• Thu. Jun 23rd, 2022

Go out! Discover the Best Places to Camp in Kern County | Bakersfield life

ByDebra J. Aguilar

May 28, 2022

Whether you want to get away from the heat of Bakersfield, spend quality time with family and friends, or relax in nature with some of your favorite outdoor activities, camping is a fun and affordable way to experience the county. of Kern.

With the added bonus of being surrounded by a number of mountain ranges with a splash of national forests and state parks, the options are endless. No matter your level of camping experience, the size of your group or the size of your vehicle, there is something for you.

As an avid camper myself, I searched Kern County for some of the best campgrounds in the county, all within 100 miles of downtown Bakersfield. Happy camping!

Campsite Ricardo

In Red Rock Canyon State Park, which I consider one of the best “hidden gems” in Kern County, is Ricardo Campground. The sites are nestled under the beautiful rolling red rock gorges and offer incredible stargazing at night. Joshua’s low density of trees and shrubs leaves campsites rather exposed, which may not be ideal on crowded or windy nights or hot afternoons.

The campground has 50 first-come, first-served sites open year-round at $25 per night and offers vaulted restrooms, tap water, picnic tables, fire pits, and accessibility for children. People with Disabilities. Motorhomes and trailers 30 feet or less are welcome, although there are no electrical hookups. During the day, Red Rock Canyon offers many uniquely beautiful hikes of varying lengths and difficulty. This is one of my favorite places to hike in Kern County with stunning rock formations and lookouts that make you feel like you’re on another planet. Red Rock Canyon also has a wilderness center where you can learn about the plants and wildlife of the area as well as the Kawaiisu people who once inhabited the area.

Distance from downtown Bakersfield: 82 miles

Reservations: No; first come, first served

RVs and trailers: Yes, up to 30 feet in length; no connection available

Toilets: Yes, vaulted toilets

Pets: Allowed at the campsite but not on the trails

Disabled accessibility: Yes

Group sites available: No

Site Features: Fire Ring and Picnic Table

Buena Vista Water Recreation Area

For a less secluded camping experience with access to plenty of amenities and recreation, I recommend the Buena Vista Water Recreation Area. This campground sits right between three man-made lakes 25 miles southwest of Bakersfield.

If you’re just getting into the world of camping and don’t want to be bored, this lakeside campground has two concession buildings, two children’s playgrounds, a basketball court , a soccer field and three boat launch sites. This campground is also suitable for anyone looking for an experience on the lake, including boating, jet skiing, or fishing.

This 112-slot campground is ideal for motorhomes, but also has plenty of space for tents. A downside to the increased amenities is the higher price per night. Although rates depend on season, electrical capabilities, and site location, tent camping ranges from $16 to $40 and RV sites range from $150 to $220.

Distance from downtown Bakersfield: 25 miles

Price: $16-$40 for tents, $150-$220 for RVs

Toilets: Yes, sanitary pavilions

Pets: Yes, limit two per campsite; must be kept on a leash at all times

Disabled accessibility: Yes

Group sites available: Available from mid-October to mid-March

Site Features: Fire Ring and Picnic Table

Tehachapi Mountain Park

Eight miles southwest of Tehachapi is a 490-acre park with 61 family campsites and two group facilities. This campground is perfect for anyone looking for trails, whether hiking or horseback riding. The Nuooah Nature Trail is dotted with vistas, evidence of Native American history, and unique geological features. In addition, the estate has a horse trail, although it should be noted that horses are not allowed at the campsite.

The campground costs $18 per day per campsite and can accommodate up to 10 people with a car and trailer. One of the group sites includes a full camp with kitchen and chalets with bunk beds, electricity and heating that can accommodate up to 100 people. The second group site is a large campsite with a picnic table shelter, barbecues and outhouses that can accommodate 150 people and 15 vehicles. Insect repellent is a must at this campsite, especially at dawn and dusk.

Distance from downtown Bakersfield: 46 miles

Reservations: first come, first served

RVs and trailers: Yes, but no hookups; roads can be narrow

Toilets: Yes, vaulted toilets

Pets: Yes; must be kept on a leash at all times

Disabled accessibility: No

Group sites available: Yes

Site Features: Fire Ring and Picnic Table

Redwood Meadow Campground

Nestled among some of the oldest and tallest trees in the world is a small campground with six tent sites and six yurts. Although this beautiful Sequoia National Forest campground is just across the Kern County line, it’s only 81 miles from Bakersfield and well worth the trip. Due to the campground’s small size and proximity to Sequoia’s iconic 100 Giants Trail, sites are quite competitive with constant traffic during the months the campground is open.

Reservations can be made online or by phone from three days to six months in advance from late May to early October. If the campsite is open outside these hours (depending on the weather), camping pitches are first come, first served. The yurts, which are all wheelchair accessible, are on the rustic side but contain a single bed, a double bed, and a queen bed. A yurt costs $100 per night and is suitable for up to five people.

Tent sites, most of which can accommodate small RVs or trailers, cost $32 per night and $34 per night on holiday weekends. It’s a small price to pay to be among the majestic towering redwoods and within walking distance of the 100 Giants Trail, which is a 1.3-mile paved trail that winds through more than 800 redwoods, 125 of which are over 1000 tall. 10 feet in diameter, many aging up to 1,500 years. The campsite is also right next to an idyllic meadow with long green grasses and seasonal wildflowers. Additional hikes to waterfalls and magnificent views are also prevalent in the area.

Distance from downtown Bakersfield: 81 miles

Price: $32 to $34 for pitches, $100 for yurts

RVs and trailers: Yes, but no hookups

Toilets: Yes, vaulted toilets

Pets: Yes; must be kept on a leash at all times

Disabled accessibility: Yes

Group sites available: No

Site Features: Fire Ring and Picnic Table

Sandy Flat Campground

Although this campground is close to Bakersfield and is surrounded by lush cottonwoods and sycamores on a beautiful meandering section of the Kern River, none of these are the main selling point of this campground for me. Sandy Flat Campground is one of two campgrounds located right next to Miracle Hot Springs.

Just over a mile downriver, this gorgeous chain of pools open to the public ranges from lukewarm to hot at Jacuzzi level. Although the pools are nestled at the base of a hill and surrounded by tall trees, it’s unfortunately not a well-kept secret, which means competition for the biggest and hottest pools might keep you waiting for a lifetime. the day. The benefit of camping nearby would be early morning or late evening access to the springs, which could help lock in your choice of pools.

In the heat of the day, when the hot springs are too crowded or seem unappetizing, the proximity to the river and prime fishing spot as well as nearby hikes provide options for the whole family. Sandy Flat Campground has 35 family sites, including six walk-in sites, all with access to drinking water and pit toilets. No connection is available at this campsite. Each site costs $32 per night and is open from April 1 to November 30.

Distance from downtown Bakersfield: 39 miles

Reservations: 29 sites on reservation system; six sites are first come, first served

RVs and trailers: Yes, but no hookups

Toilets: Yes, vaulted toilets

Pets: Yes; must be kept on a leash at all times

Disabled accessibility: Certain areas

Group sites available: No

Site Features: Fire Ring and Picnic Table

Campground McGill

About an hour south of Bakersfield, in the Los Padres National Forest, you’ll find this 72-site campground nestled among pine trees. About 14 miles west of Frazier Park and 11 miles east of Pine Mountain Club, this 7,400-foot elevation campground provides ample escape from the summer heat of the Valley Basin.

This campground has pitches that can accommodate trailers and motorhomes up to 35 feet in length. Fifty-four sites are on the reservation system and the remaining 18 operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Family sites are $20 per night, which is a bargain considering day-use in the area is $10. The campsite also has two group sites that can accommodate 60 and 80 people. There are no hookups and no drinking water, so be sure to bring all the water you need.

Although this campground is quite large and tends to get busy, the area is large enough and dense with mature pine trees that makes most sites feel secluded. In addition to the fresh air and the smell of pine trees, this area offers many beautiful vistas and nearby hikes.

Distance from downtown Bakersfield: 60 miles

Reservations: 54 sites on reservation system; 18 sites are first come, first served

RVs and trailers: Yes, up to 35 feet in length, but no hookups

Toilets: Yes, vaulted toilets

Disabled accessibility: Certain areas

Group sites available: Yes

Site features: fire ring (although burning is restricted) and picnic table