-serve. The North Fork of the San Jacinto River (more like a creek) is also located next to the campground. The campground is first-come, first-serve.

Dark Canyon opens toward the end of May and closes mid September.  Amenities include paved parking spurs, drinking water and vault toilets. Each campsite also has a table, fire ring and grill.

Other campgrounds in the area include Stone Creek (50 campsites), Idyllwild (34 campsites), Fern Basin (24 campsites) and Marion Mountain  (24 campsites).

Dark Canyon – Area Recreation

There are many trails in the area and hikers can access San Jacinto Mountain (the 2nd highest point in Southern California). The granite peaks, sub-alpine forests and mountain meadows offer visitors a primitive high-country experience. Other outdoor activities include biking, picnicking and fishing. Wildlife viewing is also nice here.


First Come, First Served

Best Campsites

3, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13

Campsite Types
  • ADA
  • RV
  • Tent
  • Trailer

Late May – Late September



# of Campsites:


  • BBQ Grills
  • Campsite Tables
  • Drinking Water
  • Equestrian trail
  • Fire Rings
  • Grills
  • Pets OK
  • Picnic Tables
  • Restrooms (Vault Toilets)
  • Backpacking
  • Bird Watching
  • Climbing
  • Creek
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain Biking
  • Nature Trails
  • Photography
  • Stargazing
  • Walking Trails
  • Wilderness Area
  • Wildlife Viewing

Dark Canyon Photos

Dark Canyon Comments & Reviews

Visited Dark Canyon Campground lately? We'd love to hear about your adventure. Did you find us useful? Did we forget something? Anything our community should know before heading out to Dark Canyon?

5 Replies to “Dark Canyon”

  1. can we have a fire, this month? We’ll be there the tenth thru the 16th.

    • We loved it last year, we we’re there around September month. Very enjoyable and quiet, and peaceful. Coming back this next week. spending an entire week up there this time. Yay, it’s my vacation time. Chose Black Canyon for rest, and peace of mind with Nature.

    • Hi Annette,
      Dark Canyon Campground does allow fires in the campsites (fire rings) – fire restrictions permitting. You should contact the San Jacinto District Ranger office at (909) 382-2921 to check on fire restrictions.

  2. Vicki Cameron says:

    I use to camp at dark canyon when I was a kid would like to camp there again could you please let me know when it will be open again
    Thank you Vicki

    • Hi Vicki,
      Agreed – Dark Canyon is a really special campground/location. We’re hoping it opens soon. We were just up there last week to check and it’s still closed. Last we heard that it probably won’t open until 2022 season.

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