Porterville, CA 93257
- Year round
Campgrounds along the river are Hobo and Sandy Flat.Additional campgrounds on Lake Isabella are Main Dam, Pioneer Point, Kissack Cove, Paradise Cove, Boulder Gulch, Hungry Gulch, Camp 9*, Tillie Creek, and Live Oak. Auxiliary Dam, Hanning Flat and Stine Cove are "dispersed overnight camping areas" with no facilities. Live Oak North and Live Oak South Campgrounds only open as overflow campgrounds on the heavy use weekends. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Special Note: Flows below the dam are regulated and vary dramatically between the winter and summer. Flows are generally highest during the summer due to irrigation releases from Lake Isabella. The combination of high flows and slippery rocks can be deadly and persons wading the river are advised to use caution.
Map + Directions
The lower Kern River is accessed via State Highway 178, which parallels the river between the mouth of the canyon (Kern Canyon Powerhouse) and Lake Isabella. The road is narrow and windy below Live Oak Picnic Area, making river access very limited. While there are more access points upstream from the picnic area, the river is within a steep canyon, which can make access difficult. Anglers should use caution at all times when accessing and wading the river.