The School for Y.
Bainbridge Island, WA
Joined June 2016
We are a world-schooling family committed to learning through play, curiosity, and creating connections.
Good only for a quick overnight stop when driving on I-5

(This review written by a 10 and 12 year old). When we stopped by for a quick visit in October (end of the season), we first saw the picnic area. It had a lot of benches that were wood with scratches and pieces missing. The picnic area had bathrooms. In the center were sinks and metal BBQs. The BBQ hinges were broken and swung out awkwardly. Nearby the sinks did not have running water, and looked pretty gunky.

Across the field from the picnic area, was a closed gate that had blackberry brambles covering it. Beyond the gate was a bridge that looked like it hadn't been walked on for a bit. There were plants growing on it and the gate was locked.

Further down the road from the picnic area was the campground. Each spot had an electric hookup, water spigot, and an ok picnic table. Near the campground host and just beyond the bathrooms was a dump station ($3). 

The women's bathroom had chipping paint and floor, older stalls with unflushed things, the showers had musty curtains that weren't clean. When you turned on the sink just slightly, nothing came out. When you turned it all the way on, it splurts out spraying everything in a two foot parameter around you.

The men's bathroom had the same chipping walls and floor. There were two open urnials with pink urinal cakes, two stalls, and some similar showers to the women's restroom. Except no tampon machine. 

Up the road from the RV park was a river, but there were signs saying the banks were hazardous. Now your hopes of swimming in the river is annihilated.

There are many spaces, but they are very close together. If it were full, you would feel quite packed in.

If you are driving on I-5 and need a safe, quiet place to spend the night, this would do just fine in a pinch.

There are nice sports fields and a small playground if you need to stretch your legs.

Great Off Season

We stayed at the lake for one night, mid-week, off season. We were only one of a few handful of RVs in the RV section of the campground. I could imagine it being a loud party-scene in the summer. But in the early spring, it was full of bird songs and a gorgeous sunset. Decent cell service, no wifi.

Great Off Season

We stayed at the lake for one night, mid-week, off season. We were only one of a few handful of RVs in the RV section of the campground. I could imagine it being a loud party-scene in the summer. But in the early spring, it was full of bird songs and a gorgeous sunset. Decent cell service, no wifi.

Under the Trees

We had a sweet, short stay at this campground. We called day-of and were able to get a reservation. In late March for spring break, the 5,000 elevation of this camp meant there was still snow on the ground, but the road and camping spots were snow free. It also meant the bathrooms were also closed for the season.

The morning sunrise through the trees and the quick drive down the road to Calaveras Big Trees State Park made this a perfect spot to stop for the night. Great cell coverage on Verizon.

The little town of Arnold you drive through to get there reminded me of Tahoe or Mt. Hood. I wish we’d planned to have a meal at one of the cute restaurants and pubs in the area.

Easy Gateway to Yosemite

This campground is a 45 minute bus ride from Yosemite Village. I sent an email the day before to check availability but didn’t get a response. I called the day-of and was excited to find they had a space with hookups, despite it being spring break week. Maybe the predictions for snow in Yosemite kept the crowds away? There were three amenities at this campground that were a pleasant surprise:

1) The YART bus (that shuttles you into the park) stops at the hotel next door. It doesn’t run frequently, and we had to catch it really early (7 am), but it was $20 for a family of four (round trip), and that included admission to the park. It was so easy to leave the RV parked, not worry about driving in and parking, having no concern about snow/chains/etc.

2) The Cedar Lodge next door has an indoor and outdoor pool available for the RV campers to use. The outdoor pool was closed for the season, but the indoor pool was heated to at least 100 degrees so it made our morning swimming delightful.

3) The Cedar Lodge next door also has two restaurants, a bar/casual type and one slightly fancier. We ate at the casual one and it wasn’t great, but it was nice to have someone else make dinner after a long day in the park.

The folks checking us in the office were very nice and helpful. The campground has four unisex bathrooms that weren’t fancy, but functioned. There were a handful of shower stalls as well. The one I used had amazing water pressure and plenty of hot water.

We were worried about the proximity to the road, but there were almost no cars on the road for most of the night. There is no cell service in the area. The campground does offer 24 hours of WiFi for $9.99. We didn’t purchase, so I’m not sure how strong/fast the signal was.

Overall, we had a great stay!

Great place (if you can get there)..

What an amazing place! There were docks to enter on both the Reid and Prevost Harbor sides of the Island (Reid is a safer anchorage spot, but has a smaller dock). There was also a beach for Kayakers and other "human powered" campers only. There were two toilets, one by the kayakers beach and one between the harbors, but both were primitive (see photos).

We loved hiking to the one room school houses and the "honor" store (see pictures). While we camped on the boat, we loved hiking around the park and would definitely come back…