Location and Overview
Tucked away in the San Bernardino Mountains near the cities of Crestline and Hesperia sits a small piece of paradise for southern California anglers. Formed in 1971 with the completion of the Cedar Springs Dam, Silverwood Lake features almost 1000 acres of surface area and 13 miles of shoreline. It also boasts an outstanding campground, a swimming area, and easy access to area hiking. From Interstate 15, you can get to Silverwood Lake by taking SR 138 east for about 11 miles (check out the map). The lake is part of the Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area, and is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
Silverwood Lake is also conveniently close to Lake Gregory, located in nearby Crestline, and to Lake Arrowhead.
Fishermen rate Silverwood Lake:
Fishin’ Silverwood Lake
Silverwood Lake is renowned for its big stripers, and rightfully so – a 55 1/2 pounder was caught here in 1996, and that’s a big fish in anybody’s book! While fish that size may not be common, there are plenty of smaller ones in the 2- to 5-pound range to go around. During the winter and spring the Department of Fish & Game stocks the lake with rainbow trout, and populations of channel catfish, largemouth bass, and crappie also call Silverwood Lake home. Click here for the latest DFG stocking reports and schedule.
Fishermen can try their luck along those 13 miles of shoreline mentioned above, or for a fee can fish from the boat docks in the marina located at the south end of the lake. Striped bass fishermen do well here with frozen anchovies. The marina also has a launch ramp, and rental boats are available as well. The number of boaters allowed on the lake is limited, and during the summer months reservations are recommended if you plan to launch a boat since the lake is popular and tends to fill up most weekends.
There is a small store at the marina if you find yourself in need of bait, tackle, or food. A fish cleaning facility is also located there.
Silverwood Lake Weather
Southern California has a reputation for having mild, temperate weather throughout most of the year, but be careful! Silverwood Lake sits at a high enough elevation to get some cold temperatures in the winter, but is still close enough to sea level to be very warm in the summer. High temperatures can range anywhere from the 40’s in wintertime, with lows dipping into the high 20’s or low 30’s, to the high 90’s during the height of summer. Always check the most current conditions and forecasts before heading out, especially if you’ll be boating on the lake.
Click here to see current weather conditions and forecasts for the city of Hesperia.
Lodging and Camping
Silverwood Lake has a very well-appointed campground located at the southwest corner of the lake in Cleghorn Canyon. Maintained by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, it boasts 136 improved campsites, as well as running water and hot showers, so the entire family can camp in civilized comfort. For more information or reservations click here.
Those who prefer a hotel or motel will find their needs catered to in the nearby cities of Crestline and Hesperia. San Bernardino, although farther away, also offers numerous lodging options, and is still close enough to the lake be a viable alternative.
The lake is open to fishing all year. Hours of operation are 6 am to 9 pm during the summer months, and 7 am to 7 pm during the winter. Bag limits on the different species are as follows:
– Trout: 5 fish limit, no size restrictions.
– Largemouth Bass: 2 fish limit, 15 inch total length minimum size.
– Striped Bass: 10 fish limit, no size restrictions.
– Catfish: No limit, no size restrictions.
– Crappie: 25 fish limit, no size restrictions.
Click here to see all the most current fishing regulations for the state of California.
For more information on the Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area, take a look at the CA Department of Parks and Recreation’s website.