The 13 Best Things To Do In Lake Isabella, California (2024)

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Want to know all the best things to do in Lake Isabella, California? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know!

Things To Do In Lake Isabella, California

Lake Isabella is a rural area between Bakersfield and Sequoia National Park. 

Due to its location and geological features, there are plenty of things to do when you visit Lake Isabella, California. 

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Lake Isabella, California

1. Silver City Ghost Town 

Location: 3829 Lake Isabella Blvd, Bodfish, CA 93205

Silver City Ghost Town has been created to look like what the California gold rush towns would have looked like after they were deserted. 

You can visit the original Isabella jail, a saloon, and a country store, which are part of the oldest standing structure in the county. 

There are also miner cabins, a post office, a general store, and a church. 

Silver City is also haunted and is even included in the National Directory of Haunted Places. 

This attraction is open year round. 

From May 15th through September 14th they are open 7 days a week from 10 am – 4 pm.

They also stay open an hour later on weekends. 

Then from September 15th through May 14th they are open weekends only from 10 am – 4 pm. 

2. Old Kernville Cemetery

Location: 7421 Burlando Road, Wofford Heights, CA 93285

Old Kernville Cemetery has headstones dating back to 1868. 

The cemetery is made up of Native Americans, miners, ranchers, and more recent locals. 

An interesting fact about Kernville is that back in the 1950s, a dam was built on Lake Isabella, so the whole town was moved North a couple of miles. 

3. Remington Hot Springs 

Location: Remington Ridge Trailhead, Lake Isabella, CA

Remington Hot Springs is a free, natural hot spring. 

Locals have used the natural features to build out 3 tubs where the water gradually flows through each, cooling off from 104 degrees to 99 degrees along the way. 

Clothing is optional here since it’s just out in the middle of nature, so just beware of that before you go. 

4. Miracle Hot Springs

Location: adjacent to Hobo Camp Ground in Sequoia National Park. 

Miracle Hot Springs natural soaking tubs have been torn down with plans to re-build. 

There is currently a Forest Service Law Enforcement order closing this area, so stay tuned for their re-opening status. 

5. Fishing

Lake Isabella has trout, bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish. 

Lake Isabella, California

6. Hiking

There are several trails throughout the region of Lake Isabella that provide hikers with stunning views of the surrounding wilderness. 

✅ Lower Keyesville Loop Hike 

This 4.1 mile trail is a moderately strenuous hike that takes about 2 hours to complete. 

The trail is open year round and begins along Pearl Harbor Drive in Lake Isabella.

✅ White Rock 

This is a moderately strenuous 0.9 mile out and back hike that takes about half an hour.

✅ Isabella Lake 

This is an easy 1.mile trail that takes less than 30 minutes to walk. 

✅ Keysville/Black Gulch Road

This is a moderate 8.2 mile point to point trail.

It’s great for biking and is open year round. 

✅ Coso Mine Trail 

This is a moderately strenuous 3.1 mile out and back trail that takes about an hour and a half to finish.

✅ Coso Mine Loop

This is an easy 1.2 mile loop trail that takes a little less than 45 minutes to complete. 

7. Boating and Water Sports

Lake Isabella is perfect for all types of water activities from kayaking to canoeing to wake boarding. 

Whether you’re looking for a fun day out on the lake or some relaxing time alone, there’s something here for everyone!

Lake Isabella, California

8. Bird Watching

The area is home to a number of different bird species, making it a great spot for bird watching. 

From hawks and owls to quail and doves, there’s something special to be found here.

Many of the hiking trails listed above are great for bird watching.

bird watching

9. Camping

There are several campgrounds in the Lake Isabella area that provide visitors with comfortable spots to spend the night under the stars. 

Some popular camping spots include the Lake Isabella/Kern River KOA, Paradise Cove Campground, Hungry Gulch Campground, Auxiliary Dam Campground, and more. 

camping

10. Off-Road Adventures

For those looking for an adrenaline rush, off-roading is a great option in Lake Isabella! 

The Cyrus Canyon OHV Area offers miles of trails perfect for some serious 4×4 action.

11. Mountain Biking

Exploring Lake Isabella on two wheels can be an exciting way to discover the area. 

There are plenty of trails throughout the region perfect for those who enjoy a good time on a bike.

Many of the hikes listed above are mountain bike friendly.

mountain biking

12. Rock Climbing

With its steep granite cliffs and rocky terrain, Lake Isabella is a great spot for rock climbing enthusiasts. 

Whether you’re looking for an easy climb or something more challenging, there’s something here for everyone, with over 50 possible climbs. 

rock climbing

13. Horseback Riding

Enjoy some peaceful horseback riding along the trails in Lake Isabella, with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape from atop your trusty steed!

horseback riding

Best Restaurants in Lake Isabella, California

Lake Isabella is a small town, so there’s not too many options, but here are the most recommended restaurants in Lake Isabella.

☑️ Johnny McNally’s Fairview Lodge (Outpost)

Location: 11301 Kernville Road, Unit C, Kernville, CA 93238

Johnny McNally’s is open 7 days a week from 8 am – 7 pm.

They are known for their burgers, shakes, and fries. 

Breakfast sandwiches and burritos are available in the mornings from 8 am – 11 am. 

☑️ Paradise Cove 

Location: 10700 CA-178, Lake Isabella, CA 93240

This is a restaurant located at Paradise Cove Lodge. 

They serve dishes like prime rib and basically any type of steak you could think of, plus a variety of typical seafoods. 

There are also some chicken and pasta dishes for those that prefer that type of food. 

☑️ Nelda’s Diner 

Location: 5128 Lake Isabella Blvd, Lake Isabella, CA 93240

Being a diner, they serve typical American dishes and you can get breakfast all day.

☑️ Red Rooster Cafe

Location: 12400 Mountain Mesa Road, Lake Isabella, CA 93240

Red Rooster has large portions and typical American diner style foods. 

☑️ El Portal Mexican Grill 

Location: 12598 Mountain Mesa Road, Lake Isabella, CA 93240

This hole in the wall Mexican restaurant is a local favorite. 

They serve generous portions at moderate prices. 

You can expect to find pretty much all of your favorite Mexican dishes here.

Best Places To Stay In Lake Isabella, California

Turn your day trip into an overnight stay or weekend getaway!

✔️ Barewood Inn & Suites

Location: 7013 Wofford Blvd, Wofford Heights, CA 93285

Located on the shore of Lake Isabella, this inn offers a peaceful and relaxing escape from everyday life. 

Being in a rural location in a low-key area, this is a no-frills inn, but it has all the amenities you need. 

? Click Here To Book Your Stay At Barewood Inn & Suites Today!

✔️ Lake Isabella/Kern River KOA 

Location: 15627 Highway 178, Weldon, CA 93283

When we camp, we love to stay in KOA’s because we know what to expect. 

Obviously each property is different, but you know your basic amenities will be there and it’s safe.

This property has RV sites, tent camping sites, and cabin options. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Lake Isabella

These are the most frequently asked questions we see about visiting Lake Isabella, California.

What Is Lake Isabella, California Known For?

Lake Isabella, California is known for its stunning mountain views, outdoor activities and family-friendly attractions.

The lake itself is a popular spot for swimming, fishing and boating—while the surrounding area offers plenty of trails to explore.

Lake Isabella, California

What Is The Weather Like In Lake Isabella, California?

Lake Isabella, California enjoys mild temperatures year-round with hot and dry summers and cool winters.

During the summer months, temperatures typically range from the mid 70s to low 90s—while in the winter they usually stay between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rainfall is generally minimal throughout the year with an average of only 14 inches per year—so visitors can enjoy sunny days almost every day!

Overall, Lake Isabella has a pleasant climate that is perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, fishing and more!

When Is The Best Time To Visit Lake Isabella, California?

The best time to visit Lake Isabella, California is during the spring and fall when temperatures are mild and rainfall is minimal.

In the spring months (March-May) temperatures typically range from 60–80 degrees Fahrenheit, making it perfect for spending a day on the lake or exploring the nearby trails.

During the fall (September-November), visitors can experience cooler temperatures as well as fewer crowds.

No matter when you choose to visit, Lake Isabella has something to offer all year round! So go ahead and plan your trip—you won’t regret it!

How To Get Around Lake Isabella, California

There are several ways to get around Lake Isabella, California.

The most popular option is to rent a vehicle or bring your own as this would allow you to explore the area at your own pace and convenience.

For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, cycling is also an excellent way to get around town—not to mention how much fun it can be!

Kern River, California

Fun Itineraries To Add Onto Your Lake Isabella Trip

There are 2 (or 3 technically) National Parks that Lake Isabella is perfectly situated between, making them the perfect addition to your Lake Isabella getaway.

➡️ Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks One Day Itinerary

Sequoia and Kings Canyon are two national parks that are connected together.

This itinerary shows you how to explore the best of both parks all in one day.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are less than 3 hours from Lake Isabella.

? Click Here To Download Your Self-Guided Driving Tour of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Today!

Sequoia National Park Overlook

➡️ Death Valley National Park One Day Itinerary

Death Valley is home to the lowest elevation in the US, sitting below sea level.

There are so many unique landscapes here that it is worth a visit at least once in your life.

Death Valley is less than 3 hours from Lake Isabella.

? Click Here To Download Your Self Guided Driving Tour of Death Valley National Park Today!

Death Valley National Park Devil's Golf Course

Conclusion: Things To Do In Lake Isabella, California

Lake Isabella is a great outdoors getaway in Central California, situated near Sequoia National Park and other iconic sites.

With so much nearly untouched outdoor space, there are plenty of things to do in Lake Isabella, California for a short getaway.