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Lake Information for Isabella Lake


Lake Isabella is a man-made earthen reservoir in Kern County, California that consists of a main and auxiliary dam. It was formed in 1953 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Kern River at the junction of its two forks at Whiskey Flat. At 11,000 acres (45 km²), it is one of the largest reservoirs in California. The area is in the southern end of the Sierra Nevada range and the lake itself is located in low mountains at an elevation of approximately 2,500 feet (760 m) where summer temperatures reach over 100 degrees (°F) but low enough to avoid winter snows on the surrounding ridges. Lake Isabella is located about 40 miles (65 km) northeast of Bakersfield, and is the main water supply for that city.

Facilities and Parks: 

Land Sports:

* Camping - 30 campgrounds within the nearby Sequoia National Forest
Information available from Lake Visitor Center on southwest corner of the lake - (760) 379-5646
* Fishing - trout, bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish
* Golf - at a public golf course near the north end of the reservoir near Kernville
* Hiking - 1,000 miles of hiking trails in surrounding mountains of Sequoia National Forest
* Motocross Driving - on track at Cyrus Canyon
* Photography - of wildflowers and wildlife (particularly at the South Fork Wildlife Area)
* Snow Skiing - at nearby Shirley Meadows and Sugar Loaf Peak

Water Sports:

* On Lake Isabella: boating, sailing, water skiing, jet-skiing, windsurfing, and fishing
* On the Kern River (preserved by Congress as Wild and Scenic): whitewater rafting, kayaking, and fishing

Directions to Lake: 

Lake Isabella can be reached by car from Bakersfield via state Highway 178 and from Delano via Highway 155.

Blue Catfish
Brown Trout
Channel Catfish
Lake Trout
Largemouth Bass
Optional Information
Surface area: 
Isabella Lake
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Boat Rental

    Jerry's Boat Center
  • 6350 Lake Isabella Blvd - Lake Isabella, CA
  • (760) 379-2839
    Valley Boats
  • 7431 Rosedale Hwy - Bakersfield, CA
  • (661) 588-9252
    Central Valley Sportsmens Boat
  • 6716 Cherrywood Ave - Bakersfield, CA
  • (661) 399-3345

Vacation Rental

    Forest Service
  • 4875 Ponderosa Dr - Lake Isabella, CA
  • (760) 379-5646

Bar and Restaurant

    Nelda's Diner
  • 5128 Lake Isabella Blvd - Lake Isabella, CA
  • (760) 379-8448
    Frank's Diner
  • 5901 Wofford Hgts Blvd - Wofford Heights, CA
  • (760) 376-8646
    Elephant Bar & Restaurant
  • 10100 Stockdale Hwy - Bakersfield, CA
  • (661) 663-3020

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