Barton Flats, Angelus Oaks, California

The San Bernardino National Forest holds a slew of campgrounds operated by the US Forest Service. We always enjoy the simplicity of the USFS run campgrounds, and Barton Flats is no exception to that. With unforeseen changes to our summer plans, we snagged a last minute campsite at Barton Flats over the 4th of July. We meandered up this less known mountain highway that serves as a back entry into Big Bear Lake, a more popular destination. Angelus Oaks is a teeny, tiny little blip with very few amenities and spotted with cabins and camps. We pulled into Barton Flats easily and noted campers of all types; big rigs to tents. The campground is typical of USFS campgrounds with paved interior roads and site pads, fire rings, picnic tables, bear lockers, and fairly spacious sites. Restrooms are also available on site. Some sites are more wooded, while others are sunnier and less private. Our site pictured here
was nice as it was spacious, but the highway was about a quarter mile beyond the trees, keeping us from truly enjoying the sounds of the forest. I searched the dual loops several times for best and worst sites and determined that there really are no sites here that are better than others, with the exception of site 52 which is close to restrooms and the trash. Lots of little critters call this place home too; squirrels, chipmunks and blue jays were spotted repeatedly. All sites here are level and easy to back into. Friendly camp hosts came around to check us in and told us that this is referred to as the "side of the mountain no one knows about." A few hiking trails leave from camp. One, the Jenks Lake Trail, is clearly marked at the entrance of camp and will take you to beautiful Jenks Lake. Others crest the mountains to offer views of the surrounding areas. If you are a geocacher, several rarely visited caches are in the area to hunt down. Due to an elevation of nearly 7,000 feet, this campground closes in winter due to snow and freezing conditions.

Best Sites: All
Poor Sites: 52
Hookups: None
Potable Water: Yes
Dump Within Facility: Yes (fee)