Are you looking for a place to escape from city life and enjoy nature? After being cooped up for much of the winter, my husband and I were anxious to get away for a weekend. So when I received an invitation to spend two nights at Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort & Campground, I was more than intrigued. Lured by a beautiful lake with hiking trails only 100 miles from my home, I welcomed the road trip and opportunity to explore a new location!
Now that I’ve been, I’d love to share with you why I think you might also like to escape to Bonelli Bluffs. In fact, I can think of at least10 reasons…
1. It’s in a beautiful regional park
Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort and Campground is tucked within the larger Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park — 1975 acres of park facilities and recreational activities surrounding a lake. The resources of this park and campground are nearly limitless. I’ll talk about them more as I share my list but how about an equestrian center, the Mountain Meadows golf course, canoeing, fishing, hiking, paddleboarding and cycling, for starters?! There’s also a boat launch, playgrounds, swimming, and many picnicking areas.
2. Nature close at hand
For being so close to a major metropolis, it’s surprising how much nature there is to enjoy here. Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort & Campground is only 29 miles from Los Angeles and 115 miles from San Diego, making it an easy drive. What a blessing that this natural area was preserved and set aside for people to enjoy! The lake is a perfect centerpiece for the surrounding beaches, hills, trails, marshland, grassy fields, and even wildflowers.
Animal life is abundant as well. We saw many waterfowl within yards of our campsite. In just two days, I spotted pelicans, Egyptian geese, Canadian geese, a muscovy duck (a very odd creature!), sandpipers, gulls, loons, grebes, ducks, snowy egrets, a cormorant and a great blue heron. While hiking, I saw squirrels, rabbits, a skunk (at a distance!), and a coyote. At night there were toads serenading us as we got ready for bed.
3. The campers are so friendly
As soon as we arrived to check in to the resort, we were greeted by the kindest staff member. He welcomed me with a gourmet chocolate, gave us a campground map, and made us feel like he had all the time in the world to answer any questions we had. As we pitched our tent, the campers in the next site waved hello. Later as we walked around the campground, other guests greeted us kindly. Perhaps there is just something about camping that makes people more open and welcoming?
4. So much to do — or do nothing at all
I’ve kind of touched on this already because there really is a lot you can do at Bonelli Bluffs. The Resort has a playground, horseshoe pits, swimming pools, market, basketball, and sand volleyball. It’s nestled right next to an arm of the lake where you can see many birds or go fishing. Hiking trails lead out in all directions with views of the lake and distant mountains. The lake (Puddingstone Reservoir) offers all kinds of water sports, including sailing, paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, and motor boats. You can golf, or take in a horseback ride. Stroll through the resort and make friends, too! We saw many fellow guests riding bicycles along the roads and groomed trails.
Or you can just do nothing. Our tent site was on a beautiful grassy knoll overlooking one end of the lake. I had plenty of room to spread out a blanket and gaze at the sky, listen to birds singing, and read a book. Our site’s campfire ring provided a cozy place to warm up each evening and drink hot cocoa.
5. Planned activities at Bonelli Bluffs
We planned our visit to coincide with the Vintage Trailer Rally being held March 25-28, 2021, and that included a classic car show. When Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort & Campground holds a special event, they know how to do it right! The theme was “Cajun Campin” and events included a shrimp boil, donut breakfast, and a performance by Cajun legend, Doug Kershaw.
At dusk each evening, the vintage trailers would turn on strings of lights and add their ambiance to the magic of the campground. On Saturday, the classic cars rolled in to the tunes of 50’s music. Food trucks and vendors joined them. Bonelli Bluffs was a happenin’ place!
6. Ongoing resort improvements
I had the opportunity to meet some of the Bonelli Bluffs Resort management and learn about the plans they have for ongoing resort improvements. I was excited to hear what’s in the works! There are already 504 RV/camping sites, but they’ll be adding cabins, too. The market will be renovated, and an ice cream snack bar will be added. A beautiful patio with a view will be expanded and enhanced for outdoor dining and performances. Swimming pools wil be refinished and WiFi will be available throughout the resort.
7. Perfect for both tent camping or RV’s
Since I’m a tent camper, I admit I don’t know as much about RV camping. As I walked around the resort, however, it sure seemed like Bonelli Bluffs makes a great place to RV camp. The sites are very spacious and easy to pull into. Many sites also have grassy areas. All the amenities needed for RV camping are provided here, including onsite laundry, a CD lending library, showers, RV parts, outgoing mail services, an ATM machine and more! Come to think of it, many of these make bonus amenities for tent campers, too! On the “B” and “C” loops, many RV sites are arranged on the edge of bluffs overlooking the lake — fantastic views!
As a tent camper at Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort & Campground, I was very impressed with the set-up. I had wondered if tent camping here would be more of a second thought since most of the units are for RV’s. But I’ve camped my entire life and don’t remember having a tent campsite so nice before. (Mine was Tent Site #1, nearest the lake and also conveniently located to a restroom with shower). I was most pleased with all the grass, beautiful trees to provide shade, the fire ring, and a parking space right next to the site. Plus, the tent sites are a comfortable distance from each other, so you’re not camping right on top of other campers!
8. Lots of side-trip options
You might never want to leave the campground while you’re at Bonelli Bluffs. But should you desire more variety, there are lots of side-trip options. Nearby are both the Raging Water waterpark (2 miles) and the Los Angeles Fairplex (1 mile). Downtown San Dimas, with its historic Western Village is only 5 miles away. A favorite of mine is Claremont, with its beautiful college campuses and annual Village Venture Craft Faire (7 miles). Mt. Baldy and San Antonio Falls are 17 miles from Bonelli Bluffs, if you’re looking for more fantastic views.
9. Proximity to historic Route 66
Historic Route 66 originally ran through San Dimas and neighboring cities, including Claremont, Pomona, Laverne, and Glendora. The Route 66 highway is now Foothill Boulevard in these towns. If you are a fan of visiting original Route 66 sites, you will enjoy visiting several in this area.
I was able to see a 1950’s Double-Arch McDonald’s and Mr. D’s Diner in Laverne. The Hat pastrami shop and the Palm Tropics Motel are still operating in Glendora, CA. And The Golden Spur Restaurant sign can be spotted in Glendora, but the restaurant is no longer open.
10. Incredible Photo Ops
Maybe you already noticed there’s plenty to take photos of at Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort & Campground or nearby. From historic sights to wildlife to gorgeous landscapes, I found no shortage. When you go, be sure to take your camera (or at least your phone camera!) because you’ll want to document your memories and share with your friends.
Plan your escape to Bonelli Bluffs!
All current safe-distancing and cleaning protocols are being strictly observed at Bonelli Bluffs. For that reason, some activities may be restricted, but you will enjoy a wonderful escape while camping or RV-ing here. I felt completely safe during my stay and know that you can as well. For booking reservations, please click here, or call 909-599-8355.
As is common in the travel industry, I was invited by Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort & Campground to stay a weekend and enjoy the resort amenities for the purpose of providing a review. I am grateful for the opportunity and have given an honest review based on my experiences.