A California Kind of Camping

Memorable outdoor getaways that will have you counting down to sleeping under the stars, and riding on the trails. This kind of caravan camping eliminates many of the challenges of a traditional campsite, but benefits from the features that make camping so popular.

We’ve recently become aware of the increasing popularity of alternative outdoor lodging in California, essentially camping in caravans or cabins. These types of accommodations are attractive to people who are looking to get away, but may not be interested in the investment of equipment to make it a regular occurrence. And for the bicyclist, the ‘home base’ of the locations allow for day-rides and discovery of places that are unfamiliar, without the encumbrance of bike-touring, carrying all your sleeping and eating gear with you.

This kind of caravan camping eliminates many of the challenges of a traditional campsite, but benefits from the features that make camping so popular. The accommodations include caravans and cabins for sleeping in, wash rooms either in the the trailer or on the property, ample parking, and modern decor that compliment the woods, forests, and gardens that these locations are built upon.

For some, these locations fall into the category of ‘glamping’, a portmanteau meant to deride, but the frivolity of buying hundreds of dollars of camping equipment for what may be a flight of fancy, must be considered. And not to mention having to find the space to store it when you’re not out adventuring. These alternative lodging options allow for a focus on the exploration and riding- without having to find a level place to pitch a tent.

Caravan Outpost - Ojai

Caravan Outpost. Photo: Mariana Schulze

The charming Airstreams at Caravan Outpost coalesce together to provide a communal setting in a tropical garden. The grounds are conveniently located right behind the Ojai Valley Trail which runs parallel to Highway 33 and leads right into coastal scenery of Ventura. Additionally, the Outpost works with a local bike shop to offer on-site mechanical work for any bike touch ups you  may need before you hit the trail. The caravans can accommodate up to 4-5 guests, so it is ideal for a group trip or family reunion.


AutoCamp - Yosemite, Russian River, Santa Barbara

It is easy to unwind in the evening ambiance at the Yosemite location of AutoCamp, the site has an Airstream perfectly situated on the waters edge. Photo: AutoCamp/Aaron Leitz

There are three AutoCamp locations in California; Yosemite, Russian River and Santa Barbara. All three sites are in breathtaking locations, but the Yosemite camp makes a lasting impression. The Yosemite grounds are the largest and most secluded of the three, and they also offer the option of “luxury tents” in addition to their many Airstreams. The grounds are directly adjacent to the Yosemite National Park, and they work with REI to offer hikes through the nearby trails. Amenities at AutoCamp Yosemite include a heated pool, communal fire pits, general store, daily shuttles to the Park, and spacious accommodations to fit the whole family. If Yosemite is just out of reach, the Santa Barbara location is ideal for beach bums.


Getaway House - Running Springs

The grounds of Getaway in Running Springs. Photo: Getaway

Observing the wilderness from the Getaway camp in Running Springs is dazzling. This location is relatively new and is an excellent choice for nearby multi-terrain riding, especially considering the proximity to the Sky Park Village and Chattahoochee National Forest.

The Getaway experience features wooden cabins in Running Springs, and is a respite for those looking to temporarily retreat into the peaceful, California wilderness. Each cabin showcases the majestic wilderness with their iconic wide-paneled windows that allow you to observe nature while indoors. Amenities in the cabins include comfy queen beds (or queen bunks), kitchenettes with two burner stoves and mini-fridges, hot showers, running water, toilets, an outdoor fire pit with grilling grate, outdoor seating, AC and heat.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like
Read More

Antiperspirant: Bad to Worse?

Despite the popularity of antiperspirant deodorants today, most Americans didn’t use them until the early twentieth century. For the average person, the antidote to unpleasant smells was often heavy amounts of perfume and altered clothing, such as cotton sweat pads under the armpits.
Read More
Read More

The 1989 Iron War Revisited

The Kona Ironman world championship consists of a 2.4-mile swim in a calm bay in downtown Kona; a 112-mile bike race through the barren black fields, climbing up the lush mountain road with green grass to the small town of Hawaii; then back down, through the lava fields to the Kona Surf Hotel outside of Kona
Read More
Read More

The e-Chariot

My friend Ron’s granddaughter is a precocious nine years old with a penchant for mechanical things. She conceived the e-Chariot to be a vehicle that would allow her family, including her 12-year-old physically challenged sister Hailey, to bicycle together.
Read More
Read More

The One Way Ride to Mexico

The One Way Ride Program officially began in 2012, but these men have been carrying on this tradition for over a decade. It all started after the 2001 Rosarito to Ensenada ride when local resident Raymond “Randy” Kiefer and his riding partner, Hank Williamson, generously gave away their bicycles to two local teenage boys who were hanging around the finish line watching the riders come in.
Read More
Read More

India by Bicycle: A Brief Survey

When I lived in India for six months in 2014 doing environmental research, I always traveled to my host institution in the northern Bangalore suburbs on my bicycle. It was 6 km away and only took me about 20 minutes. It was a lovely trip through a colorful neighborhood and I relished the sights, smells, and sounds. But, the rides were challenging, both physically and emotionally.
Read More