The James Reserve is located in a remote wilderness setting (12 ha, 29 acres), 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 using solar photovoltaics and generator. There is also a well on site with 10,000 gallons of water storage. Therefore power, heating, and water are very limited and require constant conservation by our users. Our satellite reserve, Oasis de los Osos Preserve (65 ha, 160 acres), is also located in Riverside County, approximately 12 miles northwest of Palm Springs. There are no facilities at Oasis.

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 equiped kitchen with a four burner stove and two refrigerators; two bathrooms with showers; a wood stove and additional gas heating. Three additional cabins can house forty additional people (large cabin with 20 beds and 2 smaller cabins, each with 10 beds); cabins have fully-equipped kitchens and bathrooms with showers. In addition, 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 so you will have to take care of these things yourselves.

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.


Things you will need to bring with you:

Sleeping bag, pillow and towel, etc.

Food (We have all the pots/pans, plates and utensils you will need).

Flashlight or headlamp.



33 deg 48'30"N, 116 deg 46'40"W. T4S, R2E (SBB&M); portion of east half of sec 21. It is also found of the following USGS maps: Lake Fulmor 7.5', San Jacinto Peak7.5', Banning 15", Palm Springs 15".



Overnight accommodations at Trailfinders Lodge include semi-private dormitory rooms, communal bathrooms with showers, kitchen with cooking supplies, desks, small museum with herbarium and collections, wireless Internet access within all our buildings and many outdoor areas, and access to Reserve databases. The following are the new fees applicable to reservations made on or after July 16th, 2010.

University of California students, faculty, staff, $10 per person per night

Other academic users, $15 per person per night

Professional (agency, private, or able to pay), $20 per person per night

Day use fees: $2 / $3 / $5 per person per day (UC / Non UC / Professional)

A $50 fee per day will be charged for no-shows or cancellations within 24 hours of expected arrival.


Additional Sites:

Additional desert and montane sites are within 50 miles of the reserve, including access to high elevation sites via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.


Oasis de los Osos, a 65-ha (160-acre) satellite reserve, is located nearby at the base of the impressively steep North Face of the San Jacinto Mountains, north of Palm Springs, and has a mixture of desert scrub, riparian, and inland sage scrub species. A perennial stream, Lamb Creek, flows diagonally across the Preserve, creating small waterfalls. The Preserve includes the canyon carved by Lamb Creek as well as the surrounding landslide and alluvial fan deposits.

Cahuilla Mountain, a 300-ha (740-acre) mountaintop is a USFS Research Natural Area with burned Black Oak and Coulter Pine (90% burned in July, 1996).

The San Jacinto Wilderness (40,000 acres USFS managed) and the Mount San Jacinto State Park Wilderness (10,000 acres California Department of Parks and Recreation managed) are available for studies via trails and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.