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Visitor & Travel Information

visit these pages for directions to nearby birding locales Birding the Kern River Valley and Canebrake Ecological Reserve

KRP Western Bluebird Sentry by Alison Sheehey  1998-2002

Visiting Hours: To accommodate visitors the preserve is open from Dawn to Dusk every day of the year including all holidays

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.

Maps to Bring:
To help experience the rich diversity this area offers you may want to bring other maps such as Kern, Tulare, and Inyo County road maps, Sequoia NF maps, and other appropriate maps (topos, etc., for those who would be so inclined).

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 hrs. to Kernville by car)

  • Burbank/Ontario (3+ hrs.)

  • Inyokern (1 hrs.)

  • LAX (3 4 hrs.)

  • Fresno (3 - 4 hrs.)

  • San Diego ( 5 - 6 hours)

  • Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, San Francisco (6 - 6 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.

Detailed information on visiting the Kern River Preserve contact:

Audubon Kern River Preserve - Phone: 1-760-378-2531 E-mail

Nearest Audubon California Chapters:

Kerncrest Audubon Society, Ridgecrest, Kern County - 50 miles.

Kern Audubon Society, Bakersfield, Kern County - 57 miles.

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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Kern River Preserve P.O. Box 1662 18747 Hwy. 178 Weldon, CA 93283

Copyright 1998-2013 by Audubon California | National Audubon. All rights reserved.

This site was created on October 21, 1998. Please Email to make comments or offer suggestions.