March 16, 2001
The campground is a little spartan with only a little grass in the center of the grounds. The rest of this facility centers on it's reason for being,Topaz Lake. This campground exists for boating in almost all it's forms. If you arrive on a weekday, you stand an excellent chance of getting beachfront property,a mere fifty feet from your boat that is. At Topaz Lake,you merely pull your boat up to the beach and tie it off. They have an excellent launch ramp and the charge for it's use can't be beat,$5.00 per stay. For $5.00 you can launch and retrieve your boat as many times as you like during a given visit. Many recreational lakes will charge you every time you use the ramp.
The Dry Camp sites have a reasonable amount of shade, but nobody who comes here seems to care, they come here to play in the sun. The shade on the RV section is more limited than in the Dry Camp section.
Fire rings are free and picked up near the entrance, firewood can be purchased there as well. We always bring our own as we like large campfires. What is really great here is that you can walk to your boat acchored just offshore about fifty feet away,and take a night cruise. If a nightcruise doesn't appeal to you,hop in your car and drive two miles and your at The Topaz Lodge and Casino,which overlooks the lake.
I'm certain that some specifics would be helpful at this point.
1.Topaz Lake is 120 miles north of Bishop on US HWY.395 just one half mile north of the California Border,in Nevada.
2.You can't make reservations,first come first served.
3.Sunday through Thursday are the best days to visit. On weekends the locals from Reno,Carson City,Gardnerville, ect.swoop down on this place.
4.The best months to visit are between late June to late August. The real boating season here lasts just two months. This is a desert lake sitting right on the edge of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Since Topaz is an irrigation lake the water level can be pretty low in late August. Furthermore,the little lagoon that serves as such good anchor in midsummer,can be nearly empty,making anchoring a boat difficult. Near the beginning of September,sudden Eastern Sierra weather patterns can be treacherous. Suddenly calm weather will turn to rowdy wind,causing people to scramble to get their boats out of the water, only to be able to put them back in within an hour.
5.There is a small store at Topaz Lodge,two miles west of the campground on US HWY.395. Here you can purchase gasoline,propane,camping fuel,fishing supplies and they have a modest supply of groceries.
If you have a boat and live within a reasonable distance,this place is great.
From journal Topaz Lake, Unsung Jewel of The Eastern Sierra