Discovering Council Group Campground: Essential Tips, Strategies, and Gear Recommendations for an Unforgettable Retreat

Nestled in the serene San Bernardino National Forest, Council Group Campground offers a haven for campers seeking a tranquil escape, just 35 miles east of San Bernardino. Before you embark on your camping journey, familiarize yourself with these vital tips, strategies, and gear recommendations to make the most of your experience in this pine forest retreat.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for First-time Campers:

  • Group Coordination: As Council Group Campground accommodates up to 50 people and 10 vehicles, efficient group coordination is essential. Plan and assign responsibilities in advance to ensure a smooth camping experience for everyone.
  • Minimum Stay Planning: Be mindful of the campground’s 2-day minimum stay on weekends and 3 days on holiday weekends. Strategically plan your activities to make the most of your extended camping duration.
  • Boating Etiquette: If you’re planning on enjoying the still waters of Jenks Lake, remember that only non-motorized boats are permitted. Pack accordingly and embrace the tranquility of paddling on the lake.
  • Pet Protocol: Ensure a hassle-free experience by keeping pets on a leash and attended at all times. Familiarize yourself with the campground’s pet policy and maintain a respectful environment for fellow campers.
  • Explore Surrounding Trails: Take advantage of the Rio Monte Trail and Jenks Lake Trail, both accessible from the campground. Immerse yourself in nature by exploring these nearby trails offering diverse landscapes and scenic views.

Top Strategies for an Optimal Camping Experience:

  • Ideal Camping Season: Plan your visit between late March and mid-November to enjoy the campground at its peak. This timeframe ensures favorable weather conditions, providing an optimal environment for camping and exploration.
  • Reservation Advantage: Given the campground’s popularity, consider making reservations between 24 hours and 12 months in advance of your arrival date. This strategic move secures your spot, especially during peak camping seasons.
  • Early Arrival Planning: Arrive at the campground early in the day to secure the best campsite and make the most of your time. Early arrivals provide ample opportunities to set up, explore, and enjoy the surroundings before nightfall.
  • Night Sky Delight: Take advantage of the campground’s elevation and designated quiet hours from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM for unparalleled stargazing. Embrace the tranquility of the forest under the night sky for a peaceful and mesmerizing experience.
  • Seasonal Festivities: If visiting in mid-August, participate in the annual Forest Festival at the nearby Barton Flats Visitor Center. Immerse yourself in nature walks, interpretive programs, and an astronomy program for added enjoyment.

Recommended Camping Gear:

  • Cooking Grills: Given the excellent group amenities, consider bringing additional portable cooking grills to accommodate the size of your group. This ensures efficient meal preparation and adds to the overall camping experience.
  • Campfire Essentials: Enhance your evenings by bringing firewood for the provided fire rings. Enjoy the warmth of a campfire while sharing stories and creating lasting memories with your fellow campers.
  • Water Filtration System: Carry a reliable water filtration system to ensure a safe and sufficient water supply. This is crucial for staying hydrated, especially during outdoor activities and hikes.
  • Comfortable Seating: Opt for portable and comfortable camping chairs to make your campsite more inviting. Lightweight and easily transportable, these chairs are perfect for relaxing by the fire or stargazing.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Elevate your camping experience by exploring our gearlist account. Uncover specific recommendations on camp cooking, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing tailored to optimize your Council Group Campground adventure.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we use for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Council Group Campground, surrounded by the beauty of the San Bernardino National Forest, invites campers to immerse themselves in nature and create unforgettable memories. Utilize these tips and gear recommendations to make the most of your visit, whether you’re seeking relaxation, outdoor adventures, or the camaraderie of group camping.