The Reserve is closed to the public and the entrance gate remains locked at all times. The lock combination is provided to users upon approval of their reservation for use of the Reserve. The Reserve office, located in Trailfinder’s Lodge, is usually staffed from 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday and on weekends by appointment. All users need to check in at the Reserve Office upon arrival.
About halfway up the western slopes of the 3,294 m (10,831 ft) Mt. San Jacinto peak, the James Reserve is ideally situated to investigate this fascinating range of mountains. The James, though small (12 ha, 29 acres), is imbedded in a remote wilderness setting, surrounded entirely by the San Bernardino National Forest. The nearest services are 7 miles away. There are no public utilities except for telephone. We produce our own electricity with solar photovoltaic panels and a propane generator. There is also a well on site with 10,000 gallons of water storage. Because we are “off the grid”, power, heat, and water are very limited and we ask users to observe sound conservation practices.
The James Reserve has facilities that include three dorm-style cabins, a dorm-style lodge, a private cabin (800 sq. ft.) and campgrounds. In total, there are 70 beds with access to indoor toilets and fully equipped kitchens. Oasis de los Osos has no facilities but permits primitive camping. Trailfinder Lodge Lab-dormitory complex accommodates thirty people in two bedrooms and two dorm-style rooms; a main room for dining and meetings; a fully equipped kitchen with a four burner stove and refrigerator; two bathrooms with showers; a wood stove and additional gas heating. Three newly constructed cabins can house forty additional people (one large cabin with 20 beds and 2 smaller cabins, each with 10 beds). The cabins have fully-equipped kitchens and bathrooms with showers. In addition, there is a tent camping area that can accommodate 4-5 tents. Other resources include wifi, several weather stations, vertebrate study skins, herbarium, insect collection, and trail system. We do not have a caterer or cleaning staff and so the James operates on a “pack in-pack out” basis. Come prepared to do your own cooking and cleaning up when you leave.
Resident staff live on-site, and are available for assistance. Roads are plowed during the winter, but we highly recommend calling ahead for road conditions. The California Highway Patrol requires that you always carry snow chains during the winter months (James Reserve weather conditions and forecast)