Camping & Campgrounds

Most of the camping is in the Blue Mountains.

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The Jamaican Forestry Department offers cabins and dormitories in the Blue Mountains, but permits must be paid for and picked up in advance at the Kingston office. You cannot simply show up at the site and pay. JATCHA can make the reservations and have the permits waiting for you. No linens, blankets or kitchen utensils are at any of the forest camps.

Camping and cabin reservations for all but Whitfield Hall can be made by calling the forestry department at 876/924-2667 or 876/924-2668.

Hollywell National Recreation Park offers tent camping and several cabins with fireplace, small kitchen and full bathroom. (This site is often called Holywell National Recreation Area.)

Clydesdale is an old coffee plantation/pine nursery at 3,700 feet with a bunk bed dormitory that can sleep 30 and more. Flush toilets, showers and a fire pit for cooking.

The walk from Clydesdale to the public Cinchona Botanical Gardens takes about an hour, where tent camping is available.

On the hike up Blue Mountain Peak, most people overnight at the privately owned Whitfield Hall Hostel, which may also permit you to tent camp; 876/927-0986.

About 1 to 1-1/2 hours beyond Whitfield Hall on the way to the peak is the Portland Gap forestry hut at 5,200 feet. The hut is rustic and you sleep on the floor. It also has running water, an outhouse and space for about 30 tents. Given a choice between Whitfield Hall (which does supply linens, etc.) and the forest hut, there is no choice unless you like the hermit life.

At Blue Mountain Peak itself is a rough, graffiti-covered forest hut often used by partying groups from Kingston on weekends.   Water may not be readily available, and it gets quite cold at the peak from December through February. Tent camping is permitted.

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