Exploring Kernville

Last month I had the opportunity to take a quick trip to Kernville California an amazing little town backed up to the Sequoia National Forest. Located roughly four and a half hours from San Diego Kernville makes an excellent weekend getaway for Southern Californians, offering many recreation and relaxation opportunities. While the town its self might be small there is a lot of adventure to be had.

I came over from the East and had an amazing drive up the 178, climbing from the desert through what appeared to be a forest of Yucca trees on a winding two lane road I was treated to amazing views as I began to decent through the scrub trees and brash and into the valley. Reminiscing of an old west movie the valley opened up into pasture land and cotton wood trees. I had to constantly remind myself to pay attention to the road. Now at the time this article was written and for the next year from this date from what I am to understand Sierra Way is closed due to the heavy rains and flooding California experienced this year. Not to fret it only adds about twenty minutes if you are coming from the East and the drive around Lake Isabella is great. Fortunately the nice lady at James Sierra Gateway Market’s deli informed me of this, by the way great sandwiches, this is a good place to pick up a picnic lunch.

So I found my way up to Kernville and checked into The Kernville Inn a great little place to stay centrally located in the heart of town, behind it is a town park on the river and a great place to eat my sandwich. One thing that really stuck out was how high the water was and the fast moving current. So while exploring I will not this, the town kinda goes to sleep after eight pm so plan accordingly. I did find a couple of watering holes and had to try them out. I have to say this, the locals I met where awesome, especially Cory who had grown up there and he gave me the low down on the area. I had noticed the river but did not realize how dangerous it actually is, while talking to Cory he pointed out the currents and suggested that if I wanted to safely play around in it to go to one of the many river rafting guide services in town. There are quite a few and the prices are very reasonable from “getting your feet wet” to full on rafting adventures. I will defiantly be signing up for a trip next visit.

The next morning I cruised around town which can be done on foot in a relatively short period of time. There are a few neat little shops and restaurants but I had my sites on the Kern River Fly Fishing shop after meeting them at the Fred Hall Outdoor show in San Diego. This is a great little operation that offers great gear, guide services and classes. They were very helpful and a great stop. I can’t emphasize this enough, before getting around the water be it fishing or rafting go talk to the locals they are truly there to help (you keep safe and have fun).  


The highlight was our friend Melissa coming up from Bakersfield to act as my guide for some local hiking. She is from Bako and has been coming up there her whole life so I was lucky to have some insider knowledge as we hiked along the upper Kern River. This place is gorgeous, I would definitely suggest a good day pack and plenty of water but there is no shortage of trails and campsites up the canyon with some amazing views. My only real complaint is I was only there for half a day and did not have enough time to explore more.

I suppose that is not a real complaint though because it will have me coming back very soon to explore trails, white water raft and hopefully do a little fly fishing. Oh the life of a outdoor blogger, ha-ha, but writing more about this great little place is definitely on my to do list. I hope you enjoyed the read and check back in for updates from my next trip and truly hope to run into you guys and gals as we all Get The Fox Out There!  

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published