We had the most wonderful time this past Saturday exploring Barton Flats Campground in the San Bernardino Mountains. If you are nearby this is definitely a must place to visit, even if just for a day trip.
I love that we live in a city where we can wake up in the morning to go to Soccer team assessment and then to ballet class and then just two hours later we can end up deep in the mountains surrounded by the most beautiful trees away from all traffic and noise. I just love it!
We ended up at this particular camp ground because my husband wants us to do a camping trip with the girls soon but this time tenting it versus renting an RV like we did at Shaver Lake. Once you get past the unavoidable traffic of the 91 Freeway and into the mountains it’s impossible to carry with you the busyness of city lifestyle, you’re instantly swept away by the majestic beauty of nature and all its serenity.
There’s a great visitor center once you arrive at Barton Flats and the volunteers there were so helpful. They gave each of our girls a little bag with some Smokey the Bear stickers, pencil, and information booklet on bugs and insects. The girls were thrilled!
Then the volunteer asked us if we wanted to see a really cool tree. As we got close to this Jeffrey Pine she told us to smell it and oh my goodness I kid you not I can still remember the smell so clearly. This deliciously soft vanilla / butterscotch scent filled my senses! I would go back again to that place just for that sensation alone!
Since it was early afternoon and the gates didn’t close until 4:30pm we decided to do Jenks Lake Trail. The girls as you can see were super excited to be here and get started on some exploring.
You can start the trail itself to the right of the gate / parking lot at the visitor center. It’s about one mile long and basically uphill zigzagging but not not steep or difficult.
This hike is absolutely kid friendly! Our girls are 6 1/2 and 3 1/2 and they did great. They had a moment about a 1/4 mile before we reached the lake where they said they were tired and so we took a little break and then my husband carried our little one for a short distance while I gave our older girl a piggy back ride. We maybe carried them this way for like 5 minutes. We saw a lot of other parents with younger kids also.
The great thing is there is plenty of shade throughout the trail and we also had a really nice breeze going. The girls loved jumping over the rocks in this little creek area.
Once we made it to the lake we saw there was a group of fathers there with their sons doing some fishing. They were there as part of Calvary Chapel Anaheim. It’s also a dog friendly trail so there were families there with their pooches which made our girls real happy. Elysse loves to point out every single dog she wants when she gets older.
After we got back to the visitor center we drove around three of the camp grounds to check out the sites and make a note of some of our favorite sites for when we decide to book our reservation.
By then it was just past 5pm and we were all hungry so we found this restaurant at Seven Oaks Mountain Resort just 10 minutes from Barton Flats which had delicious food.
It turned out to be such a wonderful day trip and my husband said it best ‘this makes me so happy’. Being outdoors like that and just enjoying the time together truly is our happy place.