“Where the hell is Bodfish?” a popular T-shirt sold in the area, and for good reason. Few of California’s 40 million residents know it exists…and more than a few locals are happy to keep it that way (Bodfish is a 2 3/4 to 3-hour drive from LA; 1 hour from Bakersfield and is at about 2,600 ft elevation).

Some big city folks think the 2,000 Bodfish residents living in its 7.97 square miles are like those in other small cities…rednecks, hoodlums on the lam, introverts, misanthropes, dreamers, and escapees from big cities.

Granted, some such folks inhabit all cities and Los Angeles sure has its share, but the people that I have met in Bodfish over the years have been as pleasant and forthcoming (albeit with an occasional jerk) as those I have met in big cities around the world. I speak with a bit of authority, given that my friends and I have spent time in Bodfish and the Kern River Valley on and off since 1957, and that I have done my share of traveling to foreign lands.

Additionally, Bodfish may have as many guns as any town in Texas (but fewer snakes than on K street in Washington) and, OK, the area isn’t a paragon of diversity, but from many perspectives, the area is a wonderful part of California and of the Old West…and for many locals, Bodfish living beats hectic city life.

Come up and see Bodfish and the surrounding area for yourself…and let me know what you think, good, bad or ugly. Just click on Contact us and email away! … Steve Markoff

P.S. Mosey down on this page for some emergency services and some eclectic information:

Emergency Services

Notice: The following information may not be entirely current.

Ambulance: Liberty Ambulance Service (760) 375-6531; 1325 W. Ridgecrest Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555.

California Highway Patrol: Bakersfield CHP (661) 396-6600; Mojave CHP (661) 823-5500.

Caltrans: The state agency responsible for California highway, bridge, and rail transportation planning, construction and maintenance. Click on link or call (800) 427-7623 for current highway conditions.

DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles): (800) 777-0133; 5520 Lake Isabella Road G-1, Lake Isabella, CA 93240.

Fire Department: Kern County Fire Department in Lake Isabella: (760) 379-2626; 4500 Lake Isabella Blvd., Lake Isabella, CA, 93240.

Kern Valley Healthcare District:

-Hospital: (760) 379-2681; 6412 Laurel Ave., in Mt. Mesa, Lake Isabella, 93240.

-Healthcare: Healthcare in and around Lake Isabella.

Sheriff: Lake Isabella Sheriff’s Office – Kern Valley Substation: (760) 549-2100; 7046 Lake Isabella Blvd. (according to the website); Lake Isabella, CA, 93240.

Some Eclectic Information*:

Chamber of Commerce: Kern River Valley.

The Fence Post is a monthly newspaper est. 1983. Widely circulated from Kern County, to LA County, Riverside County, Orange County, Tulare County, and San Bernardino County. Columnists provide news and opinion on local happenings as well as historical abstracts. (562) 325-5699, or [email protected]

Kern County Library: Kern River Valley Branch Library Please call to see which services are being offered. 7054 Lake Isabella Blvd., Lake Isabella, CA, 93240. (760) 549-2083.

Kern Valley Sun: Largest local paper (weekly) exclusively serving the Kern River Valley. Content focuses primarily on local news and features, upcoming events and local sports. (760) 379-3667.

Kern River Radio:

U.S. Forest Service, Kernville Office: 11380 Kernville Road, Kernville, CA, 93238. (760) 376-3781.

U.S. Forest Service, Lake Isabella Visitor Center: Serving the Kern River Ranger District of Sequoia National Forest (includes Lake Isabella shorelines and campgrounds), it provides recreation information, fire restriction updates, and permits for campfire usage, woodcutting, river activities and wilderness treks. 4875 Ponderosa Dr., Lake Isabella, CA, 93240. (760) 379-5646.

– Kern River Ranger District Office / Visitor Center: Visitor or Interpretive Center; 105 Whitney Rd, Kernville, CA 93238. 760-376-3781.

*Please contact or call for updates and closures. The information has been compiled by visiting the websites and/or calling the organization listed.


Updated June 2020