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Mill Creek drainage, San Bernardino National Forest. San Gorgonio Mountain is the highest peak visible in the background.
San Bernardino National Forest
IUCN Category VI (Managed Resource Protected Area)
Map of the United States
Location San Bernardino / Riverside counties, California, USA
Nearest city San Bernardino, California
Coordinates 33°31′24″N 116°25′29″W / 33.52333°N 116.42472°W / 33.52333; -116.42472Coordinates: 33°31′24″N 116°25′29″W / 33.52333°N 116.42472°W / 33.52333; -116.42472
Area 671,686 acres (excluding inholdings)
Established 1907
Governing body USDA / U.S. Forest Service

San Bernardino National Forest is a federally-managed forest covering more than 800,000 acres (3,200 km²). There are two main divisions which are the San Bernardino Mountains on the easternmost of the Transverse Range, and the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains on the northernmost of the Peninsular Range. Elevations range from 2,000 to 11,499 feet (600 to 3505 m). The forest includes five wilderness areas: San Gorgonio, Cucamonga, San Jacinto, Santa Rosa and Bighorn Mountain. This National Forest is managed by the USDA Forest Service. Forest headquarters are located in the city of San Bernardino. The Forest Supervisor is currently Jeanne Wade Evans. There are local ranger district offices in Fontana, Idyllwild, and Skyforest.[1]

Part of the 1969 musical film Paint Your Wagon was shot here.



According to US Geological Survey maps of the Forest, it consists of two large areas or tracts: a northern and southern portion.

The west border of the Forest adjoins Angeles National Forest and runs north-south about ten miles west of Interstate 15. At its widest parts, the northern portion of the Forest runs about 57 miles (90 km) in an east-west dimension. It runs about 24 miles (40 km) in a north-south dimension. This portion of the forest encompasses the San Bernardino Mountains. The area has a west extent west of Mount San Antonio , and Wrightwood in San Bernardino County. Parts of the east extent of this portion extend about ten miles east of Big Bear City and include the San Gorgonio Wilderness. The most southern portion is bisected by the Riverside County line and abuts the Morongo Indian Reservation north of Cabazon.

At its widest point, the southern portion is about 27 miles (40 km) in a north-south dimension and about 30 miles (50 km) in an east-west dimension. Toro Peak, [2], and the Santa Rosa Indian Reservation are near the south extent. At the north is Snow Creek Village and the Morongo Indian Reservation. Out of the southern portion is carved Mount San Jacinto State Wilderness. The community of Idyllwild is surrounded by National Forest lands.

While most Forests include lumber resources, these two areas also include:

One of its best waterfalls is Bonita Falls.

Photo of Engine 57 before it was destroyed courtesy of US Forest Service.

The five-member crew of Alandale Forest Fire Station's Engine 57 was killed at the Esperanza Fire, November 26, 2006. The fire was located near Beaumont, California in Riverside County. Alandale station is located near the community of Idyllwild.

Firefighting aircraft operations

As of 2001, eight Air Tactical Group Supervisors (ATGSs) work out of the Forest Supervisor's Office in San Bernardino. This position requires completion of an 80 hour CDF/Forest Service attack management course. A Helicopter Coordinator (J-374) course is recommended. [4]


The forest contains an estimated 87,400 acres (354 km2) of old growth. The most common old-growth forest types are mixed conifer Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii), Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), and White Fir (Abies concolor) forests, Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi) forests, and Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) forests[5 ].


  1. ^ USFS Ranger Districts by State
  2. ^ NAD27 coordinates 33°31′24″N 116°25′29″W / 33.52333°N 116.42472°W / 33.52333; -116.42472
  3. ^ a b Anthony, Craig E., Unit Chief, Riverside Unit Fire Management Plan 2005, (Perris, California: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Riverside Unit, 2005.)
  4. ^ Region 5 Air Tactical and Forest Aviation Management Program: Strategic Plan, Fiscal Year 2002, (San Francisco: USDA, US Forest Service Region 5, 2001).
  5. ^ Warbington, Ralph; Beardsley, Debby (2002), 2002 Estimates of Old Growth Forests on the 18 National Forests of the Pacific Southwest Region, United States Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region,  

External links



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