Visit

Visiting Our Center

Location, hours, and all the information you need for an enjoyable visit
Visit

Visiting Our Center

Location, hours, and all the information you need for an enjoyable visit

The Kern River Preserve is managed by Audubon California for the preservation of one of California’s finest remaining riparian forests and the wildlife it supports.

Hours

The center is open 7 days a week from sunrise to sundown. 

Trails

Your self-guided tour of the Kern River Preserve (KRP) nature trail begins at the headquarters sign. About one mile long, the trail takes an hour to walk at a good pace. Expect to spend two or three hours if you want to experience the extraordinary plant and animal diversity. CLICK HERE FOR A DOWNLOADABLE TRAIL GUIDE.

Directions

The entrance to Audubon-California's Kern River Preserve is located alongside the scenic South Fork of the Kern River. It is fifty-seven miles northeast of Bakersfield, Kern County, California.

From Bakersfield - Take Hwy. 178 fifty-seven miles northeast through the Kern River canyon and past Lake Isabella - continue through the communities of Mtn. Mesa and South Lake. Slow down at the T-intersection of Hwy 178 and Sierra Way as the preserve is 1.1 miles beyond this point. On the left is a large sign for Audubon California's Kern River Preserve. You are almost here. Turn left and drive down the dirt road - slowly as cattle are frequently in the field. The field is not our property - the road is an easement to the preserve - so please respect the landowner and do not stop or park until you reach the parking area inside the preserve.

From the Mojave Desert - The preserve is located approximately 30 miles from Hwy 14. From Hwy. 14 take Hwy. 178 west through Walker Pass - Canebrake - Onyx and almost through Weldon. The preserve is 0.6 miles beyond the South Fork Elementary School and only 100 yards past Kelso Valley Road at Hwy. 178 milepost 57.00 (white paddle sign on side of road). On the right is a large sign for Audubon California's Kern River Preserve, you are almost here. Turn right and drive down the dirt road - slowly as cattle are frequently in the field. The field is not our property - the road is an easement to the preserve - so please respect the landowner and do not stop or park until you reach the parking area inside the preserve.

Driving Times:

Ridgecrest - 1 hour

  • Bakersfield - 1.25 hours

  • Death Valley National Monument, Fresno, Los Angeles, Morro Bay, Riverside, San Bernardino, Sequoia National Park, Ventura - 3-3.5 hours

  • Orange County, Santa Barbara - 4 hours

  • Las Vegas, Palm Springs, San Diego, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose - 6 hours

  • Reno - 7.5 hours

  • Phoenix - 9 hours

Airports:

  • Bakersfield/Kern County (1 ½ hrs. to Kernville by car)

  • Burbank/Ontario (3+ hrs.)

  • Inyokern (1 ¼ hrs.)

  • LAX (3 – 4 hrs.)

  • Fresno (3 - 4 hrs.)

  • San Diego ( 5½ - 6 hours)

  • Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, San Francisco (6 - 6½ hours).

Rental Car: All of the airports listed above are served by three or more major rental car companies.

Bus: Take Greyhound service to Bakersfield, then take Kern Regional Transit (KRT) bus to Kernville.

For KRT schedule information call 800–560–1733.

Train: Take Amtrak service to Bakersfield, then GET bus, or taxi, to GET terminal to connect with KRT.

Visitor Services:

Natural History Information for Kern County and the Kern River Watershed - Website - http://www.natureali.org

Visitor Information for Kern Valley - Websites - http://www.kernrivervalley.com/ and Kernville Chamber of Commerce

Accommodations in the Kern River Valley - http://www.natureali.org/accommodations.htm 

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