Winter Camping Adventure
It was time to plan a getaway. A trip to just unwind, relax, and enjoy the tranquility of nature. Since we had just been to the desert for back-to-back Open Road 4Two adventures, we decided to make a trip up to our local mountains. It was our mission to try and snag an ever elusive Yellow Post camping site that we had missed on a previous camping excursion.
We packed up our Tacoma, Sake, and headed up the mountain around noon. Since it was Sunday we knew that the weekend traffic heading down the mountain would be crazy. Sure enough, we encountered a long line of cars slowly making their way back down the hill. With all the traffic leaving the area, we grew increasingly optimistic the backroads would be relatively quiet and we'd find an open Yellow Post.
The section of the San Bernardino National Forest near Big Bear Lake, CA has a total of 13 Yellow Post Camping spots. These spots are FREE and are on a first-come-first-serve basis, no reservations needed, required, or allowed. Each individual site has a maximum limit of 8 people. The camping locations are designated by a "yellow post" with its designated site number. Each site usually includes a picnic table and a fire ring. There are no bathroom facilities and/or water available so be sure to pack some of your own.
Given the night time temperatures in the area drop below freezing, having a fire pit is a must when winter camping. A self made ground rock fire pit is not allowed and you must have a California Campfire Permit to build an approved fire. A campfire permit may be obtained at the following link, its free and easy to apply for one. Please note that the permit is also required when using portable stoves. Also, check for any current fire restrictions with the Big Bear Discovery Center.
As we hit our dirt trail, it seemed like we may have missed any chance to have some fun in the snow, as it had been a few weeks since we had any significant snow in the area. However as we made our way further down the trail, patches of snow came into sight. The area had received quite a few inches of snow from the last storm, so were happy that there was still areas on the shady side of the mountain. Luck was also on our side as we snagged our preferred yellow post spot. This particular campsite is perched on top of a ridge just 100 yards from the main road. It was free from snow in and around the campsite which we appreciated; however, the surrounding areas had plenty to enjoy.
Since we had a late lunch, consisting of veggie burritos, there would be no need to make a big camp meal. This trip we enjoyed a good old fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich! With the sun setting and the temperature quickly dropping we made sure to stoke our fire to keep us warm. We spent the rest of the time enjoying the beautiful sunset, sipping our favorite beverages, and having a heart-felt campfire conversation.
With the wind picking up, we extinguished our fire and retreated to the roof top tent to watch a movie. To take the sting out of the cold, we turned on our most recent winter camping accessory, a heated blanket. It made us feel extra toasty in our tent. Minus a few major gusts of wind, that we joked felt like Big Foot shaking the tent, we had a restful evening. The next morning we enjoyed a quick cup of coffee, packed up camp, and hit some of the roads for some light snow wheeling.
To enjoy our full winter camping adventure, check out our video below. Please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel, its FREE!
Until the next adventure, we'll see you down the Open Road!