Scenic USA - California

Lake Isabella

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Lake Isabella - Kernville, California

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Looking eastward from the I-5 corridor toward the Greenhorn Mountains, travelers find one of the few highways that cross over the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Owens Valley in the east. In the west, southern California’s topography makes a dramatic change from the broad San Joaquin Valley into the imposing Sierra Nevada Range and some of the highest mountains in the United States.
     Out of Bakersfield, California Route 178 climbs up from the valley and winds its way through the Greenhorns. Lake Isabella - Kern River valley, California From a mountaintop view, the sparkling waters of Lake Isabella appear as a shimmer of white among the golden hills surrounding the Kern River Valley. Here the wild and scenic Kern River, and its thrilling whitewater, descend into Lake Isabella. The clear blue lake waters invite area boaters, water skiers, anglers and wind surfers, adding a major boost to the local economy.
     Caught up in the gold rush days of 1857, the valley was then known as the Whiskey Flat Area. Long after the gold rush, the towns of Kernville and Isabella were forced to move out of the valley before damming the Kern River in 1953. Today, Kernville's Whisky Flat Days, one of California’s rowdiest Wild West celebrations, rounds up plenty of prospectors and cowpokes for an extra long weekend of fun.

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