River's Bend Retreat Center

  • Accessible Parking
  • Accessible Picnic Table
  • Accessible Restroom
  • Roll In Shower
  • WiFi
  • Electricity


  • Accessible Parking
  • Accessible Picnic Table
  • Accessible Restroom
  • Roll In Shower
  • WiFi
  • Electricity


Property Type:
Retreat center
Number of Accessible Units:
visit link
North Coast
18450 Rays Road, Philo, CA 95466
Info: (707) 895-3990
Service dogs only
Last Visited:
June 2018
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River’s Bend, secluded in a country setting in the Anderson Valley, is not a sleek high-end retreat center but rather a rustic center with charm and warmth that invites you to unwind. While it primarily operates as a retreat and event center they also rent to individuals depending on availability. There’s a range of lodging options, from camping to the newer lodges however, only one rustic cabin (Cloud) and one lodge (Sunset) are wheelchair accessible. Amongst the 50-acres is an organic garden (I enjoy lingering here even though the terrain is rough in a motorized wheelchair), a large dining hall, a library and a large wooden deck with a stately oak tree that provides shade which is welcoming as it can get hot during the summer and fall. All community buildings are accessible and are fairly close together but there is some rough terrain to navigate to some areas. I had no problems in a motorized wheelchair. The swimming hole at the Navarro River is not accessible due to the steep terrain to reach it.

In addition to the review below of Sunset Lodge, here are some details about Cloud of the Unknown, the older vintage cabin that is also considered accessible although less so than Sunset Lodge. It offers more privacy than Sunset and it’s charm is that it feels worn & lived in; coziness and quaintness trumps luxury in this cabin. The short path to the entrance ramp may be greater than 1:12 (an average ramp). A nice deck overlooking the grounds extends the length of the small cabin. Inside, two rooms are divided by a curtain; the main room with a small kitchenette and wood-burning stove also has a single bed with a pull out trundle; the back bedroom has a queen bed and an adjoining bathroom. The bathroom has a tub with no grab bars or hand-held shower wand and a plasic bench with a back is available to use in the tub. There are grab bars at the toilet, a roll under sink and room enough to turn a 5’ circle.

For things to do off-site there are numerous wineries along Hwy. 128 and nearby Hendy Woods has a short accessible trail through a redwood grove. 

Outdoor Accessibility

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – Designated accessible parking space with access aisle, van accessible, Firm surface, slope not greater than 1:12

Accessible Picnic Table:
Yes – reachable by firm and stable path, firm and stable surface, knee clearance at least 27" high

Entry to Sleeping Unit:
Entry by ramp with slope of 1:12 or less, doors at least 32" clearance

Paths of travel:
Accessible paths of travel to sleeping area, registration, and restroom.

More Info:
The office has stairs so call prior to arriving. Some routes around the property are over grass or bumpy terrain but It was quite manageable in a motorized wheelchair.

Indoor Accessibility

Unit Reviewed:
Sunset Lodge Room 1

Step inside the Sunset Lodge with it’s tall sloped ceiling, wood interior and large picture windows and you will feel as if you arrived at a mountain chalet. The spacious living room with couches, a large dining table and wood burning stove invite you to curl up with a good book or play games. Tucked behind double doors, a little kitchenette is equipped with a frig, coffee pot, microwave, and toaster oven. It would be good for making breakfast & lunch but not for a big cooked meal.

Of the 3 bedrooms upstairs, Room #1 with one queen bed is the most accessible; the others have bunk beds and tight turns to enter. This small light filled room looks onto a deck and the grounds beyond. Wood paneling, light colored pine furnishings and celery green walls had a calming affect as did the sage smell that lightly perfumed the air. A large threshold at the sliding glass doors prevented my motorized wheelchair from accessing the deck. Immediately across the hall is the shared bathroom; there is a separate sink outside the room with the shower, toilet and other sink.

clear 32" path to temperature controls, clear 32" path to lighting controls, light switch no higher than 48", no clear 32" path to curtains

sleeps 2, 1 queen bed, at least 36" clear space along one side of bed, bed(s) are moveable, 25 inches high, 5.5 inches clearance under bed

electrical outlets are available indoors, unit is not heated,unit does not have air conditioning or fan

Sunset Lodge

Bathroom Features:
door has at least 32" clearance, at least 5'x5' turn circle, at least 28" clear space at toilet, grab bars on back wall and at least one side of toilet, toilet height between 17" and 19", sink clearance at least 27" high and 30" wide, roll-in shower, affixed padded shower bench, bars in shower, no hand-held wand in shower, standard-height showerhead.

Bathroom Barriers:

There is no lowered showerhead so someone will have to adjust the high showerhead to aim towards the person sitting on the shower bench.

Useful to know:

None of the lodging is air-conditioned but a few fans are available. With the late afternoon breeze and cooler evenings, it’s recommended that guests utilize "country air conditioning" by leaving all windows open at night and closed in morning to keep in the cool air. Be sure to read the list of what to bring on the website. WiFi is limited. 


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