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Lake Arrowhead Camping
Wake up to fresh, pine-scented air!
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of beautiful sights in the Lake Arrowhead area, including Silverwood Lake, the Dogwood Campground, and Lake Arrowhead village. Refreshing mountain air and campgrounds that feel "away from it all" aren't far from metro Los Angeles at all!
Beautiful Dogwood Campground
A superlative place to enjoy Lake Arrowhead CampingDo you like camping in areas which SEEM very remote, but which are actually quite accessible to many family-style activities? If so, then you'll enjoy camping in the US Forest Service's Dogwood Campground. The Dogwood Campground is located off the main highway through the Lake Arrowhead area, the National Scenic Byway called "Rim of the World Drive" (California Route 18). Situated away from the noise of the busy highway...nestled down a narrow, but nicely-paved spur road...the campground truly feels "away from it all" when you're within its boundaries. You can enjoy the wonders of nature along its hiking trails and via Friday and Saturday night ranger programs.
On the other hand, a short 10 minute drive will take you to the shopping pleasures of Lake Arrowhead Village, where you'll find cute little boutiques (and even some factory outlet stores) to explore. At Lake Arrowhead Village, you'll also be able to dine at a number of different restaurants, take a cruise on the beautiful Lake Arrowhead, or stock up on necessities. You'll never be far from roadside assistance, nor be out of the range of cell-phone service...an important factor for many safety-minded family campers.
Many family camping enthusiasts enjoy Dogwood's clean restrooms, which feature flush toilets and showers with cold and hot running water. (Save the pit toilets for when the kids get older. When you have babies, toddlers or pre-schoolers, it's REALLY nice to have the "clean" home-like bathrooms available.) In the picture of a Dogwood campground bathroom (just below,) you can see one of the attractive restroom-and-shower buildings which are scattered throughout the campsite area.
Each campsite has its own picnic table, parking space and fire ring. At times, there will be a no-campfires ban in effect. Though this is disappointing to many campers who love to eat a meal cooked over the coals, it's entirely understandable. There have been severe and devastating fires wreak havoc in the Lake Arrowhead several summers in recent history, and the area just can't take any more of this type of catastrophe. When the campfire bans are in effect, you won't be able to use a charcoal grill, either; only camp stoves will be permitted for cooking.
Dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet in length. This is not only true in the actual campgrounds, but also along Dogwood's hiking and nature trails. There is a limit of 2 dogs per campsite.
Quiet Hours are observed from 10 pm until 6 am at Dogwood. Generally speaking, though, the guests who use Dogwood Campground are considerate and you shouldn't encounter excessive noise. Weekends and holidays throughout the summer often find the camp grounds full-to-capacity, and then the noise level will be higher than during the half-empty midweek days. Even so, you probably won't find the noise level to be excessive. The bulk of Dogwood's guests are families and nature lovers. Also, if you're tired of the noisy trains and/or planes passing by your campsite (like there are at some of Southern California's beach campgrounds,) you'll be quite pleased NOT to find any train or plane noise at Dogwood!
The Dogwood Campground address is: 28104 Highway 18, Skyforest, CA 92385. This location is near the intersection of Hwy 18 (aka Rim of the World Highway) and Daley Canyon Road. You may use the following link to view a map to the Dogwood Campground in Southern California's San Bernardino National Forest.
The Dogwood Campground phone number is 909/336-6717 (this is the Dogwood Entrance Station.) If you'd prefer, you can also get information about the San Bernadino National Forest and/or the Dogwood Campground by calling the Arrowhead Ranger Station, telephone number 909/382-2782.
Map of Dogwood's campsites: You may use the following link to see a campground map of the Dogwood Campground on the Reserve America website.
Dogwood Campground prices: As of Summer, 2012, tent campsites cost $28 and RV sites with hookups cost $33. A few double sites are available, which cost $56 per night. Are reservations necessary? For weekend camping, it's a very good idea. On weekdays...even during the summer...it's quite likely that you'll be able to get a space at the last minute. However, the safest bet is to make a reservation if you'd like to be 100% sure.
Dogwood Campground website: You may discover more information about this lovely San Bernardino National Forest campground on the Dogwood Campground page of the National Forest website.
Silverwood Lake SRA CampingWhat if you don't care about camping up in the pines...you just want to focus on having some watersport fun? Or, what if you'd like to do some winter camping, and find that other campgrounds near Lake Arrowhead are closed? Answer: Try camping at Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area!
At an elevation of around 3,300 feet, Silverwood Lake sits below the pines...although you can see them looming on the mountains above from the lake.
Water activities are the major focus here...as you can tell by the Silverwood Lake pictures to your left and right. You can swim, water ski, jet ski, wind surf, zoom around the lake in a power boat, enjoy the sandy beaches, and fish. If you tire of enjoying water-based fun, you can participate in Silverwood State SRA's land-based activities, which include hiking and biking along trails, wildlife and bird watching, picnicking, and enjoying the visitor's center. Of course, you can always take a lovely mountain drive, visit the scenic nearby town of Crestline, or journey over to Lake Arrowhead Village to enjoy the shopping and restaurants there.
Family-oriented campers will be glad to know that Silverwood Lake offers flush toilets and showers with hot and cold water, amenities that make camping with kids much easier! Restrooms and shower buildings are scattered around the campsite, as are spigots for obtaining water.
Other campground amenities include a convenience store, a bait shop, a visitor's center, group campsites, bike and hike campsites, and nature trails. Amenities for boaters include a boat launch ramp, a small marina with boat mooring, boat fuel, and boat rentals year-round (aluminum motorized fishing boats and pontoon boats.) During the busy summer season, additional types of rentals are available---jet skis, kayaks and paddle boats.
The Silverwood Lake SRA phone number is: (760) 389-2281. This is the Silverwood telephone to use for questions about the state park itself. If you need to make Silverwood Lake camping reservations, the phone number to call is 1-800-444-PARK, which is the Reserve America telephone number. If you will be bringing a boat to Silverwood Lake, you'll also need to make reservations for your boat! Boat reservations, like the camping reservations, may be made at the Reserve America website or at the Reserve America telephone number.
Directions to Silverwood Lake SRA and campground: The easiest access to Silverwood Lake SRA is via Interstate 15 heading northward from San Bernardino, California. The exit for Silverwood Lake is plainly marked for you to see from the freeway, both with the name of the park and the number of the highway...which is California State Hwy 138. As you can tell from the photo of CA Hwy 138 to your right, you'll travel eastward from I-15 through yellow-brown California chaparral scenery. The road is only 2 lanes wide, and makes sharp, serpentine turns throughout the journey.
Map to Silverwood Lake SRA: To see a roadmap to Silverwood Lake, here's the link for a Google map to the Silverwood Lake and campground.
Silverwood Lake camping reservations and map: To view an interactive map of the Silverwood Lake SRA campgrounds and campsites, use the following link to a campsite map of the Silverwood Lake campground. This is an interactive map. You'll see an overview of the many camping loops at Silverwood Lake. From there, you may choose to look at whichever camping loop you prefer in detail. This map is a part of the Reserve America website, and once you find your ideal camping site, you may go ahead and make your reservations, if you like. Silverwood Lake is an extremely popular Southern California campground, and it is common for this camping ground to fill up to its capacity during the summertime and on major holidays. You may also make boat launch reservations from the Reserve America website, as well.
Silverwood Lake SRA camping prices: As of Summer, 2012, campsites cost $45 to $50 per night; the higher rate includes hookups. The campground at Silverwood Lake is open daily between May 1st and September 30th each year. The rest of the year, the campground is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only...and also during the "off season," sites are available only on a first-come, first-serve (no reservations taken during these months.)