"Lake Isabella" Lake Isabella by SteveOSF

Lake Isabella Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 35 photos

Driving from San Simeon to Ridgecrest (and eventually Death Valley), our path took us past Lake Isabella. Seeing a large mountain lake surrounded by the Sequoia National Forest on the map had us envisioning a pristine alpine lake surround by big trees. So we decided we would stop for a picnic and perhaps a short hike.

We were surprised when we arrived to find the lake's perimeter nearly barren of trees. The wind was gusting strongly. We did not find any nice places to picnic near the highway and the wind was strong enough to deter us from any hiking or walking.

Although the lake is scenic, it was just a bit different that what we had hoped. The strong wind was also unexpected and uncomfortable.

Despite our first impression, Lake Isabella remains a popular place for boating, fishing, hiking, camping, windsurfing, and water skiing.

It is located between east of Bakersfield on Highway 178 at an elevation just over 2,500 feet.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Blue water
  • Cons:High wind
  • In a nutshell:A windy mountain lake
  • Last visit to Lake Isabella: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated Aug 16, 2007
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Reviews (1)

Comments (2)

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2009 at 1:09 PM

    On your main photo, lake Isabella looks very nice!

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2008 at 9:10 PM

    We stopped by Lake Isabella a few years ago when driving from Death Valley to the coast. We considered finding a hotel here, but the town was kind of odd and run down, so we kept going to Bakersfield. The drive down the Kern River canyon was beautiful.


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