Silverwood Lake SRA
Narrated by Russ Christoff
Silverwood Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains was my next stop.
Containing the highest lake in the California State Water Project, Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area is home to some of the most diverse ecosystems in the southern California State Parks.
Ponderosa Pine forests give way to high desert chaparral creating habitats for over 130 species of birds.
Visitors can explore forests of pine, cedar and fir at one elevation, and sycamore and manzanita at others along the park’s 13 miles of trails.
Boating and fishing on Silverwood are two of many attractions.
A marina and launch are located lakeside and boats are available to rent.
My guide, Steve, took me out on pontoon boat to get a view of the area and talk about the fishing.
Has the fishing always been real good here?
GUIDE STEVE: It’s always been a really quality lake, and the size of the fish are pretty good.
RUSS CHRISTOFF: Steve, what is the record fish here?
GUIDE STEVE: Fifty-five pounds eight ounces! It was a stripped bass.
RUSS CHRISTOFF: What’s the biggest fish you ever caught here?
GUIDE STEVE: Last February I caught a 31 pound stripper, and that’s the biggest fish I’ve ever caught.
RUSS CHRISTOFF: The lake provides recreation while successfully serving as a water supply for more than 15 million Southern Californians.
The highlight for most is the excellent camping opportunities at this park.
Because of its refreshing Alpine like atmosphere, the Mesa campground at Silverwood is a favorite getaway for many.
One Hundred Thirty Six campsites are located here and are available by reservations on weekends, and everyday throughout the summer.
One of the park’s rangers, Jim, had this to say about Silverwood.
RANGER JIM: What we offer is an escape valve where people can getaway from their urban cares and pressures of the job.
We are so close to major urban development and yet they can come up here and really experience nature, see some beautiful scenery and relax in our campground.
We are approximately a 30 minute drive from San Bernardino and adjacent to San Bernardino is Riverside, and we are within a two hour drive of Los Angeles.
So we have a lot of people in the area and yet when you get up here and park, and unwind a bit, you wouldn’t know it. You would think you were up in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
We truly have beautiful mountain scenery and relaxing campgrounds to offer people.