Kern County is often referred to as the “Golden Empire” and for good reason.
Kern County is located in the southern Central Valley of California. It extends east beyond the southern slope of the eastern Sierra Nevada range into the Mojave Desert.
The area was first settled in 1866 has a rich history of oil – black gold, and agriculture. Today Kern county attracts thousands every year.
The Mojave Desert, home to several natural wonders and interesting places to visit. Red Rock Canyon, Randsburg, and Edwards Air Force Base.
To the west of Edwards and just on the other side of the Tehachapi Mountains, is the City of Bakersfield, the birthplace of the “Bakersfield Sound”, and the epicenter for Basque food restaurants.
Further, to the west are the Tule Elk State Reserve, McKittrick tar pits, and the Kern Oil Museum.
The Kern River Valley is the gateway to the Sequoia National Monument and offers numerous outdoor adventure including river rafting, hiking, camping, and fishing.
Kern County Day Trips
Kern River Valley
The Kern River is the undisputed recreation capital for outdoor adventure destination in southern California.
Rafting is one of the most popular activities along the Kern River with numerous outfitters offering guided trips down the tours.
Lake Isabella is nestled in the Kern River Valley between two sections of the Sequoia National Forest.
Only three hours north of Los Angeles, Lake Isabella is a popular year-round destination for camping and fishing.
Red Rock Canyon State Park
Red Rock Canyon Park has been the site scores of movies, including the crew of the Planet of the Apes, due to its colorful rock formations.
The best time to visit Red Rock Canyon State Park is in the Spring and Fall.
Outlets at Tejon
The Outlets at Tejon Ranch are an oasis on the long trek call the Grapevine, a stretch of highway that cuts through the Tehachapi Mountains.
Along with the huge outlet mall, you will find traveler-focused businesses such as lodging places, fast food restaurants and places to fuel for the return trip after a day of shopping.
The town of Tehachapi has made a name for itself because of the numerous murals that adorn many walls in the city.
At every turn, a new and fascinating piece of artwork reveals itself. Many of the murals depict an important historical event or a famous citizen.
Silver City Ghost Town
Silver City Ghost Town is located a few miles from Lake Isabella and well worth a stop while visiting the area.
Even though Silver City never existed, nearly all of the structures are from the Kern River Valley ‘s historic past.
Randsburg Ghost Town
Randsburg is located in eastern Kern County. The town still has a few residents and is known as a Living Ghost Town.
In town, you will find antique shops, real western saloon, opera house, a general store with an old-fashioned soda fountain.
Antelope Valley Indian Museum
This Antelope Valley Indian Museum only open on weekends 9 am to 4 pm. Admission is only $3 per person, kids 12 and under are free.
Since 1979, the museum and surrounding 147 acres have been part of the California State Parks system.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon Parks
Sequoia and Kings Canyon Parks are tucked side by side east of the San Joaquin Valley.
These two National Parks are connected by a single road that provides nearly 866,000 acres of outdoor adventure in the “Land of the Giants.”
California Living Museum Bakersfield
Covering 17 acres of land in Bakersfield is the California Living Museum.
Both a zoo and a botanical garden, the California Living Museum is an ideal place for a family day trip.
Visiting Kern County
Bakersfield is the largest city in Kern County. Lake Isabella, the Sequoia National Monument and the Wild and Scenic Kern River are some of the most visited destinations in Kern County.
Plan on spending several days exploring Kern County, California.
Kern county is about a three-hour drive from Los Angeles or San Francisco.