15 Best Things to Do in Kernville, CA

Kernville, CA
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Despite your skepticism and lack of knowledge about this charming, picturesque, and easily accessible town, you will love to try the best things to do in Kernville.

Located in Kern County, California's southern Sierra Nevada, Kernville is a census-designated town.

John C. Fremont's 1845 expedition was joined by artist and topographer Edward Kern, who dubbed the Kern River after him.

They set a camp in the center at the confluence of two rivers, now Lake Isabella.

Gold rushes in 1858 and 1863 led to the establishment of a town called Whiskey Flat that was later renamed Rogersville.

The said town was renamed Kernville in 1864.

Visitors looking for an exciting weekend away from home might find it in this little riverbank enclave.

Discover all that Kernville has to offer: from enjoying white water rafting down the Kern River, hiking Whiskey Flat Trail, visiting the town's historical sites, and relaxing in a local brewpub after soaking up the sun in the campgrounds and hotels.

Check out this list to get you started on planning your vacation.

Go Windsurfing at Lake Isabella

Lake Isabella surrounded by mountains and rocks
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The US Corps of Engineers developed Lake Isabella in 1953 as a reservoir to help Bakersfield, the county seat and largest city in Kern County, deal with flooding.

Lake Isabella is one of Southern California's largest man-made reservoirs, with a surface area of more than 11,000 acres.

Lake Isabella is a great place to go windsurfing, boating, camping, and picnicking.

A duck swimming at Lake Isabella
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Catch trout, crappie, bass, catfish, and bluegill on a lake fishing excursion with your little ones if you can.

You may also enjoy water sports such as sailing, water skiing, boating on your next outdoor adventure, especially for children.

Remember to snap photos of the lake's flora and animals, so you have something to share on social media when you come back.

Lake Isabella at Kernville
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Relax at Riverside Park

Kernville's Riverside Park exhibits the Kern River's natural beauty.

It's one of the city's most easily accessible natural parks.

One of the best things to do in the town is to have an afternoon picnic at this location.

Take a stroll or a jog to keep in shape even when you're on the road.

Finish your day by taking a deep breath of fresh air and listening to the gurgling sound of running water.

If you have a pet, bring them along for the experience.

Together, you may observe the squirrels as they make their way to the river.

Relax on the benches and enjoy the festivities with the rest of the community.

Take lots of photographs!

Go Hiking through Whiskey Flat Trail

With a total length of 19.2 kilometers, the Whiskey Flat Trail is accessible to all Sequoia National Forest's Sequoia Valley visitors.

You won't have to worry about getting lost because it's a one-way route.

The Whiskey Flat Trail suits hikers of all experience levels, including children.

We guarantee you won't be able to see all of Kernville's best sites unless you take this path.

If you want to complete the Whiskey Flat Trail before noon, get started on your journey early in the day.

Be aware that it might become a little bumpy at times.

At 359 meters above sea level, you'll be able to take in a stunning view of Kernville.

You can make the most of the occasion by capturing it on camera and preserving the memories for all time.

Go Rock Climbing at The Needles

The Needles provide so much more than simply a great place to hang out on the rocks.

Elite climbers worldwide travel to Yosemite to enjoy the rock's exceptional quality without the masses of other climbers.

Before climbing North Face Half Dome, Alex Honnold (of the Valley Uprising film fame) trained in The Needles for one week.

He free soloed Romantic Warrior, 5.12b 1000 feet, in the fall of 2014 and considered it one of his best accomplishments.

Dan Osmand's free solo human flag on the 5.11c crux third pitch of Atlantis at The Needles is one of the most stunning and famous advertisements in the rock climbing industry.

Cycle along Cannell Meadow Trails

As a reasonably popular out and backtrack, the 32.7-kilometer Cannell Meadow Trail near Kernville is a challenging route.

Several activities may be enjoyed along the route, which is open all year long.

In the highlands above Kernville, it connects Cannell Meadow with Kernville.

Keep an eye out for bikes and motorbikes as permitted on this path.

The vistas at the top of this route are only one of the many perks of this trek.

At 5 miles in, you can see the whole Kern River valley, as well as the surrounding mountains.

However, you'll have to spend more time and effort on it.

Spend a Day or Two at Frandy Park Campground

Families and organizations alike are welcome at Frandy Campground in Kernville, California, which is located on the banks of the Kern River and surrounded by oak trees and steep slopes.

The campground's peaceful and family-friendly ambiance makes it an excellent location for your Kern River camping vacation.

There are enough RVs, tents, trailers, buses, and campers with pull-thru sites and well-kept amenities.

For those who want to kayak, visit Sequoia National Forest, or relax in the desert, Frandy is the best Kern River Valley campsite.

Frandy is located right on the Kern River, which means visitors may enjoy various river sports.

Crappie and golden, brown, and rainbow trout are abundant in the Kern River.

The riverside of Frandy's river may be used to catch fish!

Playing outdoor sports, having a picnic, or simply taking a break under the shade of the oak trees are all options at the campground.

Bring Home Souvenirs from Whiskey Flat Antiques & Gifts

Whiskey Flat Antiques & Gifts at Kernville, California
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There's something for everyone at Whiskey Flat Antiques and Gifts, including antiques, collectibles, gifts, curiosities, and even art!

Professional photography, jewelry, oil paintings, pastels, and watercolors are just some of the pieces on display in its galleries.

If you're going to be in the area, make sure to stop by Kernville on the way!

Pets in a pet carrier or on a leash are welcome here.

Go White Water Rafting at Dry Meadow Creek

The Dry Meadow Creek is a natural wonder in Kernville.

You may locate it in Sequoia National Forest, a tributary of the Kern River.

This location is best suited for those with more advanced water sports expertise.

The Seven Teacups portion contains a hard short part, attracting hundreds of thrill-seekers every year.

You and your pals will have a great time here.

Take a dip in Dry Meadow Creek with your closest friends for a thrilling outing.

To ensure a safe and pleasurable experience, use protective gear.

Protect your electronics from the elements by bringing water-resistant gear.

Lodge with a View at Falling Waters River Resort Ranch

This rustic river retreat is just a few miles north of historic Kernville and the national wild and scenic Kern Riverbanks.

You'll be awed by the level of precision and luxury you'd expect from the best hostels everywhere when you walk into the resort's office.

But you'll be even more impressed with our luxurious, stylishly decorated rooms and budget-friendly pricing.

It provides a wide range of recreational activities, from hiking the groomed grounds to fishing for rainbow trout just a few feet from your accommodation.

The resort is surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty and adventure.

Falling Waters is at the heart of all the action for outdoor leisure and adventure.

The Kern River Valley and Sequoia National Forest are just short distances from the resort.

Book a Rafting Tour with Sierra South Mountain Sports

Friends and family from all over the world have been coming to Sierra South Mountain Sports for almost 40 years for an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

Because of its extensive expertise, it is the state's top rafting company.

When you enlist the services of travel professionals, your nature excursions will be even more memorable.

If you're a novice or intermediate rafter, take advantage of guided trips down the Kern River with the best guides around.

They range from three to four hours to five days in certain cases.

You're sure to have a great time on the river, no matter which excursion you select.

Explore the Town's History at Kern Valley Museum

Visit the Kern Valley Museum, one of Kernville's best downtown attractions, to learn more about the area.

Those who belong to the Kern River Valley Society are responsible for running the cultural center daily.

Meet your desire to learn more about the fascinating past of our community.

Over a dozen displays take you on a journey through the history of Kernville, beginning with the Paleolithic Era.

It's one of the free things to do in Kernville, so you don't have to pay a cent for this instructional tour.

Grab the chance while you can.

As you begin your tour, have a look at the many artifacts and displays depicting the history of the Kern River Valley, including the arrival of Native Americans and the heyday of the Gold Rush.

Explore the lives of farmers, merchants, and ranchers who shaped the town's rich history throughout the centuries.

You may find a stamp mill, a miner's home, and a stagecoach in the museum's garden.

Before you go, explore the art gallery's collection of works by local artists.

Stay at The Kern Lodge

The Wild and Scenic Kern River was an increasing issue for Bakersfield, which was downstream from Kernville at the time, so a dam was built to keep it under control, giving birth to Lake Isabella.

When the dam was completed in 1955, it brought a new lake and a slew of boaters and tourists in need of lodging.

It paved the way for the birth of The Kern Lodge in 1955.

Even though it has been modernized, it retains a rustic character!

A total of 14 rooms were initially constructed between 1955 and 1960.

Several were added over the years, making it 23 rooms.

There is also a Coin-Operated Foosball game in the Game Room and a Chess and Checkers area outdoors.

Fire pits and grills are available for your use in the property's parking area.

Celebrate Whiskey Flat Days with the Locals

In February, the annual Whiskey Flat Days festival commemorates the California Gold Rush of the 1860s.

The Whiskey Flat Encampment, which includes the Village, is just below the Rodeo grounds.

Whiskey Flat was born after a man put down a few whiskey barrels on a flat area to the south of the mine.

In 1957, the town's name was changed to Kernville, but the memory of Whiskey Flat lives on in an annual festival that has taken place every year since then.

In addition to the procession, gunfighters, carnival, music, and merchandise sellers, the event also has a Whiskey Flat Encampment in the old-fashioned western manner.

Enjoy a Bottle of Beer at Kern River Brewing Company

As the town's first brewpub, Kern River Brewing Company has built a solid reputation.

It's open seven days a week and welcomes people from all walks of life.

Stop by Kern River Brewing Company to sample some of the local pride's best food and drink.

It offers a wide variety of food and beverage choices, so everyone in your group may find something they like.

You may satisfy your needs for sandwiches, burgers, and salad at this eatery.

Kernville's homemade brews may also be sampled to see what sets it unique from other pubs.

Dine with a View at Ewings on the Kern

A meal or a drink at Ewings is a terrific choice any time of day. However, the best part is its location.

Beautiful mountain views overlooking the Kern River, a welcoming neighborhood, and a historic structure combine to provide an unforgettable experience.

Views of the valley and thrilling rapids on the Kern River may be had from Ewings' deck.

On a busy day, the part of the Kern below Ewings sees more than 100 rafts navigating its waters.

There is a lot of fun to watch the rafts and swimmers get turned around by Ewings Wave at certain levels!

Final Thoughts

While the abundance of campsites and outdoor adventures are the main draws for travelers, Kernville offers much more.

Use our definitive guide to the best things to do in Kernville on your next getaway trip to California!