"Oil, Agriculture, and Buck Owens" Top 5 Page for this destination Bakersfield by atufft

Bakersfield Travel Guide: 141 reviews and 458 photos

Old pumpers still scattered throughout the city

On the drive on Hwy 58 from Needles, we were surprised by the number of wells still active within the city limits. Some go slower than others, and many appear stopped and need of repair to start them again. New highways and houses are being built all around Bakersfield, a central valley city not unlike my hometown of Stockton. Bakersfield has ethnically mixed neighborhoods of self-made houses where live the labor force for food factories, such as Frito Lay, and other low tech industries. The city has plenty of new shopping centers. A major boulevard is named after Buck Owens, the great California country western star, and another is named after Cesar Chavez, the farm labor leader whose work began in this part of the state.

East of Bakersfield, Hwy 58 rises above 1000 feet

From Barstow and the Mojave Desert, Hwy 58 bypasses Edwards Airforce Base, the desert airstrip where more often than not serves to land NASA's Space Shuttle. From there, the road rises through steep walled canyon where wind generators spin high above.

As 58 drops toward Bakersfield...

The rolling hills just east of Bakersfield are being invaded by houses perched high on the hills. In some places, the original landscape of hills studded by occasional oak trees can be found. Some of these hills are home to the California poppy in the spring. Located on the southeast corner of the Central Valley, Bakersfield is not far from the foothills of the southern Sierra mountains. In summer, Bakersfield regularly peaks above 90F duirng the day, while in winter, hard frost mornings can bring a chill to this dry desert like region.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Bakersfield retains many of the original quality of a city California town
  • Cons:Urban sprawl is here too...
  • In a nutshell:Drive through Bakersfield and watch Buck Owens if you can...
  • Last visit to Bakersfield: Jan 2006
  • Intro Updated Feb 24, 2007
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Reviews (3)

Comments (3)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2009 at 9:25 PM

    Nice page! There is so much to see in the historical downtown area. Next you all pass through, make sure you stop to see more.

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
    May 9, 2008 at 5:03 PM

    I like your opening pic of the oil rigs. What were you doing on the bus rather than the truck?

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2008 at 11:27 PM

    I’ve only passed through Bakersfield. I think your warning about the air quality is right on the mark though. Love to see an old theater still in use.


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