Kern County

Kern County is located at the southeastern end of the Central Valley of California. Los Angeles County and Ventura County are to the south, San Bernardino County is to the east, Tulare and Kings counties are to the north and San Luis Obispo County is to the west. The county seat is Bakersfield. Kern County includes parts of the Mojave Desert and Antelope Valley.

The economy of Kern County is based primarily on agriculture, oil and gas production, Solar power, wind power, and the military. Edward Air Force Base, the Mojave Air and Space Port, and the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station are all located in Kern County.

Cities include Bakersfield, California City, Delano, Ridgecrest, Taft and Tehachapi.

Unincorporated areas include Bear Valley Springs, Boron, Frazier Park, Lake Isabella, Lebec, Mojave, Oildale, Pine Mountain Club, and Rosamond.

Protected areas include Sequoia National Forest, Giant Sequoia National Monument, and Los Padres National Forest.

General aviation airports include the Bakersfield Municipal Airport, the California City Municipal Airport, and the Tehachapi Municipal Airport.



Founded in the 1860s, Tehachapi is a small city in the Tehachapi Mountains within Kern County located between the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert. The Tehachapi area has become a center for renewable wind energy and obtains more than half of its potable water from unground aquifers.

The Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm is a large-scale wind farm located in Kern County with 3,400 wind turbines. It covers 3,200 acres. The Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm is one of the several wind farms in the area comprising one of California's largest wind resource areas. The Tehachapi wind resource area is the net exporter of electrical power to other areas of the state.


Bear Valley Springs

Bear Valley Springs is a 25,000 acre gate-guarded 3,584 lot community located in the Tehachapi Mountains of Kern County. The community offers 55 miles of scenic hiking and horseback riding trails, three campgrounds, two beautiful lakes, golf, two pools, four tennis courts, volleyball and more. The elevation of the community ranges from 4,121 feet to 6,934 feet above sea level. Four Island Lake is 37.5 acres while Cub Lake is 9.75 acres.


Frazier Park

Frazier Park, established in 1925 in the Los Padres National Forest, is a small unincorporated rural community in the mountains just west of Lebec in Kern County. Its elevation is 4,639 feet above sea level. Santa Clarita is to the south and Bakersfield is to the north.


Edwards Air Force Base

Edwards Air Force Base, established in 1933 as Maurice Bombing and Gunnery Range, is a major United States Air Force installation in the Mojave Desert region of California that covers 470 square miles. Most of the base is in Kern County, but the eastern portion is in San Bernardino County, and the southern section in partly in Los Angeles County. California City is a short distance to the north, Lancaster is to the southwest, Barstow is to the east and Victor Valley is to the southeast. The base is a major employer in the High Desert, averaging over 10,000 military and civilian employees.


Meadows Field Airport

Meadows Field Airport, also called Kern County Airport #1 is one of the two international airports serving all of Kern County including the Bakersfield area. The airport has two runways and is owned by Kern County. Aircraft operations average over 62,000 annually.


Bakersfield Municipal Airport

Bakersfield Municipal Airport is a city-owned 254-acre, general aviation airport located approximately three miles south of the central business district of Bakersfield. The airport has one runway. Aircraft operations average over 25,000 annually.



Hyundai - Kia Proving Grounds - California City

The Hyundai - Kia Proving Grounds, opened in 2005, less than 5 miles south of California City, is a 4,300 acre, 50-million-dollar facility designed to create the roads and highways of North America to refine and test standard safety systems for Hyundai - Kia, including electric stability control, and side-impact airbags. The Kern County facility which has a 30,000 square foot complex, is a significant employer for residents of California City which is in the northern area of the Antelope Valley in the High Desert of Southern California.



Kern County Museum

The Kern County Museum, founded in 1941, is a non-profit, volunteer organization located in Bakersfield. The museum, which is open to the public, contains thousands of historic and cultural artifacts and photos. Membership and donations are welcome. Admission is free. The museum building includes a gift shop where unique items can be purchased.


Kern County Historical Society

The Kern County Historical Society, founded in 1931, is a non-profit, volunteer, membership organization located in Bakersfield. The organization is open to anyone with an interest in the history of Kern County and Bakersfield. The organization features speakers, field trips, and other events. The society sponsors an excellent bookstore and gift shop.


Kern Antelope Historical Society

The Kern Antelope Historical Society (KVHS), founded in 1959, is located in Rosamond in the far north part of Los Angeles County in the Mojave Desert and Antelope Valley, north of Lancaster and Palmdale. The non-profit, membership organization features guest speakers, field trips, and other events. Membership is available to anyone interested in local history and donations are always welcome.



Fort Tejon State Historic Park

Fort Tejon State Historic Park is a former United States Army post in Kern County that was active from June 1854 to September of 1864. The park is listed on the U S National Register of Historic Places and has been designated a U S Historic District and a California Historical Landmark. Fort Tejon is the site of frequent Civil War reenactments presented by the Fort Tejon Historical Association .



Kern Economic Development Corporation

The mission of the Kern Economic Development Corporation (Kern EDC) is to cultivate and promote Kern Country's boundless opportunities for business. The public-private partnership brings together private businesses, elected officials, and nonprofit organizations for the purpose of creating a strong and diverse economy. The Kern EDC is based in Bakersfield.



US Borax Visitor Center

The US Borax Visitor Center and Gift Store is on the rim of the largest borax mine in the world, just outside of California City in the northern Antelope Valley in Kern County. The museum is open to the public and is intended to teach visitors about the many uses of borax and the history of the richest deposit of borax on the planet, including the history of the 20 Mule Team.


Piute Ponds

The Piute Ponds are a group of ponds covering 9,600 acres in Kern County about 6.2 miles southeast of Rosamond in the Mojave Desert near Edwards Air Force Base. They are part of the Harley Berhow Recreation Area and are home to more than 200 species of migratory birds.


Lake Isabella - Isabella Lake

Lake Isabella is an unincorporated town in Kern County named after the nearby Lake Isabella Reservoir, also referred to as Isabella 'Lake and Lake Isabella. The 11,000-acre reservoir is one of the largest reservoirs in California and is located about 40 miles northeast of Bakersfield. The reservoir was created in 1953 with the construction of the Isabella Dam on the Kern River.


Lake Ming

Lake Ming is a 104-acre man-made recreational lake and reservoir developed in Bakersfield, Kern County, in 1959. It was created by the construction of the Kern River County Park Dam on the Kern River. Fishing is permitted and the lake is stocked regularly with rainbow trout, large-mouth bass, catfish, and bluegill. The National Jet Boat Association holds races on the lake throughout the year. Facilities include picnic areas, campgrounds, and playground areas.


California State University, Bakersfield

California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB), also known as Cal State Bakersfield, and CSU Bakersfield, established in 1965, was originally founded as Kern State College. The 375-acre public university offers 39 bachelor's degree programs, 17 master's degree programs and a doctoral program in education. Enrollment now exceeds 12,000 students.


Kern Council of Governments

The Kern Council of Governments (COG) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Kern Region as designated by the Federal Government and the Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA) as designated by the state of California. The COG includes the following member cities; Arvin, Bakersfield, California City, Delano, Maricopa, McFarland, Ridgecrest, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, and Wasco, plus Kern County.


Kern Economic Development Corporation

The mission of the Kern Economic Development Corporation (Kern EDC) is to cultivate and promote Kern Country's boundless opportunities for business. The public-private partnership brings together private businesses, elected officials, and nonprofit organizations for the purpose of creating a strong and diverse economy. The Kern EDC is based in Bakersfield.


Mojave Desert News

The Mojave Desert News, founded in 1938, is a newspaper that is now headquartered in California City. It claims to be the longest running newspaper in east Kern County and reports on news in Kern County, including California City. In addition to news, it covers opinion, local sports, and schools.



Timeline - Kern County

Historical Timeline for Bakersfield