Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful Camping Tips

  • Remember to bring warm clothing for chilly winter nights/mornings.
  • Waterproof tent gear during rain or snow months.
  • Hiking shoes, hat, water bottle.
  • Always pack a First Aid Kit (including sunscreen).

PLEASE RESPECT YOUR NEIGHBORS: THIS INCLUDES KEEPING YOUR CAMPSITE FREE OF CLUTTER AND TRASH. PLEASE USE DESIGNATED TRASH CANS FOR GARBAGE AND DISPOSABLE TRASH. QUIET TIME IS FROM 10:00PM TO 8:00AM.


  • How do I make a reservation?
    Reservations may be made by contacting our friendly staff Monday through Friday between 9:00pm and 5:00pm at (951) 659-2680, or by sending us an email request on Contact Us/Reservation page.
  • Is it necessary to have a reservation to camp at Lake Hemet?
    While it is not necessary to have a reservation to camp at Lake Hemet, reservations are recommended. Reservations are especially encouraged during peak summer months and major Holiday weekends. The reservation fee is $9.00.
  • Does Lake Hemet require a deposit when making reservations?
    Yes, we require full payment at the time of booking reservations. We accept VISA, Discover, and MasterCard. Please review our reservation cancellation policy before booking a reservation.
  • How far in advance should we make our reservation for Camping over a Holiday Weekend?
    We encourage making reservations at least one month in advance of all major Holiday Weekends.
  • What are check-in and check-out times?
    Check in time is 2:00pm and Check out time is 12:00 Noon. Late Check Out Policy:  Late check out at sunset is an option for folks wishing to stay longer for an additional $6 Sunday through Wednesday, excluding any holidays.
  • How do I cancel a reservation?
    You may cancel or change your reservation by calling our staff at (951) 659-2680. Changes are permitted until 72 hours before your stay. There is a $9.00 change fee. Cancellation with 30 days or more prior notice are subject to a $9.00 fee. Cancellations made between 30 days and 72 hours prior notice will forfeit one night as a cancellation fee. Cancellations made with less than 72 hours notice are non-refundable.
  • How many vehicles are allowed in a campsite?
    There is a FREE parking in the campground at your campsite for the first vehicle, and second vehicle fee applies.
  • Does Lake Hemet have seasonal rates for camping or boating?
    No, our Camping Rates are not seasonal.
  • Does Lake Hemet offer any discounts?
    Yes, Lake Hemet offers specials and discounted rates for camping and boating.  If you would like to be notified of upcoming specials, please sign up for our monthly newsletter.  Or, you may contact our Lake Hemet staff to inquire about current specials.
  • What is the maximum length of RV that a campsite will accommodate?
    The maximum length for an RV that our campground can accommodate is 40'. We have a limited number of sites available for an RV of that length, so we encourage early reservations.
  • Does Lake Hemet accommodate group tent camping?
    Yes. We have Group Sites for group camping in four areas. Please visit our "Group Camping" page. If you have any further questions about group camping please call our staff at (951) 659-2680
  • Does Lake Hemet accommodate RV group camping?
    Yes. The Wagon Master of your group may contact our staff at (951) 659-2680 to make reservations, check availability, or for more information. We have several options available, and our friendly staff is available to answer all questions for planning your RV Camping.
  • Does Lake Hemet host special events for organizations: Day Use and/or overnight camping?
    Yes. Please contact our staff, or the Campground Manager for more information and to answer all questions regarding your specific event or group.
  • Are there cabins or RVs to rent at the campground?

    Yes, Lake Hemet has three onsite vacation rentals that sleep 4+ persons.  You may contact the staff at (951) 659-2680 to make reservations, check availability, or for more information.


  • How many FHU (full hook-up) sites are available at Lake Hemet?
    Lake Hemet has 267 full hook-up sites. There are approximately 125 FHU sites currently available, and this number varies weekly.
  • How many dry camping sites are available at Lake Hemet?
    Lake Hemet currently has a total of 248 dry camping sites for tent or RV camping. A majority of dry camping sites also have water available. Lake Hemet has a total of 515 camping sites that includes both FHU and dry camping.
  • Can I camp in a tent? How many tents allowed per site? How many vehicles can be parked on a site? Is there a limit to the number of people per camping site?
    Yes, you can camp in a tent. There may be up to two tents per site with a maximum of 8 people per site. Maximum number of vehicles per site shall not exceed 2.
  • Can I have a campfire at my site? Do all campsites have fire rings?
    Yes, you may have a campfire only in designated fire rings that are provided by the campground on every site. If you are bringing your own firewood it should be no longer than 24" in length. Please do not bring rail logs, pallets, or pre-treated construction wood containing nails or other hardware. There are no open ground fires allowed. No bonfires. No fires under trees. No splitting wood in Campground. Please do not leave unused wood in the Campground upon leaving. All rules must be followed when starting a campfire. All campfires must be attended at all times and cannot be left burning or smoldering without direct supervision. Any failure to comply with campfire rules is subject to inspection by Campground Personnel, Management, and Rangers, and may be cause for being asked to leave Lake Hemet Campground.
  • Can I have a charcoal grill at my site?
    Yes. We allow charcoal grills and we also have several charcoal grills in our picnic area that are available for use.
  • Are there picnic tables for each site?
    Yes, every site has a picnic table and fire ring.
  • Can I bring my dog(s)?
    Yes, you may bring your furry friends. Lake Hemet has a maximum of 2 dogs per family. Your pets must be leashed or restrained at all times while in the Campground. The leash cannot be longer than 6'. NO DOGS are allowed in the lake.
  • Can we have a generator at our site?
    Yes, you may run a generator at your site. A properly running generator is allowed between the hours of 8:00am until 10:00pm year round. Loud, poorly built, or construction type generators are not permitted. All generators must be on the same site as the camper. These rules are subject to change only in the case of emergency and such operation is approved by the Campground Manager.
  • Can I camp along the shoreline of Lake Hemet?
    There is no camping allowed on the shoreline of Lake Hemet. However, there are sites within a stone's throw from the lake. There are many tent camping sites that are situated around the shoreline with a breathtaking view of Lake Hemet with Little Thomas Mountain as the backdrop.
  • Where can I purchase fire wood?
    Lake Hemet Market is located just outside the Campground and sells bundles of firewood. You may also purchase firewood in Idyllwild from local merchants.
  • If we are camping in an RV with full hook-ups, can we also pitch a tent on our site?
    No, we do not allow a tent to be staked in Camp 1 and Camp 2B with FHU RV's. If you have further questions regarding tents in Camp 1 and Camp 2B, please contact our staff and we will be happy to answer all your questions.

  • When does the Park open and close?

Gate Hours

Summertime (04/01 — 09/30)

Friday & Saturday: 6:00am — 10:00pm
Sunday – Thursday: 6:00am — 9:00pm

Offseason (10/01 — 03/31)

Friday & Saturday: 7:00am — 9:00pm
Sunday – Thursday: 7:00am — 8:00pm


Check In and Check Out Times

Overnight Camping

Check In: 2:00pm
Check Out: 12:00 noon


Day Use

Summer Check In: 6:00am

Summer Check Out: Sunset

Off Season Check In: 7:00am

Off Season Check Out: Sunset

 

Call Center – (951) 659-2680
Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

  • Is Lake Hemet a State Park or State Campground?
    Neither. Lake Hemet is owned by Lake Hemet Municipal Water Department.
  • Is there security at the campground?
    Yes, Lake Hemet is patrolled by resident staff and hosts. We also have a Riverside County Sheriff's substation located within several hundred feet from our Campground Entrance.
  • Can we bring our own boat to Lake Hemet?
    Yes, you may launch a private boat on Lake Hemet. It must be at least 10' feet in length. The speed limit on the lake is 10 mph, and the speed limit in the marina is 5mph. All State boating laws apply.
  • Does Lake Hemet rent boats?

    Yes, we have motor boats, row boats, pontoon boats, and even kayaks for rent.

  • When are the quiet hours?
    Our quiet hours are 10:00pm until 8:00am daily. 
  • What are the laundry hours?
    Our laundry facilities are available for use 7:00am to 10:00pm daily during the summer, and 7:00am to 8:00pm daily during the offseason.
  • Are there restroom/shower facilities available in the campground? Do the showers have hot water?
    Yes, we have restrooms and showers located in several areas throughout the Campground. Yes, the showers have hot running water.
  • Can I swim in Lake Hemet?
    No, there is no body contact with the water. Should you violate this ordinance it is grounds to have you removed from the campground.
  • Do I need an "Adventure Pass" to hike or explore the National Forest?
    Yes, an adventure pass is required and must be properly displayed in your vehicle.
  • Where can I purchase an Adventure Pass?
    You may purchase an Adventure Pass from Lake Hemet Market located just outside the Campground, or at the Forest Service, the Shell Station, Forest Lumber, or the Chevron Station all located on Hwy 243 in Idyllwild.
  • Is hunting allowed at Lake Hemet?
    No, there is no hunting allowed at Lake Hemet. Please contact the local Forest Service in Idyllwild for information regarding hunting, hunting season, designated hunting areas, and the appropriate license required.

  • Do I need a state license to fish at Lake Hemet?
    Yes. Anyone 16 years of age or older who is fishing shall have a valid California State Fishing License (except on State Fish Free Days).
  • How much is a fishing license?
    For any questions you have regarding CA fishing license prices, rules and regulations for the state of California please visit 2013 Sport Fishing Fees and Descriptions
  • Where can I purchase a State Fishing License or annual permit?
    You may purchase a State Fishing License at Lake Hemet Market, located directly outside the campground entrance. Their phone number is 951.659.2350. You may also purchase a Fishing License or permit at Village Hardware in Idyllwild (located on Hwy 243), and their phone number is 951-659-4457.
  • What types of fish are in Lake Hemet? What are the limits for fish caught?
    Trout, Bass, Blue Gill, Catfish. Trout is the only fish we stock. The limits are: Trout - 5, Bass - 5 (min. 12"), Bluegill - 25, Catfish - 10.
  • How often is Lake Hemet stocked?
    California State Fish and Game stock Lake Hemet almost every two weeks, except for the months of December through March.
  • Does Lake Hemet allow night fishing?
    Yes, you may fish at night on the shoreline of Lake Hemet until 10:00pm. There are no boats allowed on the lake past sunset.
  • What type of live bait is allowed in Lake Hemet?
    The only live bait allowed in Lake Hemet is night crawlers and red worms.
  • Does Lake Hemet sell fishing bait?
    No, we do not sell fishing bait or equipment. Bait may be purchased at Lake Hemet Market.
  • Can I fish by the Dam?
    No, there is no fishing allowed near or by the Dam. Boats must stay a minimum of 100ft from the Dam. Nor is there access to the Dam by car or foot.

  • Are boats inspected upon arrival?
    Yes, it is a State Law that all boats must be inspected for Quagga Mussels before launching in Lake Hemet. It does not matter whether your boat has been on dry land or not, when it enters the Campground an inspection is mandatory before entering the water. Your boat must be clean, drained and dry. Any moisture is an immediate failure of the Quagga Mussel Inspection. Boats leaving Lake Hemet may request a vessel band which allows re-entry without paying the re-inspection fee as long as the band is valid and unbroken.
  • Can I launch my own boat and what length of boat is allowed on Lake Hemet? What type of boats and engine size are allowed on Lake Hemet?
    Yes, you can launch your own boat, and it must be a minimum of 10' in length and have a minimum beam width of 3'. We allow fishing boats, motor boats, row boats and kayaks on the lake. Engines can be two or four stroke; however, the speed limit on the lake is 10 mph, and 5 mph in the marina.
  • Can I bring my own kayak or canoe to Lake Hemet?

    You may bring your own "sit on top" kayak. If you plan on bringing a "sit inside" kayak, we require that you are certified and trained by a recognized kayak organization, and are able to produce certification if requested. We do not allow canoes, inflatable boats, sailboats, or race boats on the lake.

  • Are sailboats allowed on Lake Hemet?
    No. We do not allow sail boats on Lake Hemet.
  • Can my boat be stored at Lake Hemet?
    Yes, we have storage available at Lake Hemet. Please contact our staff at (951) 659-2680 for details, prices, and requirements.

  • Where is the nearest town?
    The closest town is Idyllwild, and it is approx 8 miles from Lake Hemet. Anza is approx 18 miles from the Campground. Hemet is approx. 24 miles. Palm Desert is 31 miles. Temecula is 36 miles.
  • Is there a grocery store nearby?
    The Lake Hemet Market is just outside the campground and there are also local markets in Idyllwild. Chain grocery stores and shopping malls are located in Palm Desert, Temecula, and nearby Hemet.
  • Where is the nearest gas station?
    The closest gas station is Idyllwild approx 9 miles from Lake Hemet. Anza also has two gas stations on Hwy 371; Circle K and Mobil. Please remember when traveling to Lake Hemet to fill your gas tank before leaving a major metropolitan area, as most of the local gas stations in the mountain areas are closed by 9:00pm.
  • Can campers have visitors at their campsite?
    Yes, but they will have to pay the Day Use Fee upon entering the Campground. Should your visitors find themselves relaxing in the peaceful environment that surrounds Lake Hemet, enjoying the clean mountain air and bright starlit sky, and decide to stay past the Day Use check out time (sunset), they will have to pay the difference for overnight camping.