Atáxam Mámta’ash Campground (fka Indian Flats)
in Cleveland National Forest
Atáxam Mámta’ash Campground is a small 17-site campground in the Cleveland National Forest near Warner Springs. The campground lies within a sunny live oak woodland at 3,600 feet. At this elevation, expect cool night and warm days.
Atáxam Mámta’ash Campground, formerly known as Indian Flats Campground, is located below Hot Springs Mountain, the 6,533-foot high point of San Diego County. There are nearby views across a flat basin, the San Jose del Valle, toward Lake Henshaw and the Palomar Mountains. Granite outcroppings around the campground offer pictureque sunset perches or fun places to climb around during the day. A short trail from the campground ventures to the East Fork of the San Luis Rey River, where shallow pools can be explored at the end of the winter wet season.
All 17 sites at Atáxam Mámta’ash Campground are first-come first-serve for $12 per night. Fire rings, charcoal grills, picnic tables, and vault toilets are provided. Bring your own drinking water. Dogs are allowed on leashes in the campground. If you only visit for the day (to hike to the East Fork of the San Luis Rey River), you will need a National Forest Adventure Pass, which can per purchased for $5 per day. This is also the price to add a second vehicle to a camp site. The maximum vehicle length at campsites is 15 feet.
Seasonal Closure: Atáxam Mámta’ash Campground closes for the months of April and May in order to protect the habitat of the endangered arroyo toad during its active season. The specific closure dates may vary from year to year, so check with the national forest before making a visit in the spring.
Atáxam Mámta’ash Campground is at the end of a narrow but paved 7-mile road and is far enough out of the way to remain a relatively private and peaceful place to camp. The campsites are all located around one loop.
Expect Atáxam Mámta’ash Campground to be full on summer weekends. In addition to the 17 tent-friendly campsites, there is also one larger group site that may be reserved through the national forest. Call the Palomar Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest to reserve the group site or for more information, (760) 788-0250.
To get to the Campground: Take Route 79 to Lost Valley Road in Warner Springs. Lost Valley Road is located 1.5 miles northwest of the center of the small town. In the other direction, the intersection is 18 miles southeast of Aguanga on Route 79. There will be a sign for Atáxam Mámta’ash Campground (Indian Flats) at the bottom of Lost Valley Road. Drive north up the narrow paved road for 7 miles to the campground at the end of the road.
Campground address: Lost Valley Road, Cleveland National Forest, Warner Springs, CA 92086
Campground coordinates: 33.349488, -116.661797 (33° 20′ 58.15″N 116° 39′ 42.46″W)
Use the map below to view the campground and get directions:
Or view Southern California trails and campgrounds in a larger map
|Indian Flats Trail|
This easy half-mile hike from Indian Flats Campground explores seasonal pools in the East Fork of the San Luis Rey River.
The 5.1-mile hike travels between Observatory Campground and Palomar Observatory, crossing a pleasant mountain woodland with valley views along the way.
This 4.4-mile loop begins with a 1 2/3-mile ascent that gains 1,200 feet to reach a panoramic summit and then descends along a ridge for even more views.
|Kwaay Paay Peak|
This 2.5-mile hike rewards a good workout with panoramic views as it climbs to a 1,194-foot summit in Mission Trails Regional Park, just 10 miles from downtown San Diego.
|More hikes in Southern California|
Explore more trails in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties.
This 42-site campground in Cleveland National Forest offers camping near the world-renowned Palomar Observatory for $15 per night.
|El Cariso Campground|
This 24-site campground in Cleveland National Forest offers convenience camping in the Santa Ana Mountains for $15 per night, with access to nearby trails like El Cariso Nature Trail.
I understand this campground is now open. With the high winds and warm temps., will campfires be allowed this weekend of the 17th and 18th of May???
I understand it is late but still checking we have a group of 4-5 families (2 x 2) planning to come at Indian flats campground on fri 8/29 till sun 8/31 (checkout). Are the tent sites available?
MANY years ago we used to be able to pistol target practice near the campground. Does anyone know if that is still allowed? We are planning a stay in the campground this week end. 11/7/’14 – 11/9/’14
[…] There is a short trail from the campground to the East Fork of the San Luis Rey River, where you will find shallow pools and a seasonal waterfall. Here is a website that covers the seasonal waterfall and short hike to it […]
I am writing to make you aware of a recent change in management to this site. The Indian Flats Campground was recently re-named Atáxam Mámta’ash Campground (“uh-TAH-hoom MUM-tuh-ush”), meaning the “People’s Flat” in the traditional Cupeño language; new signs were installed in late November 2022. The campground is within the ancestral homeland of the Cupeño Indians, and the renaming honors their cultural history and traditional language.
We hope that you will edit your website information to reflect this change soon.