Camping in the
Lower Kern Canyon

Information & Maps provided by US Forest Service / Department of Agriculture

| GENERAL INFORMATION | KERN RIVER CAMP DIRECTORY |


Kern River Ranger District

Welcome to the Kern River Ranger District. If you are looking for a campground, a quiet camping area or a picnic facility, here is a guid to what you will find in the Lower Kern Canyon, northwest of Lake Isabella.

Some of these recreation areas operate under a concessionaire program with California Land Management (CLM). Reservations can be made for Hobo Campground by calling the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS) at 1-877-444-6777 (TDD 877-833-6777), at least 5 days prior to your arrival. Sandy Flat campground operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. For further information please contact:

Kern River Ranger District
Lake Isabella Visitor Center
4875 Ponderosa Dr.
P.O. Box 3810
Lake Isabella, CA 93240
(760) 379-5646
TTY (760) 379-5646

Golden Age and Golden Access Passports are accepted at these campgrounds and entitle the card holder to a 50% discount on federal use fees.


Lower Kern Canyon Recreation Area

Hobo Sandy Flat
Picnic & Day Use Sites Additional Information

HOBO - Campground & Overflow Camping
42 miles east of Bakersfield via State Hwy 178 and old Kern Canyon Rd., located along the lower Kern River; Paved road; 35 family units; Suitable for RV's up to 24', unsuitable for trailers; Toilets; Elevation 2,300 feet. Open year round; Water; Garbage collection; Supplies Lake Isabella. Fishing in season; Raft launch sites; $18 per night, $5 for each additional vehicle.


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SANDY FLAT -
44 miles east of Bakersfield via State Hwy 178 and old Kern Canyon Rd., located along the lower Kern River; First come, first served campground. Paved road; 35 family units; Suitable for RV's and trailers up to 24'; Toilets; Elevation 2,500 feet. Open year round; Water; Garbage collection; Supplies Lake Isabella. Fishing in season; Raft launch sites; $18 per night, $5 for each additional vehicle. Day Use Area is $10 per day.


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PICNIC & DAY USE SITES:

LIVE OAK -
19 miles northeast of Bakersfield along the Kern River via State Hwy 178. Paved road; Picnic tables, Toilets; No water; Elevation 1,400'; Open March 1 to September 30; Supplies in Bakersfield; Fishing in Season. Parking fee $10 per day (CLM).
UPPER RICHBAR -
20 miles northeast of Bakersfield along the Kern River via State Hwy 178. Paved road; Picnic tables; Toilets; Water; Elevation 1,400'; Open year round; Supplies in Bakersfield; Fishing in Season. Parking fee $10 per day. (From Sept. 30 to March 1, limited services.) (CLM).
LOWER RICHBAR -
20 miles northeast of Bakersfield along the Kern River via State Hwy 178. Paved road; Picnic tables; Toilets; Water; dumpsters; Elevation 1,400'; Open March 1 to September 30; Supplies in Bakersfield; Fishing in Season. Parking fee $10 per day (CLM).
DEMOCRAT BEACH -
25 miles northeast of Bakersfield along the Kern River via State Hwy 178. Paved and dirt road; Toilets; No water; Elevation 2,000'; Open year round; Supplies in Bakersfield; Fishing in Season; Raft takeout site and small boat access. Day use fee $10.
MIRACLE HOT SPRINGS -
42 miles northeast of Bakersfield and 8 miles southwest of Lake Isabella, along the Kern River via State Hwy 178. Toilets; Water; Elevation 2,300'; Open year round; Supplies in Lake Isabella; Fishing in Season. boat launch put-in. Day use fee $8.
CHINA GARDENS -
10 miles west of Lake Isabella along the Kern River via State Hwy 178. Dirt roads; Toilets; dumpsters; Elevation 2,000'; Open May to October; Supplies Lake Isabella; Fishing in Season.
BLACK GULCH - NORTH
8 miles west of Lake Isabella off Hwy 155 via the Keysville Road. dirt and 4 wheel drive road; no toilets; no water; no dumpsters; Elevation 2,300'; Open May through October; Supplies in Lake Isabella; Fishing in Season.
BLACK GULCH - SOUTH
8 miles west of Lake Isabella along the Kern River off Hwy 178. dirt roads; toilets; dumpsters; no water; Elevation 2,300'; Open May through October; Supplies in Lake Isabella; Fishing in Season.


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Additional Information

KERN RIVER SAFETY -
The Kern River is swift, cold and DANGEROUS! Hazardous rapids and powerful currents can produce tragic results. Swimming and floating on water toys such as tubes, mattresses and plastic rafts are NOT RECOMMENDED. Children should always be closely supervised near the river. Life preservers are strongly recommended for everyone anywhere near the Kern River.
LENGTH OF STAY -
Camping in the National Forest is limited to a total of 14 days in a 30 day period. In non-fee areas the limit is 28 days per calendar year. Each site allows for six people or immediate family members.
SANITATION -
Please, no cleaning of fish or washing of dishes, clothes, or hair at fountains or in the river or streams. Besides attracting insects, clogged drains may result. Detergents can also contaminate bodies of water that can kill fish and other wildlife.
FISHING -
Fishing is open year round in Kern County with a 5-trout limit; 2-bass (15" minimum); and catfish, no limit. "2-pole" stamp does not apply to the Kern River.
FIREARMS/FIREWORKS -
Discharging firearms is prohibited within 150 yards of a campground, trail, road, recreation area or across a body of water. A target range is located off Sierra Way, south of Kernville about 2 miles. It is operated by the Kern River Valley Gun Association under a special use permit and is open to the public year round on Sunday's from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., except major holidays, weather permitting. Fireworks are not allowed on the Sequoia National Forest.
FIRE PREVENTION -
Fire danger is very high during the summer months. Please help by making sure all campfires are extinguished with water before leaving your site. Carry a shovel and never leave a campfire unattended. Smoke only in cleared areas and use the ashtray in your car. Campfire permits may be obtained from the Lake Isabella Visitor Center, a ranger in the field, or online at: Campfire Permit.
TRIP TIPS -
To protect the Kern River, overnight camping is not allowed between Live Oak Day Use area traveling northeast along Highway 178 to Milepost 24. Minimize impact by always camping at least 100 feet from streams and trails. Pack out what you pack in .


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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs and marital or familial status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA Office of Communication at (202) 720-5881 (voice) or (202) 720-7808 (TDD).
To file a complaint, write the Secretary of Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., 20250, or call (202) 720-7327 (voice) or (202) 720-1127 (TDD). USDA is an equal employment opportunity employer.


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