The Kern River Valley of the Southern Sierra offers a warmer, drier, and more moderate climate to it’s northern counterpart on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range where cool breezes and high altitude lakes and streams dominate. The mighty Kern River flows down its valley into Bakersfield. Visitors to the Sequoia National Forest area engage in outdoor activities that include hiking, climbing, fishing, mountain biking, and commercial white water rafting (slated to open during California’s Coronavirus stage 4). Even a simple drive through the valley and into the mountains enough to breathe in the scent of pine and listen to the river is a welcome experience.
Hillsides covered in Ponderosa Pine, Pinyon Pine, Sage, and Manzanita surround the long, curvy backroads of the Southern Sierra. There is no cell service past Kernville, and personal services, such as gas or grocery, are virtually non-existent. Most campgrounds of Sequoia National Forest have just closed or have very limited services during the Pandemic. If any are open, most do not have trash service or water availability. Portable toilets are occasional. During the Pandemic, camping may be found close to Kernville, right on the river, but it is recommended to research before you pack the car.