Lake Isabella, CA

Where the Mighty Kern River Forms a Lake

Anne Bonfert
Lake IsabellaJonathon Hoffman / Unsplash

In the heart of the Kern River Valley is California's best-kept secret. While most of California's beaches are already crowded and booked out for the entire summer season you should consider going inland for your vacation. This place is just three hours north of Los Angeles and a great place to spend your holidays or just a weekend getaway.

Located in the Hot Springs Valley and being part of the Kern River Valley, Lake Isabella is where two forks of the wild Kern River meet. This is also the reason why many white water sports fans are enjoying the river upstream of the lake. Usually, between spring and summer, you'll see several white water rafting adventurers along the river.

Activities that make Lake Isabella an attractive destination are fishing, hiking, camping, or just relaxing on the lake. Depending on the season you can go skiing or windsurfing and jet-skiing as well.

Several campgrounds located around the lake are offering different comforts and campsite variations for overnight campers.

Countless hiking trails on 1000 miles of paths throughout the Sequoia National Park are inviting novice and experienced hikers to explore nature and embrace the beauty of the are while walking through the woods.

For offroad biking, fans is a motocross track located at Cyrus Canyon. Be sure to check it out and go wild in this stunningly located track.

For explorers of the lake is important to note that the water levels of the lake are constantly changing. Islands, tree snags, rocks and larger boulders, sandpits, and submerged fencing all do appear and disappear from time to time with the rising or sinking water levels of Lake Isabella. Be sure to avoid any of those obstacles when driving across the lake.

Lake Isabella is one of the largest reservoirs in southern California. Motorized, as well as non-motorized boating, is allowed but users have to take care of each other and be respectful of the right of way on the lake.


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I am a traveler. Photographer. Writer. Teacher. Skydiving instructor. Adventure enthusiast. Nature lover. And fell in love with the African continent. My stories go around travel, nature and all kinds of adventurous activities.


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