Los Angeles (the home of Hollywood) is known for its exoticism and extravagance, with plenty of celebrities residing within its boundaries. Tourists flock to Los Angeles in droves, hoping to catch sight of famous stars and witness the Getty Hollywood Walk of Fame, and other iconic locations.
Yet amidst all these tourists, pizzazz, and chaos are quiet roads, lesser-known paths, canals, abandoned campgrounds, and a variety of wilderness landscapes that lie just outside city limits. This is what makes Los Angeles, CA, one of the best RV road trip departure points for an outdoor weekend getaway.
As you set off from California’s coast, Reno is the first city that will welcome you in Nevada. On the drive from Los Angeles to Reno, NV, there are at least five different National Forests and various iconic and popular locations that are well worth the visit.
This is why this eight-hour trip has to be at least three days long so that one can relax, enjoy, and witness all that is fabled and notorious along the way.
If you think Los Angeles is just famous for its entertainment and nightlife, then think again. RV enthusiasts will find all kinds of choices in this city, be it museums, casinos, resorts, theme parks, or a nice evening by the Truckee River Trail to get the best of both urban and rural living.
After hours of driving with a few detours and resting points along the way, we suggest you take a pause and enjoy a nice long slumber before you head on towards your final destination. However, we doubt you’ll be able to catch much sleep when you are surrounded by the beauty of Yosemite National Park and all that it has to offer.
Yosemite National Park lies in Grand Valley and is a vast wilderness area surrounded by picturesque landscapes. Found here are abundant wildlife, dramatic waterfalls, deep valleys, grand meadows, giant sequoias, and cliffs like El Capitan and Half Dome.
In Yosemite, you can enjoy backpacking, biking, golfing, ice skating, fishing, and so much more. Yosemite National Park has 13 campgrounds that one can choose from for a comfortable and memorable camping experience.
After three hours of driving from Lancaster, you’ll reach the beautiful city of Fresno. This Californian city is known for many things, but its most popular attraction is the Roman-inspired network of catacomb gardens built here. This unique structure of the sunken garden was built by Baldassare Forestiere, a Sicilian immigrant who visited America in 1901. Baldassare Forestiere crafted this structure with grottoes, garden courts, and patios. The place offers guided tours that last for about an hour and every single open-air museum room will leave you in awe. There are plenty of campgrounds within minutes of the underground garden where you can park your RVs before walking to the gardens. The Landside Campground of Sequoia National Forest is just 20 minutes away and worth spending the rest of the day in.
After driving for an hour, you may want to take a break or stock up on supplies. Fortunately, you will have the chance to stop at Lancaster, CA, right outside Los Angeles. This city is located in the Antelope Valley of Mojave Desert and gives you your first glimpse into Nevada’s vast desert landscape, which is far different from that of Los Angeles.
Another way in which this city contrasts LA is that it is 75% farmland. To truly experience the beauty of this city, you’ll just need to make a 20-minute detour from your route to Reno, by entering the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. Here you will be greeted with fields upon fields of wildflowers and poppies.
Spring is the best time for this reserve as it comes alive with colorful blooms that make for some epic pictures.
The reserve is located in the countryside, and you get tons of hiking options here to stretch your legs. Or you can just sit at one of the many benches and relax as you spot kangaroo rats, gophers, coyote, and bobcats in the distance. There’s a parking lot to accommodate visitors, but you can also park your RVs on the side of the road and travel on foot.
As much as one might love LA, it is not the ideal city for driving about in a large RV or motor home. Plenty of traffic and crowded tourist-filled roads can make navigating through the city an arduous task. However, just minutes away from the 3rd Street promenade in Pacific Palisades lies a place where you can leave the city chaos behind.
In Murphy’s Ranch, there’s a short two-mile hike that leads into the woods and ends at a campground that was owned and built by a Nazi sympathizer. There are 500 stairs amidst beautiful surroundings that will eventually lead you to this abandoned campground. It is a crowd-free place and offers free parking outside for your RVs.
This campground was supposed to be a German base-camp after they took over the American Government, and substantial funds were invested here. They never won the war, but their abandoned campground remains to this day and is adorned with graffiti.
The road to this trailhead is sparsely trafficked since very few people know about it. This little window into history seems like the perfect place to start your RV road trip adventure and get your first taste of solitude.
It’s a good thing that your road trip from Los Angeles to Reno included relaxing, unwinding, and surrounding yourself with thought-provoking beauty, because the lively city of Reno fills you with adrenaline.
Popularly known as the Biggest Little City in The World and often dubbed as mini Las Vegas, Reno is a hub for gambling and entertainment. Yet the city is far from one-dimensional.
If gambling is not your scene, then don’t worry because this city has loads to offer. Some of the best museums, resorts, ski slopes, and other fun attractions are found here and help lure at least five million visitors every year.
Head over to Nevada Museum of Art or National Automobile Museum too if you are a history buff. Or make your way to the mesmerizing and eminent Lake Tahoe − one of the largest alpine lakes in the world − get a taste of hot-air balloon races, car shows, and bowling tournaments along with everything else Reno has to offer.
Check out Washoe Lake State Park, Virginia Foothills Park, and Rancho San Rafael Regional Park to explore your RV camping options at this magical city to end a truly awesome weekend RV road trip.