We've returned to San Diego every holiday season since we started fulltiming in 2012, spending one month at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve
and another month at Mission Bay RV Resort. This year marks our fourth month-long stay at Santee Lakes and I find I enjoy this park more each year.
Santee Lakes is not perfect, in fact it has a couple of big issues, but it does have one of my most sought after features of any private RV park or public campground: easy access to walking in nature. At Santee Lakes you can walk several miles around the seven man made lakes in a park setting, or you can hike or mountain bike many miles up Sycamore Canyon directly from the RV park.
This year we stayed in site #173. This site backs up to the "creek", with good separation and privacy plantings between us and our neighbors. In this site our booster managed to give us 4 bars of Verizon during our entire stay...better than we've ever had in this park. Unfortunately the only way to make or receive phone calls was to have the phone in the booster and on speaker.
Here's a link
to one of my previous reviews of this RV park. And here's my take on the problems with this RV park:
1) The decomposed granite that covers most of the RV sites is a pain the butt when it rains. The stuff is easily tracked into the RV and many sites have large puddles during heavy rain storms. Gravel would have been a better choice for the RV sites. Patio mats are necessary here.
2) The biggest issue with Santee Lakes: poor Verizon signal. In fact, we are so fed up with not having decent Verizon signal while staying in the middle of a big city that Hans brought it up with the office staff and they connected him with the parks director. Ms. Evans was extremely responsive to his concerns and his suggestion that Santee Lakes work with the local service providers to install more towers.
Amazingly a meeting with Verizon was already in place on that very day to talk about that exact topic! And Ms. Evans even got back to Hans after the meeting with an update! Verizon is planning on placing 2 or 3 towers in or near the park...though it is unknown how long this will take it was reassuring to know something is being done. Especially since the park's Tengo internet is not a good alternative for heavier use. Hans intends to keep in touch with the park regarding the status of the project.
|Pretty and private site #173.|
|The "creek" running behind our site.|
As we prepare to move to Hans' brothers driveway in Poway for a couple of weeks I'll sign off with some photos taken since my last post...
|The Creepy Creeps at SoNo Fest.|
SoNo Fest is a growing holiday festival in our former neighborhood (North Park).
This year their chili cook off featured 42 local restaurants and a craft beer garden that must have had 20 local brewers - YUM!
|Black Crowned Night Heron awaiting lunch service at Santee Lakes.|
|Rusty remnants seen along the trail in Sycamore Canyon.|
|On one hike in Sycamore Canyon I saw five coyotes!|
|Making sure that woman wielding a camera is not a threat.|
|Annual chili dinner at Annie's!|
|A Star Wars escapee over Santee Lakes!|
|Red Tailed Hawk about six feet overhead at Santee Lakes.|
|Happy hour with Janet and Tom at Santee Lakes.|
|One of the best things we've done in the past month was to play lots of pickleball |
with the wonderful people playing at Big Rock Park in Santee.
We just might make the drive to Santee occasionally to continue playing with this fun group!
|Hans enjoying his new bike in Sycamore Canyon.|
It's a Fuji SLM 2.4 carbon fiber 29er hard tail.
|Riding through Sycamore Canyon.|
I sure hope they get the issues fixed....I can see why you LOVE it there. The red-tail hawk is magnificent and so is the Black Crowned Night Heron. Is parking provided for people who just want to hike or do you have to have a site there?ReplyDelete
Nice bike Hans!
There is a day use fee for the park area...but you can also park outside on Lake Canyon Rd and walk right into the park for free, the gate is open during the day. This gives you access to the entire 7 lakes and you can also walk through the RV park which is at the North end of the property.Delete
Thanks Lisa. We will check it out!Delete
Ill keep a note of your site number when making reservation and hopefully a cell tower will already be in place next winter. I like that there are so many birds out there as well as hiking trails right out of the park. How far in advance should we make a reservation?ReplyDelete
Well we always make our reservation a year in advance so we get the site we want since we KNOW we are coming to San Diego. I am certain you can get a site almost any time of the year with little advance notice though (holidays excepted). There are a lot of decent sites in the Willow and Oak loops with good separation...though the further North you are in the park the worse the Verizon issues. Fingers crossed the towers go up in 2016 and solves the problem.Delete
That's great that the park owners listened to Hans. So often complaints go unanswered. A sign of good management! Enjoy your "vacation" from traveling. I'm licking my chops at all the wonderful snow our mountains are receiving! I'm so ready to make up for last year's dismal ski season.ReplyDelete
I know! We are watching the weather reports for the PNW and it looks like a NORMAL year...YAY!Delete
Great hawk picture. I too can see why you love to return there. LOL at the Star Wars escapee. Nice to have San Diego as your place to return to over the winter. Our home town is a fall or spring but not winter or summer return, if you can help it, and is devoid of RV parks although it does have Shenandoah National Park fairly nearby. Safe travels as you move on.ReplyDelete
Yes indeed, the weather truly is better in San Diego 99% of the year compared to the rest of the country!Delete
Good to hear there may be another tower coming to Santee Lakes! That (and that dirt/gravel stuff) are the only real dings to the park. Even the pull throughs have great spacing between the sites. I did enjoy hiking into the canyon from the park. Lots of areas to explore back there! How cool that you saw so many coyotes! Great hawk!!ReplyDelete
With El Nino coming we are happy to move on to paved surfaces for the next six weeks!Delete
Looks like a nice place to hang out for a while. Being able to walk out your door and hike is always a plus.ReplyDelete
It's really one of my top priorities when choosing a park, especially if I am staying a month or longer.Delete
Nice looking bike, Hans!ReplyDelete
Although we loved the location we weren't too crazy about Mission Bay. I think we'll try Santee Lakes if we ever decide to return to the San Diego area. Always like a park with hiking right from your door.
Agree, I really dislike Mission Bay as an RV park...but the location is pretty darn good so that's why we stay there!Delete
Excellent hiking trails and blazing fast Verizon coverage are two of the most important factors for a great RV park. Of course, they don't necessarily go together! But it's crazy to be so close to San Diego and not have good coverage. We'll miss San Diego this winter -- we especially loved North Park. Looks like you're having a wonderful time reconnecting with friends. :-)ReplyDelete
Yes, if they can only get Verizon going we'll be in darn good shape every time we stay there!Delete
The heron and coyotes and hawk sure confirm how natural the area is - beautiful pics. Looks like the old neighborhood is rockin' their big event! Enjoy the holiday at the "big house" in Poway :-))ReplyDelete
The heron is gorgeous and your photos are beautiful.ReplyDelete
Sounds like you've been having a great time. We find we really enjoy returning to certain places even though not perfect. We still need to get to San Diego one day to take in some of the sights. It's been too long since our last visit. Happy New Year!ReplyDelete
I was glad to find your post this morning as we will be at Santee Lakes for the month of June. Our site will be #173 so it was great to get a preview! We do need AT&T cell coverage to make work calls, so I will be contacting Santee Lakes about that. Thanks for the heads up.ReplyDelete