Yellow post campsites are unique to San Bernardino National Forest. Each campsite is limited to one camp only, which is defined as being no more than two vehicles and no more than eight persons. They are first-come-first-serve, and are marked by a yellow post along the roadway. You can stay at a yellow post campsite for no longer than 14 days. They are totally free, but have no hookups, and generally no other amenities aside from a firering and picnic table.
Thomas Mountain is located within the San Bernardino National Forest, San Jacinto Ranger District. There are twelve “yellow post campsites” located along Thomas Mountain Rd (Forest Road 6S13), and we camped for 11 days at Campsite #1.
What makes these sites so great is that each one is limited to one camp, meaning once you get settled into one, there are no neighbors to deal with. Most of these sites are spaced pretty far apart.
The first of these sites is located just a 1/4 mile from Highway 74, just far enough to reduce road noise, yet still be within good Verizon 4G signal. The stand of pines in this campsite offers enough coverage from the highway. Of the twelve yellow post campsites along Thomas Mountain Rd, this is the only one accessible to larger RVs. The other sites are located much further along Thomas Mountain Rd, which requires four wheel drive and high clearance to get through.
Forest rangers do visit this campsite every few days just to remind you of the current fire restrictions and make sure you’re doing fine. They’re pretty cool with you as long as you respect the forest and the campsite, and seem more than happy to help you out.
Our 28 foot toy hauler was able to make it into this site despite the bumpy, rutted dirt road. Our trailer has low ground clearance, so I was cautious of my path into the campsite. Along the road was a rather large puddle of water. I was worried that my pickup truck would get stuck considering it’s only 2WD. But I found the ground underneath the water still firm, and just accelerated through while pulling the trailer.
While we were there it actually snowed. We stayed there from late January into early February, 2019. A cold storm moved in. Temperatures dropped into the 20s. Elevation at this campsite is 4,500 feet. If you’re running a generator, you should adjust the air intake on the carburetor, if it offers such an adjustment.
Yellow Post Campsite #1 offers a lot of peace and quiet. You’ll hear a variety of birds and see rabbits and squirrels carrying about their day. I did see several freshly made deer tracks too, but didn’t see who made them. We had hoped to hear coyotes or wolves singing at night, but none were to be heard. There aren’t any hiking trails at this site, but you could certainly hike up Thomas Mountain Rd.
An RV dump station is at Lake Hemet Campground, just a mile away for $10.00. It does not have potable water, however they will let you pull into a campsite and fill with water there. They also have propane tank refilling too. Lake Hemet also has a small market for basic supplies.
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