Crystal Lake Rec Area Campground
Be sure to check the Alerts & Conditions webpage for any additional updates about the status of the campground, as well as fire and trail restrictions.
General Camping Info: Find helpful guidance and tips for an enjoyable trip to the forest!
Know Fire & Other Restrictions Before You Go!: These conditions can affect your entire trip. For example, Extreme and Critical fire use restrictions mean no campfires and no portable cooking systems/stoves. Bring cold food and no S'mores.
Be Bear Aware!: Bear safety is critical, for the safety of your group and/or you, as well as our bears. Help keep bears wild by following these tips.
Location: Outdoor adventures lie around every corner--including hikes to spectacular peaks of Mt. Islip and Windy Gap--or fishing in Crystal Lake (which is a mile-long hike from the campground).
Elevation: 5,539-feet in elevation
- Visitor Center is open on weekends 9:00 A.M.- 4:00 P.M. (only Adventure passes sold here, no Interagency passes. Cash only.)
- Total of 50 campsites with picnic tables spread through Loops A-D + I
- Four loops (A-D) of campsites
- Vault toilets (permanent non-flush/waterless toilets)
- Maximum RV length is 22 feet--no hook-ups
- Drinking water and water for washing your hands is available via outdoor faucets in Loops A, B, C, & D in front of the Crystal Lake Café
- Campsites are first-come - first-served
- Nearby Crystal Lake Cafe sells hot meals, sandwiches, and camping necessities, including firewood. Crystal Lake Café and General Store hours are Wed. - Mon. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays. Open on major holidays.
- Access road to lake is OPEN to vehicle traff
- Visitor center open on weekends (next to cafe) from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- No swimming
- No camping at the lake
Camping Fee: $12 per night per site, $5 for extra vehicle
Day-Use Fee: $5 per vehicle. Adventure Pass or America the Beautiful Pass is required for day use and for vehicles parked outside the campground.
Fishing: CA State fishing license required
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||The Campground loops for camping A, B, C, D, and I are now OPEN for camping.|
|Operational Hours:||Open for day-use only at Fawnskin Picnic Area. Camping is available in Loops A, B, C, D and I. During winter months, campsite access is walk-in only and drive-in during the summer.|
|Reservations:||First-come, first-served only.|
|Fees:||$5 for day use. Camping: $12 for first vehicle and $5 for second vehicle per day/night during the summer; $5 per vehicle during the winter.|
|Restrictions:||See current fire restrictions|
|Water:||Yes for summer; No for Winter|
|Passes:||Information & Pass Sale|
|Operated By:||Forest Service|
|Information Center:||Visitor Center is open on weekends 8:30 A.M.- 4:00 P.M. (only Adventure passes sold here, no Interagency passes. Cash only). For other office info, visit Information & Pass Sales.|
Crystal Lake Recreation Area Campground is located at the top of HWY 39 (mile marker 38.13).
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
|No. of Sites||36 sites|
|No. of Accessible sites||None|
Alerts & Warnings
- NEW! Office Updates - Need Info or Passes?
- Forest Service Road Closures
- Additional Damage to Roads/Trails Due to Tropical Storm Hilary
- Fire Danger: HIGH
- Temporary Closures (Bobcat Fire)
- Driving to the Forest?
- Advisory: Hiking at High Elevations
- Planning to Camp? (Stay Limits & Dispersed Camping Restrictions)