John Y.
Huntington Beach , CA
Joined June 2019
Jeep owner / tent camper
Great location but no privacy

I was attending a weekend Jeep event at Pismo Dunes and had booked a space in the OHV area on the beach.  When I got there the wind was so bad it was impossible to put up a tent.  So I looked up this place, which is probably 1/2 mile from the entrance to the beach.

The campground has mixture of tent and pull-through sites.  All sites have full hookups, and include a fire ring and picnic table.  The bathrooms were clean and had showers, but everything was very old.  There was also a pool and laundry rooms on the property.

The sites were flat, but there was no barrier between you and your neighbors.  The RV sites looked very cramped but the tent sites seemed adequately spaced for the most part.  I stayed in site 252 which appeared to be some kind of double site, because there were two sets of hookups in the space (one of which required a large pole in the middle of the site).

In spite of the convenience of the location, there were drawbacks.  The campground is narrow and situated directly between PCH and the railroad tracks on either side.  So traffic noise was significant, and as an added bonus, every now and then Amtrack would roll past.

Over all, it met all the basic needs, was well maintained, and was close to the beach.  And the noise was probably less than I would get sleeping in the OHV camping area.

Great central location for Lake Arrowhead & Big Bear

I was looking to take my Jeep off-roading in the Big Bear area. I just needed a simple tent site where I could have a campfire at night, and as usual I hadn't booked very far in advance. By luck, I found Green Valley Lake. 

When I went online to reserve my spot, the only site left was site #1, so I grabbed it. Searching for reviews or pictures of that site, there were comments about it being too close to other sites, too close to the road, too close to houses, etc. When I got there I found a different story. After asking the camp host, I found the site - isolated from the rest of them in its own private little grove. The parking spot for the site is a considerable distance away, next to site 2. There are 2 trails leading to the site - one from the parking spot that cuts through site 2, and another one that ends near the entrance gate. It was a bit of a hike to get my gear in and out, but it was worth it for the privacy. Plenty of trees provide shade, and isolate you from the road and your neighbors. There was some noise, but they were completely blocked from view. 

The campground itself is very well maintained. The bathrooms were clean, with flush toilets, running water, and lights. The sites themselves don't have water, but there were faucets all over the campground so you could fill up a jug and take it back to your site. This is bear country, and bear lockers are installed at every site. The hosts were very nice, and sold firewood at their trailer for $8 a bundle. There was no AT&T cell service at the site, but there was a few miles down the road. 

The campground is about a mile past the village of Green Valley Lake, which has a small market and a restaurant. A few miles further is Arrowbear, which has a couple very well stocked markets and gas stations. Running Springs is a few more miles down the road, and has all the services you would need in a small town. 

For off-roaders like myself, the Big Pine Flats trail starts just a couple miles down the road, and offers a fairly easy and fun drive to just north of Big Bear Lake, and continuing on to Baldwin Lake. 

The next time i camp up in the Big Bear area, this will definitely be on my list of places to camp again.

Off The Grid

I prefer primitive or dispersed camping because I usually like as much privacy as I can get when I'm camping, but with current fire restrictions I was limited to developed campsites if I wanted a campfire (and what's the point of camping without a campfire?). I was also planning the trip on short notice, so developed, reserveable campsites were in short supply. Then I found Reyes Creek.

The campground is very isolated. It's about a 40 minute drive from the nearest town (and therefore the nearest gas station or market - plan ahead). There is no power, or water. There's no cell service in the camp, but a 5 minute drive up the mountain there's a dirt lot they call the 'phone booth' that gets decent reception. The camp hosts were super friendly and helpful. There are 2 loops for campsites - the center of the main loop seemed pretty flat, but all the sites were visible to your neighbors. Sites on the outside of the main loop offered more privacy, but most appeared to not be very level, and not necessarily well laid out. I stayed in site 11 on the outside of the loop which was large and fairly quiet, but my 6 person tent just barely fit in between some trees which offered some shade and was only on a slight angle. The one downside was the bathrooms - vault toilets that varied in condition, but none that I used were particularly good. If bathroom condition is a major sticking point with you, you may want to look elsewhere.

As an added bonus, as isolated as the place is, right outside the entrance to the campground is a bar & grill called the Camp Scheideck Lodge. They have a full bar and great food (and the customer-only bathroom is a great step up from the campground). It just changed owners last month (second time in a couple years) and the new owner, Devin, is friendly and welcoming.

The temperature varies greatly from day to night (90's to 50's when I was there) and there are bugs a plenty, so bring repellant. Firewood is available at the camp, and ice is available at the lodge.

So if you want a little isolation with privacy, a campfire, and a friendly bar within walking distance, this place is for you. I'll definitely be coming back.