October 30, 2014
Once we left Zion our plan was to head for the coast and work our way up to Oregon. There was a lot of territory between southwestern Utah and the central California Coast and a good bit of it was desert. We were tired of dry, dusty land so I was having trouble finding a campground to stay in. I’d rather dry camp in a real parking lot than pay to camp in a “parking lot with benefits” (meaning a treeless lot with electric hookups). I spent a lot of time searching Allstays for a decent stopover between Hurricane, UT and the coast. We decided a long day of driving was better than a short day with hours to just sit and watch the heat waves move the dust around so we set our sights for Bakersfield. Lady Luck was with us because we made it to the Kern River County Park Campground and it was another little oasis amidst the dry dusty desert.
This is a very nice park with large, shaded, grassy pull through sites (many along the river), old but clean restrooms with showers, potable water and dump station (no hook ups). For $10.00 a night for off season Seniors, it was a great deal. They have a bike trail so you can ride around Lake Ming or ride all the way into Bakersfield.
We were only there one night so we opted to relax and watch the wildlife. We had herons and ducks and a cow… who was crashing around in the bushes on the other side of the river. It would moooo every so often and look longingly at its fenced enclosure like it wanted back in but didn’t know how to get there. There were houses across the river but the trees and shrubs hid most of them so it was just us and the river and the critters.
There was a beautiful sunset to ease us into a nice, quiet night in camp. The park is about ten miles outside of Bakersfield but it is an easy detour and well worth it for anyone traveling this southern route.
Sites are first come first served but they have a grassy lot for overflow campers so there is a decent chance of getting a place to stay. Only four of the fifty sites were filled when we were there.