Kern River Ranger District

Area Status: Temporarily Closed
This area is Closed

2018 Kern River Ranger Station

The Kern River Ranger District offers something for every recreationist.  The district covers 663,000 acres and offers 25 campgrounds and10 developed day use areas, Over 578 miles of trails run through mountains, high desert, along rivers, and through the forest, 68 miles of which run through designated wilderness. Come out and explore!  

Forest Service Temporarily Closes All California National Forests

VALLEJO, Calif., September 7, 2020 – Most of California remains under the threat of unprecedented and dangerous fire conditions with a combination of extreme heat, significant wind events, dry conditions, and firefighting resources that are stretched to the limit. Due to these conditions, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing the following temporary closures and fire restrictions to provide for public safety and reduce the potential for human caused fire starts. They will go into effect at 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time on Monday, September 7, 2020, and will be re-evaluated daily as conditions change. Click Here For More Information

Southern California's Emergency Closure Order

Fire Restrictions

Gateway to the Giant Sequoias

  • Even though no giant sequoia groves are on the Kern River Ranger District, the Trail of 100 Giants is just up the road on the Western Divide Ranger District and offers a paved interpretive trail to view and learn about these majestic trees.

The Pacific Crest Trail crosses the District in two locations (click here to go to, official site for the Pacific Crest Trail Association)



At a Glance

Current Conditions: For Kern River Ranger District recreation information, please call (760) 549-9533 or check the National Weather Service for extended forcasts.
Operational Hours:
Virtual Services are available for Kern River Ranger District
Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm by email at or phone at 760-549-9533. Phone lines are extremely busy at this time. Please call our google voice at (559) 791-8827 and leave a message. We will return your call as soon as possible. Kern River Ranger District
11380 Kernville Road
Kernville, CA 93238
Reservations: Reservations available at or call 877-444-6777.

Kern River Ranger District Restrictions:

Forest Order 0513-20-15 Fire Use Restrictions
    (No fires outside developed campground sites or below 5000 ft elevation.) Campground Occupancy Use Forest Order 0513-19-09 (14 day stay limit)
Kern River Developed Recreation Site Closures Forest order 0513-20-18
North Fork Kern River Setback Camping Prohibition Forest Order 0513-20-13
Kern Floodplain Site Area Closure Forest Order 0513-20-04
Old Goldledge Dispersed Camping Area Closure Forest Order 0513-20-01
Kern Canyon Isabella Lake Glass Container Prohibition Forest Order 0513-19-05
Forest Order 0513-19-08 Lower Kern Camping Prohibition Forest Order 0513-19-08

General Information

General Notes:

Unique Recreation Opportunities on the Kern River Ranger District

  • When the snow is falling, visitors can ski, snowboard, or tube at the Alta Sierra Ski Resort
  • OHV enthusiasts can explore the forest using single-track trails, or have some fun at the Cyrus Canyon OHV Park.  
  • Lake Isabella has three marinas in operation during the summer that rent boats, kayaks, and other gear. 
  • Five commercial whitewater outfitter guides are available to provide trips on the Mighty Kern River.   
  • Kernville has a private airport operating on FS land.  
  • Sportsman can hone their rifle, shotgun, and bow skills at the Cyrus Canyon shooting area.  
  • Visitors can learn about the native cultures at the Nuii Cunni Native American Culture Center.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Camping & Cabins

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Horse Riding & Camping

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OHV Riding & Camping

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Outdoor Learning

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Water Activities

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Winter Sports

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Areas & Activities


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10 Tent Camping Tips

Ten Tips for First Time Tent Campers Link opens in a new window