These aren’t your regular rentals. Make your river rafting weekend one you’ll really remember by considering a different flavor of accommodations.

Number One: Eco-Pods

Location: Near Ridgecrest.
Ideal for: Those coming from San Diego.
Description: Set in the Mojave Desert, experience solitude with your nearest neighbor at three miles away, and city convenience with Ridgecrest down the road. Mark, the property host, says it best: “Designed for indoor/outdoor living, the space is small and intimate, meant to celebrate the stark desert environment. You feel the intensity of the sun and wind, hear it when it rains, and experience the quiet solitude of the dark, starry sky.”

How to book it: Airbnb.

Photos by Chet Steele


Number Two: Oak Flat Fire Lookout

Location: Between Lake Isabella and Bakersfield
Ideal for: Those not afraid of heights.
Description: Originally used by the Forest Service to spot forest fires, Oak Flat Fire Lookout is now a popular, rustic rental. Climb 40 steps to the top of the landing and enjoy 360-degree views of Sequoia National Forest. Keep in mind it’s rustic – you need to bring your own water and there’s no electricity. But considering it books out months in advance, it’s easy to say that’s part of the appeal.

How to book it: Recreation.gov


Number Three: Covered Wagons at Frandy Park

Location: Kernville, CA
Ideal for: Young families
Description: When you hear the term ‘covered wagon’ you might think of the bumpy, dusty trail and settlers traveling to California. Not with these. The covered wagons of 2018 feature heating and air conditioning, are parked close to the river and can sleep up to six. Decked out with LED lighting, they even feature a window to enjoy the view.

How to book it: Call Frandy Park (888) 372-6399


Number Four: Trailers on demand

Location: Kernville, Lake Isabella, Wofford Heights
Ideal for: Anyone
Description: You can now book travel trailers online and they’ll be delivered to the campground of your choice. Looking for a secluded campground, overlooking a Class IV rapid, AND a full kitchen? On-demand travel trailers can make that happen. (By the way, if that camp sounds like a good fit, Limestone Campground is the ticket.)

How to book it: There are a couple of companies that offer this. Kern River Vacation Trailers and Kern Vacation Trailers.