2020 Heartland Wilderness
2020 Heartland Wilderness
Los Angeles, or the City of Angels, is the biggest city in California and has a population of about four million people. Along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, this beautiful city is famous for its amazing weather and Hollywood stars. The temperatures are just about perfect all year long with an average temperature of 68 in the winter and 83 in the summer. The Hollywood Sign and Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame are two of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.
Los Angeles also has dozens of parks for some more natural fun. For example, Los Angeles State Historic Park is right in front of Dodger Stadium and Elysian Park just off of CA-110. Also, the Rio de Los Angeles State Park is just to the north off of I-5 and North San Fernando Road. The Los Angeles River runs alongside all of these places and is another fun place to visit.
Visitors also flock to Warner Brothers, Universal Studios, and Paramount Pictures for those behind the scenes tours. And of course, you cannot forget about Disneyland, which is the most well-known theme park in the world with 55 rides, games, and shows. But its not all about fun and games in Los Angeles. You can learn a lot there too if you visit one of the city’s 120 museums. From the Aerospace Museum of California in Sacramento County to the Yosemite Museum at Yosemite National Park and over 100 in between, you will find a plethora of information on any subject in Los Angeles.
Less than an hour drive up I-5, Castaic Lake State Recreation Area is located in Santa Clarita just off the interstate. The 4,224-acre parkland is popular with anglers, hikers, and outdoor lovers alike. Many anglers flock to the park for the impressive fishing records that have been broken in the 320,000-acre lake. In fact, there have been eight record catches in the lake including largemouth bass, striped bass, and channel catfish.
The park is open from sunup to sunset all year except for Christmas Day unless you are camping. Some other activities in the lake include a swim beach on the lower lake and several boat launch ramps on the upper lake. You can enjoy sailing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and riding other personal watercraft as well as sunbathing and just enjoying the view. If you didn’t bring a boat, you can rent one from the park. And don’t forget the sunscreen!
Be sure to bring the bikes with you so you can enjoy some of the amazing mountain biking paths. You may also enjoy hiking or horseback riding on the trails. Castaic Lake State Recreation Area boasts over seven miles of trails and roads to enjoy and explore from those that are short and easy to the longer and more difficult treks like the three-mile Lower Lagoon Trail. Don’t wear yourself out though. You still have a couple more adventures on this road trip.
Another hour up I-5 to CA-99 and you will find Bakersfield, which is a large city on the Kern River in Kern County. In the Central Valley area by San Joaquin Valley, this city has almost 400 thousand residents. Archaeological evidence suggests that Native Americans have been living in the area for thousands of years. The history of the city is proudly displayed at its museums and memorials around town.
You can see some of the artifacts, bones, and fossils at the Kern County Museum downtown on Chester Avenue. You can also see quite a bit of interesting historic displays at the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History in the middle of the city in the Arts District. Another fun place to learn is the California Living Museum, which is more of a zoo than a museum. They have over a dozen exhibits like the Children’s Park, Kiparian Community, and the Desert Community. With over two dozen types of animals, birds, and reptiles, there is something everyone will enjoy here.
The Bakersfield Museum of Art is also nearby, right across from Central Park at Mill Creek. While you are nearby, go ahead and stop by the park for a bit to enjoy the canal, picnic areas, playground, and covered bridge. This is a great place for some selfies and a relaxing picnic before heading to your final destination.
Head northeast on CA-178 for another hour and you will be at your destination of Kernville, California on the edge of the Sequoia National Forest. This small town in the southern Sierra Nevada was the place where Edward Kern led the 1845 expedition, which is where the town got its name. This part of California is famous for its whitewater rapids on the Kern River. Fly fishing for golden trout is also popular here as well as rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking.
You’ll even find a museum with artifacts dating back hundreds of years. Kern Valley Museum has fossils dating back to before the Native American inhabitants moved in. These were the Tubatulabal Tribe from the 1800s, whose descendants still live in the area. Don’t forget to stop by the Silver City Ghost Town, which is a sort of museum city from the early 1900s. It has been the site of many different movies as well as a documentary on the History Channel.
If you are planning to camp in town, be sure to make your reservations early because there are not many large campgrounds in the area. The most popular is the Lake Isabella / Kern River KOA on CA-178 right by the lake. The kids will love the outdoor movie screen, tetherball, volleyball, and horseshoe pits as well as the playground and pool. They even have an arcade, bike rentals, and a splash pad. The 50 pet-friendly sites can accommodate rigs up to 60 feet and have utilities as well as restrooms and showers. There are several other campgrounds around the lake that you can check out as well.