Overnight Spots, With Commentary: Episode One

15 08 2010

For those of you who are curious, here’s where we’ve been spending our time. This post is of particular relevance for RVers who are thinking of these or similar spots. (Note: All of our comments reflect our being in a 23′ 8″ RV. All of the sites below are dry camping / boondocking.)

  • Night 1: Chino, CA Walmart Supercenter
    • Surprisingly quiet, store manager had no problems with overnight parking, both water and bathrooms were available indoors.
  • Night 2: Brookside Park, Redlands, CA
    • It’s amazing how easy it is to just park anywhere overnight. This park was quiet and was a great place to wake up. Bathrooms and water were available, and we were undisturbed.
  • Nights 3 & 4: Mission Springs Yellow Post Site, San Bernardino National Forest, CA (And zoomed out, to give you an idea of how far this was from Hwy 38)
    • A bitch to get to, but a lovely site once we arrived and made camp. Forest Service Road 1N02 was totally fine and led to a nice Yellow Post site, but we took what was in retrospect very poor advice and continued on 1N05 (a terrible road for low-clearance vehicles) for a couple of hours to the Mission Springs site. No truly level ground – levelers were required. Right on the Pacific Crest Trail and near the San Gorgonio Wilderness trails. Amazing sky at night.
  • Nights 5 & 6: Yellow Post Site #26, Corner of Forest Service Road 2N10 & 2N10C, San Bernardino National Forest – Near Big Bear Lake, CA
    • Somewhere in between 1N02 and 1N05 in ‘badness level’ of the dirt road. A couple of tight clearance spots to maneuver, but otherwise a reasonable drive not involving any getting out of the RV to check things out. The site was pretty good and was reasonably level, although it was by a ‘busy’ intersection (busy for the forest). We made the Yellow Post site much nicer on Saturday night by creating a fire ring for ourselves and for future site users. (We had our permit!)
  • Night 7: Camping in a church parking lot in Big Bear Lake, CA.
    • Good, level ground. We spoke with a church employee who was happy to let us stay overnight. Right by the lake. Parking wherever we want is so much easier than anyone could expect.
  • Night 8: Victorville, CA Walmart
    • Completely uneventful, as it should be. We rolled in around 2 AM after spending the night out. A security guard showed us to a good spot, and we picked up some groceries in the morning. No complaints.
  • Night 9 & 10: Fossil Falls, CA
    • SPECTACULAR. Near some wild rock formations and chasms, surrounded by the Sierras and a massive cinder cone volcano, and completely private. We stayed at the little-used BLM campground for $3/night (with America The Beautiful Pass), well worth the location. There’s a vault toilet and fun hand-pump water well nearby, and there are fire rings and picnic tables. Highly recommended. Skies here are unbelievable.
  • Night 11: Tuttle Creek, CA
    • A fantastic and humbling site, right at the base of Mount Whitney. Easily accessible to most any RVer (a 50+ foot fifth wheel was there), I somehow managed to miss the sign and climb to 8,000′ elevation for a beautiful view of the valley. Cost was $2.50/night with the America The Beautiful Pass, and our site had a fire ring, picnic table, shade, and a nice freezing cold stream right in back. If you stay here, hitch a ride up the mountain for some great hiking.
  • Night 12 & 13: Vons/Kmart in Bishop, CA,
    • Vons/Kmart share a huge parking lot that caters to lots of RVers and truckers. Tons of parking – we got a spot in the shade, and no one bothered us at all. We stayed two nights, seeing at least fifty other RVers either pass through or spend the night as well. (Cheap gas is a big attraction.) Great access to a large local park, visitors center, Main Street, stores, and a public lands information center. A surprisingly gorgeous setting for a parking lot, surrounded by the Sierras and the White Mountains.

posted by jayhorowitz

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