1. BAT DANGLING: Perhaps the most recently conceived sport, on Aug. 31, 2013, a older part-time Bodfish resident found that by dangling a tiny ( 1/16th of an inch) piece of meat or white wool at night from a fly rod off a porch brought the bats (eating the insects attracted to the flood security lights on the porch) to attack the wool or meat. The oldster reported that an hour of “dangling” brought over 25 “hits.” He also reported that given all the good that bats do eating bothersome insects, he didn’t want to hurt them so he didn’t, and wouldn’t, use hooks. Bodfish, CA.
2. STAR GAZING: Given the often clear mountain air, and dark area in and around Bodfish, stargazing can be beautiful, exciting and educational on many nights, but beware of stiff necks. There is a app that can be uploaded for free off the web, that when the phone with the app is pointed at the stars, the app shows what and where your looking at. One of those apps is called SkyView. Bodfish, CA.
3. KERN VALLEY PLAZA SHOPPING CENTER: Full service Vons, Rite Aid, Home Mart, Burger King, DMV, etc. 5500 Lake Isabella Blvd., Lake Isabella, CA 93240. 2.6 miles
4. MIRACLE HOT SPRINGS/HOBO CAMPGROUND: Geothermal hot water naturally piped into “tubs” on the bank of the lower Kern River (bring a pail to add cool river water to ensure a comfortable temperature). However, sometimes the tubs are broken up by the Forest Service or the federal BLM as the tubs aren’t built with permits and they often don’t pass health standards. Old Kern Canyon Road, Lake Isabella, CA 93240. Campground reservations: (760) 376-3781. 4.4 miles
5. LAKE ISABELLA: An 11,000-acre reservoir (depending on the time of year), created by the Isabella Dam, offers multiple activities for freshwater and boating enthusiasts: fishing, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing, etc. Allows docking of personal water craft and are available for rental. Hiking and camping, also. Off Hwy. 178, Lake Isabella, CA 93240. (760) 376-3781. 5 miles
6. NUUI CUNNI: Native American Intertribal Culture,Visitor’s Center, & Museum; Mission Statement: The NUUI CUNNI cultural center is dedicated to preserving, restoring and teaching our native American culture, history and traditions by providing a facility available for educational, ceremonial and other social activities for native Americans as well as the interested public. “This specially designed building is 3,150 square feet and houses a museum, library, gift shop , and Visitors’ Center. The 5.6 acre grounds features native plant exhibits, artifacts, dance arbor, tule hut, lamada, sweat lodge, prayer garden, and area for large activities.” “The Nuui Cunni Native American Inter-Tribal Cultural Center is run by the Kern River Tubatulabal Paiute Council operating under a Special Use Permit offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Forest Service in the Sequoia National Forest. The Council is a 501(c)3 Organization.” 2600 Highway 155, Lake Isabella, CA; (760) 549-0800. 6.0 miles
7. KEYESVILLE: Once a mining town, now abandoned. It’s on a dirt road and contains a monument to the old mining towns of the area. Keyesville Road, two miles up from the junction at California Hwy 155 at Lake Isabella Dam. 6.5 miles.
8. HAVILAH: The first Kern County Seat in 1866. A replica of the old courthouse has been built and turned into a small but interesting museum. A reproduction of the old schoolhouse has also been constructed, housing a library and community meeting area. 6789 Caliente-Bodfish Road, Havilah, CA, 93158 (location of converted Courthouse & Schoolhouse sites). (661) 867-2414. 7.1 miles
9. ANIMAL HAVEN RANCH: The ranch houses various animals, primarily retired trained chimpanzees from the entertainment industry. Please call for tour information. 161 Charity Road, Caliente, CA 93518. (661) 867-2576. 10 miles
10. REEL CINEMA: The only movie house in Kern Valley. 6742 Wofford Heights Blvd., Wofford Heights, CA 93285. (760) 376-3030. 10.3 miles
11. KERNVILLE: Quaint, friendly, and mostly restored old Western town with a park on the upper Kern River; Gateway to the Sierras, and home of many river rafting companies and shops including a full service fly fishing shop with guides. Kernville is also home to Whiskey Flat Days, a celebration of the Wild West, held each President’s Day Weekend in February, regional rodeos and the ever fun and exciting Rubber Ducky races each August. Kernville Chamber of Commerce: (760) 376-2629. 14.3 miles
– Kern River Valley Museum: A short distance from any part of Kernville, the Museum houses artifacts from prehistoric times to the present, a geological and fossil exhibit, mining and ranching artifacts, an interactive history of the Edison hydroelectric plants, exhibits of the movie-making history of the area and construction of the Isabella Dam, thousands of photographs of the early settlers, miners, cowboys and Indians, a giant stamp mill used to render gold-bearing ore to powder, the Stagecoach John Wayne rode while filming scenes of “Stagecoach” in the Valley, and more. 49 Big Blue Road, (760) 376-6683. 14.4 miles
– Kernville Riverside Park: Riverside Park in Kernville is one of the most visited parks in Kern County, drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year. The focal point of this park is a section of the Kern River that was enhanced in the early 1970’s in a collaborative effort between local citizens and the Army Corps of Engineers. This project created ideal fish habitat, calm pools for wading and swimming, waves and fast currents for rafters, tubers and kayakers; in essence, created the basis for what is now a thriving tourism industry in this small mountain community. Kern River Drive, Kernville, CA, 93238. (661) 868-7000. 14.2 miles
12. KERN RIVER FISH HATCHERY & Museum: The third largest fish hatchery in California runs the Little Kern Golden Trout Restoration Program, Visitors Center and Museum, Fish Culture Center, park and gardens. Check website for hours of operation. 14400 Sierra Way (Mountain Highway 99), Kernville, CA 93238. (760) 376-2846. 16 miles
13. ALTA SIERRA SKI RESORT AT SHIRLEY MEADOWS: A family ski resort located 15 minutes up Evans Road (Hwy 155) from Wofford Heights. With a base elevation of 6,700 feet, it features two double chair lifts and one handle tow on 80 acres. Tube park and ski school also available. Check website for updated information and hours of operation. 56700 Rancheria Road, Wofford Heights, CA 93285. (760) 376-4186. 20 miles
14. CALIFORNIA LIVING MUSEUM & ZOO (CALM): “CALM is located on 14 park-like acres and features over 400 species of non-releasable animals and California native plants. Only animals injured or who cannot survive in their native environment are housed at CALM, which is accredited through the Zoological Association of America,” according to the website. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway, Bakersfield, CA 93306. (661) 872-2256. 36 miles
15. BUCK OWENS’ CRYSTAL PALACE: Concert venue, museum, restaurant established by Country Music Hall of Fame musician and entertainer Buck Owens, who passed away in 2006. Restaurant, Sunday Brunch, live country and western music, dancing, concerts. Check with website for details. 2800 Buck Owens Blvd., Bakersfield, CA 93308. (661) 328-7560. 41.6 miles
16. BAKERSFIELD MUSEUM OF ART: A 501(c)(3) institution and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Located in downtown Bakersfield amid “lush gardens with mature trees, camellias, and a waterfall.” 1930 R Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301. (661) 323-7219. 42 miles
17. KERN COUNTY MUSEUM: “The Museum has been collecting pieces of Kern County history since 1929. Thousands of historical and cultural artifacts are displayed in more than 60 historic buildings on 16 beautifully landscaped acres. Treasures such as a one room school, a general store, jail, oil derrick, and seven historic homes join Native American, Bakersfield Sound, mining, agriculture and railroad exhibits.” Admission to the Lori Brock Discovery Center is included with Kern County Museum general admission. The museum is a 501(c)(3) organization under an operating agreement with the County of Kern. 3801 Chester Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93301. (661) 437-3330. 44 miles
18. TRAIL OF 100 GIANTS: One of the most popular hiking trails in Sequoia National Park, it provides an easy, self-guided half mile tour through a portion of the Long Meadow Sequoia Grove. The grove contains 125 giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) over 10 feet in diameter and others; the largest is 20 feet in diameter and 220 feet tall. The grove encompasses over 340 acres and the estimated age for some of the trees is up to 1,500 years old. Closed when snow prohibits access. Western Divide Highway at Long Meadow Grove, Springville, CA. (559) 784-1500. 48 miles
19. BAKERSFIELD NATIONAL CEMETERY: “Set in a beautiful, natural landscape, Bakersfield National Cemetery in the White Wolf area of the Tehachapi Mountains is nestled amidst wide-open stretches, mountain vistas and rolling grazing land where both cattle and camels once roamed.” The 500-acre site is located just south of Highway 58 and west of Highway 223 in a true Old West setting surrounded by the 422-square-mile Tejon Ranch. Visitation Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset. 30338 East Bear Mountain Blvd., Arvin, CA, 93203. (661) 867-2250. 50.1 miles
20. MINTER FIELD AIR MUSEUM: A 501(c)(3) museum and former WWII air field, which houses some vintage WWII planes. Museum displays military uniforms, artifacts, photographs, aviation art and models of aircraft and military vehicles. Also host to periodic air shows. 401 Vultee Avenue, Shafter, CA 93263. (661) 393-0291. 55 miles
21. CALIFORNIA HOT SPRINGS: Founded in 1882 (refurbished in 1985), features large natural springs pool and spa. RV Park and on-site campground available, but also welcomes day visitors. 42177 Hot Springs Drive, California Hot Springs, CA 93207. (661) 548-6582. 61 miles
22. MATURANGO MUSEUM: Cultural and natural history museum of the northern Mojave Desert. Open daily 10-5. 100 E. Las Flores Avenue, Ridgecrest, CA 93555. (760) 375-6900. 64 miles
23. INDIAN POINT OSTRICH RANCH: Ranch holding up to 200 ostriches at a given time. Gift shop and antique shop on site; tours no longer available. See website for updated information. 28101 Giraudo Road, Tehachapi, CA 93561. (661) 822-9131. 77 miles
24. EXOTIC FELINE CONSERVATION CENTER: A 501(c)(3) nonprofit breeding, research, and educational facility dedicated to the preservation of rare and endangered felines. It currently houses 70 cats representing 19 endangered or threatened species. Open to the public from 10 am until 4 pm. Closed Wednesdays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and the day of the Feline Follies in August. See website for more details and for entrance fees. 3718 60th Street West, Rosamond, CA 93560. (661) 256.3332 (or 3793). 95 miles
25. WATER MUSEUM (Vista Del Lago Visitors Center): “With a sweeping view of Pyramid Lake from its wraparound balcony, Vista del Lago Visitors Center is the largest of DWR’s (Department of Water Resources) three information facilities. Resident tour guides offer guests both personal and school tours. And as installation of new exhibits continues, the center now supports California’s Education and Environment Initiatives (EEI)curriculum,” according to visitbakersfield.com. 38500 Vista Del Lago Road, Gorman, CA 93243. Interstate 5, 17 miles south of Ranger Park [exit on Vista del Lago]. (661) 944-8740. 101 miles
26. MUSEUM OF WESTERN FILM HISTORY: The museum features exhibits of westerns filmed in the area as well as archives and artifacts from the genre in general. The Annual Lone Pine Film Festival is held every Columbus Day weekend. Website has information on filming permits for the area. Call for Hours of Operation. 701 South Main Street in Lone Pine, California. (760) 876-9909. 119 miles
27. MANZANAR NATIONAL HISTORICAL SITE: Monument and museum dedicated to internment camp that housed 10,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Some camp remains are still located on site. Nine miles north of Lone Pine on US Highway 395. 5001 Highway 395, Independence, CA. (760) 878-2194 x3310. 129 miles
28. MT. WHITNEY PORTAL DRIVE, LONE PINE: Whitney Portal is the entry point to the Mt. Whitney Trail, a 22-mile round-trip hike that reaches the summit of Mt. Whitney, which, at 14,498 feet, is the highest point of the 48 contiguous states. Serious and knowledgeable hikers only are advised to attempt this hike, which climbs over 6,000 feet. A permit may be required. “The best place from which to see Mt. Whitney is the Interagency Visitor Center on Highway 395, just south of the town of Lone Pine on the east side of the Sierra,” according to the website. Whitney Portal Drive, 11 miles west from Lone Pine. (559) 565-3341. 131 miles.
29. DEATH VALLEY: Lowest spot in the United States at 282 ft. below sea level and home to the world’s highest-recorded temperature (134 degrees farenheit); desert environment surrounded by mountains. Hwy 190, west of U.S. 395. (760) 786-3200. About 180 miles
30. BRISTLECONE PINE GROVES: Located within Inyo National Forest, these two groves are filled with large, gnarled, but graceful trees that are said to be the world’s oldest. The road is paved to the first grove, Schulman Grove, at approximately 10,000 feet, and dirt to the second, Patriarch Grove, located 12 miles north, at around 11,000 feet. Usually accessible mid-June to beginning of winter. White Mountain Road, 10 miles north of Hwy 168, Inyo County. (760) 873-2400. 185 miles
31. SCOTTY’S CASTLE: Closed until 2020 possibly – check website link. “Hidden in the green oasis of Grapevine Canyon in far northern Death Valley, the Death Valley Ranch, or Scotty’s Castle as it is more commonly known, is a window into the life and times of the Roaring ’20s and Depression ’30s. It was and is an engineer’s dream home, a wealthy matron’s vacation home and a man-of-mystery’s hideout and getaway.” Ranger-guided tours. There is an entrance fee for Death Valley National Park in addition to tour fees. Located in the north end of Death Valley National Park. Driving time from Furnace Creek (in Death Valley NP) is about 1 hour. Drive northwest on CA 190, then turn right (north) on Scotty’s Castle Road. Reservations at Recreation.gov or by calling (877) 444-6777. 215 miles
32. MAMMOTH SKI RESORT: 150 trails accessed by 31 lifts on over 3,500 skiable acres, from 7,953-foot base to 11,053-foot summit; 3,100-foot vertical; highest lift-served skiing on West Coast. Average yearly snowfall exceeding 350 inches. Ski school; snowboarding. Inyo National Forest, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. (800) 626-6684. 224 miles
33. YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK: Glacier-sculpted valley includes magnificent waterfalls, precipitous overlooks, and unique rock formations comprising many of California’s most popular landmarks while offering a wide array of activities and accommodations. Hwy 41/Wawona Road north from Hwy. 99. (209) 372-0200. 242 miles (to Yosemite Village).