Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sequoia, Kern River, Lake Isabella & More... Must See Must Do Travel Tips #FamilyTravel #sequoia #kernriver #KOACamping

Traveling to Sequoia, Kern River, Lake Isabella & Surrounding Areas with So Many Things To Do 

It was our first trip up to this beautiful area and we had an amazing time exploring. All opinions are my own.


Pretty easy to know where we wanted to stay. KOA and Thousand Trails are our preference for that perfect glamping feel. 

This trip we found a KOA at Lake Isabella just up from the Kern River. Perfect! Oh and they have a deal right now buy two nights get one free.. so good!

We started our 6 day trip leaving Orange County to head up to Bakersfield for a closer entrance point to Sequoia. Plus the Courtyard Marriott has a pool that keeps it's guests limited and COVID19 safe.


There are so many things that are changing by the moment that I suggest you check with your hotel, RV Park, Resort, Camp Site etc as often as possible for any COVID19 updates. 

Bakersfield was a great location to just rest overnight while we went out for some adventures into Sequoia during the day prior to checking in to our KOA. 

Sequoia is big, there is what I'd say is a north and south, to visit with plenty to see and do within each.


We decided to tackle the south end of Sequoia this visit and return for the General Sherman Tree another time.

On the south side of Sequoia we were able to see a lot of cool things. Entering though Camp Nelson and heading down the Great Western Divide Hwy was a perfect route for some sights to remember for life.


Points Of Interest we Stopped At From Sequoia to Lake Isabella 

* Natural Water Slides - this is exactly what I mapped out. Forest Rte 22S83, Camp Nelson, CA 93208 but the roads get bumpy and some have closures so check routes before you head out since there are a few routes to get there. 

Also wear water shoes, it's slippery and there is a 1.2 mile walk there and back with the return hike being much easier. 

Bring water and a towel. Enjoy! 


* Trail of 100 Giants - so cool. Do not miss this stop. Park across from the trail for $10, this parking pass will be good for daily parking use within paid lots too, and head into the forest of Sequoia Redwoods. Some standing over 200 feet tall and some with the most unique ways about them. 

These Sequoias are breathtakingly amazing. We stood in awe at the size of the roots at one point where an earthquake had taken the trees down just a few years ago. There are a few that have a hollow space inside, these were used as animal pens keeping their ducks and more enclosed. 

Crazy huh! My kids said this was by far cooler than they expected it to be. 


* California Hot Springs is a fun spot to stop and pay to play in the refreshing mineral pool. We did not stay for the play since we wanted to see more but we agreed we would stop next time. You can pay to enjoy the mineral springs pool per adult and child. Also there is a food stop inside with areas to sit and enjoy the views too.


* Heading down from Sequoia passing through and down Mountain Hwy 99, a fun stop at Whisky Flats trail, an old mining stop, is a great way to introduce yourself to the Kern River! 

Lucky for us we being our Teknetics Metal Detectors everywhere. We've been finding som random things, coins, metal etc.. 
Just down from here you are in Kern Valley and then you hit Lake Isabella.



Lake Isabella KOA.

We really enjoy staying at Kampgrounds Of America in their cabins. It's quaint, comfortable and my kids ask for these cabins each time we say let's go glamping. 

On site they always have plenty to do like a swimming pool, kids activities and on site things to do for all ages from lawn games to bikes for rent, just depends what location you stay at. 


Once settled in I knew there was a lot that we wanted to see and do from Lake Isabella down the Kern River so we got started right away. 



We stopped at Silver City Ghost Town and spent some time with the owner. He is wonderful and so full of local history. You can shop his old time things or pay to stroll the Ghost Town. 

The kids loved it so much they want to return to just hang out and look around. There are not many Ghost Towns around anymore so I'm glad we got to experience this together. 


Down the road there is a Vons, Burger King, Dollar General and some small shops. This is where we got most of what we needed that we didnt bring with us. Bring lots of water and the usual your family needs or wants to have on hand.


Points of Interest In and Around Lake Isabella and Kern - Always check local news paper or updates on the lake water for safety


* French Gulch Marina - you can rent boats here and head out to the lake for some fishing or a picnic on the water. 


* Lyme Dyke - this area was a nice spot to sit and hang out as well as fish. It is right off of Sierra Way. 

* South Fork Wildlife area - look over the wetlands and into the Lake. Nice hike and views just be safe.

* Along the 178 you can access random sights like Tank Park too.  A family friendly park with a few historical tanks.

* Sandy Flats Campground - a great spot to day use. There is a sandy beach type inlet that is safe to stand and play in along the Kern River. 

This spot is great to picnic at and hang out on the sand. You pay $10 here and use this parking pass for the day at any other pay sites.


* Up the road a bit you will find Hobo Campground. Day use here is amazing too. Find a spot to hang for a few hours right on the Kern River. 

This spot is a good one for fishing from the shore at it's bend when the water is calmer.

* Miracle Hot Springs - Hot Tip. Get to the Springs from the trail at the far end of Hobo Campground. The hot springs are HOT... some over 110° so use caution. 

It does smell like minerals and sulfur but the water is filled with minerals and comes directly from the mountains around you. Pretty amazing to see really. 

This is also where we saw the cows across the river grazing. So cool! 


* Black Gulch Trail - beautiful views of the mountains and Kern Rover all around you. Hike along the Kern and or up through the trail above.


Anywhere Along the Kern River - so many good spots we would explore take a drive and just stop to see what it was like. Hot tip that the Kern River is calmer on the bends not the straights. Look for spots along the Kern where it bends.


Watch your kids, wear life vests and always use caution when along or near the Kern. It changes speeds and currents rapidly. 



Heading back to OC Fun Stops

Since we wanted to take a different route home to see a few more sights we took the 58 to the 14 highways to the 5 freeway back down. 


* Off of the 58 there was our first stop the Big Red Barn Murray Family Farms. Fresh fruit and veggies. We also picked up some pies and mini chicken pot pie filled goodness. 

Their activities are closed for now but you can walk up to the fence to see the animals. Happy to support this cute family Farm. 


* Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in Tehachapi - just amazing to see and walk the grounds of this memorial. The offices, his home and the large community house that was home to thousands who passed through to work as migrant farm workers. 

Cesar was an instrumental part of migrant workers historic progress in safetyand wages. I hope my kids remember this history and moment we spent there forever.


* The Musical Road - playing the William Tell Overture in Lancaster. A quick drive at 65 mph and you can hear the tune. Pretty neat! 


On our way up and back we stopped at Coffee Kiosk located in Santa Clarita! My favorite all time coffee spot. Swing by and get a caramel frame with extra caramel drizzle. Thank me later. 



This road trip was so much fun! 


Ever wonder how to find great points of interest in random places? Do what I do... use google maps and look for attractions or points of interest and see what comes up. 

We love to travel and can not wait for our next family travel trip! 


Catch our recap video here

Don't forget your must have on hand snacks, things and items... then go outside and enjoy! 

4 comments:

  1. This trip looks amazing! My family stayed at a KOA in Ventura & we loved it. I hope to visit the Sequoias with my fam & possibly stay at this KOA.

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    1. I hope you make it up there soon! We cannot wait to go back!

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