I was filled with dread as we arrived late in the afternoon, around 5:30 pm. We’ve visited Silver Lake Resort for several years and even though we'd never camped here, I had noticed that the lanes are very narrow and the RVs are packed in. Not a parking situation I was dying to take on with my son, who’s awesome but even newer than I am to all this. All day long I had been sweating having to back in to my assigned space. I may or may not have even lost some sleep over it the night before.
To be fair, the drive is sporty enough-- what with the 7000 foot climb out of SoCal to Bishop to Tom’s Place and then the hairpin turns on the narrow lane that scrambles from the 395 to Silver Lake. I had also spent a few more hours than planned at the Bishop DMV, but that's a story for another day. So my heart was already racing and I was a little adrenalined-up as we finally saw Silverlake and pulled in-- to the exit-- and that didn’t fill me with confidence, either.
Once I got myself into the actual entrance, I was relieved to have an excuse to put it in park at the STOP HERE sign posted at the host shack. I popped into the office and what followed was a blur of what felt like a jumble of a thousand rules I knew I would never remember. But the world came to a sudden halt as I reprocessed this statement: “Just stop in front of your spot, unhitich, and Mike will meet you there to park you with the forklift.”
What? Did my husband call you in advance to warn you about my lack of reversing skill?? What a relief to find out that not only would Mike squeeze me in to my spot between to 30 foot motorcoaches, but he does this for every trailer and 5th wheel that arrives, not just the inexperienced, untrained and unskilled like me.
The life lessons learned in camping are a million, and this is just one: Don’t borrow trouble, there’s trouble enough without asking for extra helpings. For a day and a half I had borrowed trouble that Mike handled in 5 minutes like the pro he is.
There are some benefits to this kind of RV campground where RVs are packed in tightly. Guests are very friendly and respectful, which is good because you’re very close to them. Staff asks that you keep your spot free of a lot of personal items, which most guests do. That gives the tight spaces a sense of tidiness and order. There also aren’t the kinds of noise issues that often happen at RV campgrounds. Many of the guests are annual visitors and spend most of the summer here together each year, so there's a real sense of community. There is also a restaurant and truly excellent store on site, which is very convenient.
There are plenty of hikes, creeks, fishing lakes, pack horses all within a walk or easy drive. The town of June Lake is also very close, and features a great food truck, Ohanas395, and brewery, June Lake Brewing.
In general, our experience was positive, primarily because we were there for a planned activity, the Silver Lake Fly Fishing Academy, a non-profit annual camp that promotes the craft of fly fishing through equipping and training young people with the help of experienced local guides. You can read more about the camp, which happens each year over 3 days right here.
We adore the other campers, many of whom we've gotten to know over the years of fly fishing camp. The staff and owners are truly good people, who give back to the Eastern Sierra community through scholarships and service.
Never-the-less, when we return next year we will opt for a more natural camping style, in one of the boondocking state campgrounds close by. As much as we love the people of Silver Lake Resort, we prefer a campground with more space, more freedom and fewer neighbors. And camping without a campfire in our Solo Stove Bonfire just won't cut it for us.