Summer Survival Series Part 5: Adventures in Nature!

A vintage trailer with a wide turquoise stripe and small orange and yellow stripes sits in the middle of a green grassy clearing with a chair and picnic array sitting at the ready outside its doors.
A vintage trailer painted with a wide turquoise stripe and small stripes of orange and yellow sits in the middle of a green grassy clearing with a chair and picnic array sitting at the ready outside its doors.

Spending time outdoors on a trail or at a campground is a great way to physically distance and stay safe while embarking on an adventure. Whether that means a weekend in nature, a staycation to just get out of the house, or a road trip, we've gathered some options to help you break up the groundhog-day routine — and all within 3 hours of Los Angeles!

RV Rentals

Traveling by RV can give your family the freedom of the open road while staying safe and enjoying the comforts of what feels like home. Things to take into consideration when selecting an RV are how many people you are traveling with, whether you’ll need wheelchair access or carseat accessibility, and the size of vehicle you feel comfortable driving. Be sure to ask about any accessibility features or whether or not service animals are permitted. For safety, we recommend bringing your own cleaning supplies, sheets, and pillows, and disinfecting any high-touch surfaces before using them.

  • RV Share
    RV Share has the largest national system of listings for RV rentals. Accessible RV listings are mixed in with the rest, so use a keyword search to find the motorhome that fits your family’s needs or contact the RV’s owner to discuss accessibility.
     
  • Outdoorsy
    This is another great site for finding owner-sourced RV rentals in your area. RVs can be picked up at the owner’s location or delivered to your home. Listings can be searched by keyword. For insight on the different classes of RVs available for rent, check out this handy guide.
     
  • El Monte RV
    With pickup locations at LAX and in Van Nuys, El Monte RV is another good option for motorhome rentals. Signing up for their email list will get you information on coupon codes and specials. Their site offers a great list of RV parks in California

Campgrounds

You’ve got your motorhome, you’ve got your gear . . . now, where are you headed? Keep a close eye on the California State Parks COVID-19 updates page to know which parks are open. Due to the nature of the pandemic, a park's status can change rapidly. Many reservations are already taken, but keep checking the spots you’re interested in. Fall is right around the corner, and there’s more availability in those months. California RV parks have been designated as essential services and remain open on a case-by-case basis. (Hot tip: if you're really open to adventure, seasoned RVers tell us to check the app Roam Free for a comprehensive map of camping and boondocking sites.)

  • List of Open State Park Campgrounds
    This list is regularly updated by the State Parks Department and provides information about which sites are open. Use Reserve California and Recreation.gov to reserve camping spots. TIP: Check the Reserve California site at 8:00 a.m. every day for your desired campsite, as that’s when they release new and canceled reservations. A search for the week of August 17th shows campsite availability at Malibu Creek State Park, Silverwood Lake SRA, and San Onofre State Beach. All of these campgrounds are wheelchair accessible.
     
  • KOA
    KOA is the trusted host of many beloved privately-owned campground sites in California. Whether you want to pitch a tent, park the RV, or rent a cabin, KOA has many options. Here are examples of current COVID restrictions: 
     
    • Ventura Ranch KOA requires wearing masks and keeping a 6-foot distance from those who are not part of your household, and no more than 6 people are allowed on each campsite. No tent camping is available at this time. Their pool and a few other activities are open. A quick search shows some RV sites available in August with rates ranging from $80 to $109 per night. While there, take an ocean stroll on the ADA-accessible San Buenaventura State Beach.
       
    • Avila/Pismo Beach KOA has camping sites available at the end of August. They also require masks and 6-foot physical distancing. Their spa is currently closed but their pool is open with reservations. There’s a petting zoo and a farm that offers hayrides across the street from the campground, which is close to beaches and ADA-compliant trails.
       
  • Hipcamp    
    Hipcamp is a user-sourced rental site for campgrounds on private land, similar to the Airbnb model. Search within California to find secluded tent camping, RV sites, and even glamping opportunities. You can also filter your search for ADA-accessible campsites
     
  • Jalama Beach Camping 
    This beautiful and secluded beach campsite north of Santa Barbara has 107 campsites that overlook the ocean. Their reservation system has the latest updates on their COVID restrictions. Their playground is currently closed. Reservations are available starting in October, but they recommend keeping an eye on the website for earlier cancellations. 

Trails

  • Ojai Valley Trail
    This 9-mile, wheelchair-accessible paved trail runs along the Ventura River in the heart of the beautiful Ojai Valley, with mountain and river views. The trail begins in Foster Park in downtown Ventura and ends in downtown Ojai at Fox Street. 
  • Alpine Pedal Path — Big Bear Lake
    The Alpine Pedal Path is an ADA-accessible paved trail that goes along the north shore of Big Bear Lake from the Stanfield Cutoff to slightly west of the Solar Observatory. This path connects with the Big Bear Discovery Center (currently closed for renovation). To access this trail, park at Juniper Point or Meadow's Edge picnic areas or at Stanfield Cutoff.  
  • Morro Bay Harborwalk
    This ADA-accessible half-mile paved trail in Morro Bay boasts beautiful views of the volcanic rocks in the town’s harbor, along with sea otters and other marine life. Park just off Coleman Drive at Morro Rock; the trail ends at Embarcadero. Be sure to check Morro Bay’s COVID alert page to stay updated on openings. 
    • Hours: 7:00 a.m. to sunset
       

Other news