Lake Isabella California
Posted by Pharaba Hacker-Witt on July 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm
Lake Isabella, about 50 miles northeast of Bakersfield, touts itself as California’s best-kept secret. A large lake, like Tahoe,it allows for boating, fishing, windsurfing, jet skiing and water skiing without thelarge crowds of Tahoe. You will be able to relax amongst the giant Sequoias withoutcompeting for space as you do near Yosemite. Lake Isabella sits in the Kern River Valley and the Kern River flows directly out of the lake. You can take a white water rafting trip down class three, four and five rapids from one of the many local rafting companies.
Campgrounds and RV Parks
Dozens of campgrounds are nestled on all sides of the lake and in the surrounding areas. You can stay in one area for the whole trip or bounce around to be closer to other attractions. Many of the campgrounds are open from May to September but there are a few that cater to the year round camper.
Lake Isabella Activities
If you like to ride bikes, there is a web of trails for mountain biking in the surrounding foothills. An extensive trail system is also open to dirt bike riders. Some of the local area campgrounds and RV parks focus on catering to motorcycle riders. You can meet people who will give you the low-down on how the trails are riding at that time of year. If you like big jumps, you can head over to Cyrus Canyon and play on the Kernville Valley Motocross track.
For fisherman, you can fish directly on the lake or any number of the surrounding streams and rivers. Float tube fishing is quite popular in the region. Every year the area hosts a number of fishing derbies with a variety of prizes. Be sure to obtain your California fishing license for the year, as the fines are hefty for fishing without a license.
Lake Isabella History
The town features a Native American History Cultural Center highlighting the rich Indian heritage of the area. Local Indians perform at events around the area and offer demonstrations of tribal dances. The Kern Valley Museum covers the entire history of the river; lake and how the area was settled with an extensive photography exhibit spanning over 100 years.
Nearby you can take on the Trail of a Hundred Giants. As part of the Sequoia National Forest you will be walking amongst some of the tallest trees in the world. These trees are only found on the western side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The trail hosts 13 interpretive stations that provide information about the trail, the grove and the management of the area. The estimated age of the trees along the path is between 500 and 1500 years.
Just outside of town, you can visit Silver City Ghost Town. The Mills family who wanted to preserve the rich history of the area created the Ghost Town. As old buildings in the region were slated for destruction, the family purchased them and hauled the structures to Bodfish, recreating a small Ghost Town. It has been used for a number of films and is listed with the California Film Commission as a good “western” location.