Camping in the Cottonwoods

Lake Hemet Campgrounds, San Jacinto Mountains (11/11/20) Ariana Kimes

Now’s the time to go camping in the cottonwoods at Lake Hemet in the San Jacinto Mountains.

Frémont cottonwood vary from Patchy to Near Peak, there. And, between now and Thanksgiving Day weekend they should peak beautifully.

Prized photographs at Lake Hemet include its autumn sunsets and a nesting pair of bald eagles along the south shore, best reached by rental boat from the marina.

That’s an important tip for amateur wildlife photographers. If you approach by boat, you’re less threatening to wildlife, they’re more likely to ignore you and act naturally and less likely to leave.

Rule of thumb: if you’ve approached so close that wildlife is noticing you, you’re too close. Either use a longer lens or position yourself so that they come to you.

  • Lake Hemet, San Jacinto Mountains (4,340′) – Near Peak (50-75%) Go Now.