Nestled in the beautiful San Bernardino National Forest and at the foot of the San Gorgonio Wilderness, YMCA Camp Arbolado is a Year-Round Wilderness Retreat that has brought and created friends together for exceptional outdoor experiences since 1925.
Located just 90 minutes from Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego counties, YMCA Camp Arbolado is ready and excited to design a Wilderness Week or Weekend Experience that fits your specific needs.
The Story of YMCA Camp Arbolado
YMCA Camp Arbolado’s roots began way back in the early 1920s when the YMCA of Greater Whittier decided to expand its activities by acquiring a lease from the US Forest Service in Big Tujunga Canyon (near Pasadena) for a camp.
Severe drought forced moving the camp to the Barton Flats area of the San Bernardino Mountains in April of 1925, where it occupied portions on both sides of Barton Creek and was bound on the north side by the old State Highway 28. The camp name was changed to Arbolado, a Spanish word meaning “wooded” or tree-covered.”
Shortly before 1932, the camp had to relocate again since the site was to be used for improving and widening State Highway 38. Camp Arbolado was formally moved in 1932 to its 16-acre present-day location, north of State Highway 38 and just across the highway from the Barton Flats US Forestry ranger station.
YMCA Camp Arbolado has made a positive difference in the lives of countless youth and adults for over 80 years. It’s rich history and legacy lives on in those who have walked its grounds and their children’s children.
A gift of the Whittier Host Lions Club, Lions Lodge is rich in tradition and history. It is much more than a place where campers, staff, and guests are fed, Lions Lodge is a living museum. A testimony to all who have been enriched by the Arbolado Experience since 1932. Generations have left their mark in the form of plaques that adorn the interior rafters and walls.