Kern County, California

Kern County, California

Overview
Spreading across the southern end of the California Central Valley, Kern County is the fifth-largest county by population in California. Its economy is heavily linked to agriculture and to petroleum extraction, and there is a strong aviation and space presence. Politically, it has generally supported the Republican Party in presidential elections within the past 90 years. A plurality of voters have registered as Republicans.



The area was claimed by the Spanish in 1769, and in 1772 Commander Don Pedro Fages became the first European to enter it, from the south by way of the Grapevine Canyon.

Kern County was the site of the Battle of San Emigdio, in March 1824, between the Chumash Indians of the Santa Barbara Mission who rebelled against the Mexican government's taking over mission property and ejecting the natives.
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Spreading across the southern end of the California Central Valley, Kern County is the fifth-largest county by population in California. Its economy is heavily linked to agriculture and to petroleum extraction, and there is a strong aviation and space presence. Politically, it has generally supported the Republican Party in presidential elections within the past 90 years. A plurality of voters have registered as Republicans.


Spanish era


The area was claimed by the Spanish in 1769, and in 1772 Commander Don Pedro Fages became the first European to enter it, from the south by way of the Grapevine Canyon.

Kern County was the site of the Battle of San Emigdio, in March 1824, between the Chumash Indians of the Santa Barbara Mission who rebelled against the Mexican government's taking over mission property and ejecting the natives. This battle with Mexican forces from Monterey
Monterey, California
The City of Monterey in Monterey County is located on Monterey Bay along the Pacific coast in Central California. Monterey lies at an elevation of 26 feet above sea level. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 27,810. Monterey is of historical importance because it was the capital of...

 under the command of Cárlos Carrillo took place at the canyon where San Emigdio Creek flows down San Emigdio Mountain
San Emigdio Mountains
The San Emigdio Mountains are a part of the Transverse Ranges in Southern California, extending from Interstate 5 at Lebec and Gorman on the east to Highway 33–166 on the west. They link the Tehachapis and Temblor Range and form the southern wall of the San Joaquin Valley.The range is within Los...

 and the Blue Ridge south of Bakersfield near today's Highway 166. It was a low-casualty encounter, with only four Indians killed, and no Mexicans; the surviving Indians were pacified and brought back to Santa Barbara in June 1824 after a pursuit and negotiation in which many were allowed to keep their arms for the return march over the mountains.

American era


In the beginning, the area that became Kern County was dominated by mining in the mountains and in the desert. County government was created in 1866 with the county seat in the mining town of Havilah
Havilah, California
Havilah is an unincorporated community in Kern County, California. It is located south-southeast of Miracle Hot Springs, at an elevation of 3136 feet ....

, in the mountains between Bakersfield and Tehachapi. It was formed from parts of Los Angeles
Los Angeles County, California
Los Angeles County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 9,818,605, making it the most populous county in the United States. Los Angeles County alone is more populous than 42 individual U.S. states...

 and Tulare
Tulare County, California
Tulare County is a county located in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, south of Fresno. Sequoia National Park is located in the county, as are part of Kings Canyon National Park, in its northeast corner , and part of Mount Whitney, on its eastern border...

 Counties. The western half of Kern county, on the southern end of the Central Valley, was regarded as infertile or bearing only semidesert (chaparral
Chaparral
Chaparral is a shrubland or heathland plant community found primarily in the U.S. state of California and in the northern portion of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico...

); there were fewer than 10,000 residents in the entire county, according to the 1866 population report.

The flatlands were considered inhospitable and impassable at the time due to swamps, lakes, tule reeds and diseases such as malaria.This changed when settlers started draining lands for farming and constructing canals, most dug by hand by hired Chinese laborers. Within 10 years the valley surpassed the mining areas as the economic center of the county, and the county seat was moved as a result from Havilah to Bakersfield in 1874.

The discovery well of the Kern River Oil Field
Kern River Oil Field
The Kern River Oil Field is a large oil field in Kern County in the San Joaquin Valley of California, north-northeast of Bakersfield in the lower Sierra foothills...

 was dug by hand in 1899. Soon the towns of Oil City
Oil City, California
Oil City is an unincorporated community in Kern County, California, about northeast of Bakersfield, adjacent to the Kern River Oil Field.Another "Oil City" is located in Fresno County within the Coalinga Oil Field, about north of Coalinga, at an elevation of 449 feet .The town was named for Oil...

, Oil Center and Oildale came into existence.

Nomenclature


The county derives its name from the Kern River
Kern River
The Kern River is a river in the U.S. state of California, approximately long. It drains an area of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains northeast of Bakersfield. Fed by snowmelt near Mount Whitney, the river passes through scenic canyons in the mountains and is a popular destination for...

, which was named for Edward Kern
Edward Kern
Edward Meyer Kern was born 26 Oct 1822 or 1823 in Philadelphia - the son of John Kern III and Mary Elizabeth Bignell. He was trained as an artist and was appointed to accompany John C. Fremont on his third expedition in 1845. He was paid $3.00 a day on this trip. He served as cartographer as well...

, cartographer for General John C. Fremont
John C. Frémont
John Charles Frémont , was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder...

's 1845 expedition, which crossed Walker Pass
Walker Pass
Walker Pass is a mountain pass by Lake Isabella in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. It is located in northeastern Kern County, approximately 53 mi ENE of Bakersfield and 10 mi WNW of Ridgecrest...

. The Kern River was originally named Rio Bravo de San Felipe by Father Francisco Garces when he explored the area in 1776. Kern County was nearly named Buena Vista County for the large, and now drained, Buena Vista Lake between Bakersfield and Taft.

Earthquakes


Severe earthquakes have struck Kern County within historical times, including the Fort Tejon earthquake
Fort Tejon earthquake
The Fort Tejon earthquake occurred at about 8:20 AM on January 9, 1857. It ruptured the San Andreas Fault for a length of about 225 miles , between Parkfield and Wrightwood. The average slip along the fault was 4.5 meters , and a maximum offset of 9 meters was recorded in the Carrizo Plain area...

 of 1857 and the Lone Pine earthquake
1872 Lone Pine earthquake
The Great Lone Pine earthquake was one of the largest earthquakes to hit California in recorded history. The quake struck on March 26, 1872 and its epicenter was near Lone Pine, California in Owens Valley...

 of 1872.

On July 21, 1952, an earthquake with the epicenter
Epicenter
The epicenter or epicentre is the point on the Earth's surface that is directly above the hypocenter or focus, the point where an earthquake or underground explosion originates...

 about 23 miles (37 km) south of Bakersfield, measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale
Richter magnitude scale
The expression Richter magnitude scale refers to a number of ways to assign a single number to quantify the energy contained in an earthquake....

 killed 12 people. In addition to 12 fatalities, it was responsible for at least 18 injuries and more than $60 million in property damage. The main shock was felt over most of California and as far away as Phoenix, Arizona and Reno, Nevada. The strength of the shock was sufficient to cause power outages in Los Angeles. It was followed by several aftershock
Aftershock
An aftershock is a smaller earthquake that occurs after a previous large earthquake, in the same area of the main shock. If an aftershock is larger than the main shock, the aftershock is redesignated as the main shock and the original main shock is redesignated as a foreshock...

s, at least 20 of which were magnitude 5.0 or greater. The quake occurred on the White Wolf Fault and was the third strongest quake in California history, behind the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the 1872 Lone Pine quake.

Abuse trials


Between 1983 and 1986, several ritual sex ring child abuse cases
Kern County child abuse cases
The Kern County child abuse cases started the day care sexual abuse hysteria of the 1980s in Kern County, California. The cases involved claims of Satanic ritual abuse that were performed by pedophile sex rings with as many as 60 children testifying they had been abused. At least 36 people were...

 allegedly occurred in Kern County, resulting in numerous long prison sentences, all of which were overturned—some of them decades later, because, it was said, the prosecutors had coerced false testimonies from the purported child victims.

Marriages


Kern County Clerk Ann Barnett announced in mid-June 2008 that the county would stop performing all civil marriage ceremonies. County officials cited budget and staffing constraints. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Barnett made her decision after county lawyers told her she could not refuse to marry same-sex couples.

Political registration


According to the California Secretary of State, as of April 2008, Kern County had 283,732 registered voters. Of those, 101,580 (35.8%) were Democrats, 131,878 (46.5%) were Republicans, 10,752 (3.8%) wereregistered with other political parties, and 39,522 (13.9%) declined to state a political party. The cities of Bakersfield, California City, Maricopa, Ridgecrest, Taft, Tehachapi, and the unincorporated areas had a plurality or majority of voters registered Republican. All of the other cities and towns had Democratic pluralities or majorities.

Federal

Kern County vote
by party in presidential elections

The background color in the Year column indicates which party had a plurality vote, red for Republican and blue for Democratic.
Year GOP
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

DEM
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

Others
2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

40.2% 93,457 1.8% 4,111
2004
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

32.5% 68,603 1.0% 2,154
2000
United States presidential election, 2000
The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

36.2% 66,003 3.1% 5,642
1996
United States presidential election, 1996
The United States presidential election of 1996 was a contest between the Democratic national ticket of President Bill Clinton of Arkansas and Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee and the Republican national ticket of former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas for President and former Housing Secretary Jack...

36.6% 62,658 9.7% 16,582
1992
United States presidential election, 1992
The United States presidential election of 1992 had three major candidates: Incumbent Republican President George Bush; Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, and independent Texas businessman Ross Perot....

33.8% 60,510 21.2% 37,991
1988
United States presidential election, 1988
The United States presidential election of 1988 featured no incumbent president, as President Ronald Reagan was unable to seek re-election after serving the maximum two terms allowed by the Twenty-second Amendment. Reagan's Vice President, George H. W. Bush, won the Republican nomination, while the...

37.4% 55,083 1.1% 1,660
1984
United States presidential election, 1984
The United States presidential election of 1984 was a contest between the incumbent President Ronald Reagan, the Republican candidate, and former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate. Reagan was helped by a strong economic recovery from the deep recession of 1981–1982...

34.0% 49,567 1.0% 1,401
1980
United States presidential election, 1980
The United States presidential election of 1980 featured a contest between incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and his Republican opponent, Ronald Reagan, as well as Republican Congressman John B. Anderson, who ran as an independent...

33.7% 41,097 6.7% 8,182
1976
United States presidential election, 1976
The United States presidential election of 1976 followed the resignation of President Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal. It pitted incumbent President Gerald Ford, the Republican candidate, against the relatively unknown former governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, the Democratic...

45.6% 50,567 2.1% 2,371
1972
United States presidential election, 1972
The United States presidential election of 1972 was the 47th quadrennial United States presidential election. It was held on November 7, 1972. The Democratic Party's nomination was eventually won by Senator George McGovern, who ran an anti-war campaign against incumbent Republican President Richard...

35.2% 41,937 4.6% 5,570
1968
United States presidential election, 1968
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

42.6% 49,284 10.8% 12,558
1964
United States presidential election, 1964
The United States presidential election of 1964 was held on November 3, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Johnson, who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy's...

58.7% 64,174 0.1% 120
1960
United States presidential election, 1960
The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

49.1% 51,440 0.4% 465
1956
United States presidential election, 1956
The United States presidential election of 1956 saw a popular Dwight D. Eisenhower successfully run for re-election. The 1956 election was a rematch of 1952, as Eisenhower's opponent in 1956 was Democrat Adlai Stevenson, whom Eisenhower had defeated four years earlier.Incumbent President Eisenhower...

48.3% 43,533 0.4% 322
1952
United States presidential election, 1952
The United States presidential election of 1952 took place in an era when Cold War tension between the United States and the Soviet Union was escalating rapidly. In the United States Senate, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin had become a national figure after chairing congressional...

44.2% 37,240 0.7% 602
1948
United States presidential election, 1948
The United States presidential election of 1948 is considered by most historians as the greatest election upset in American history. Virtually every prediction indicated that incumbent President Harry S. Truman would be defeated by Republican Thomas E. Dewey. Truman won, overcoming a three-way...

56.2% 33,029 2.3% 1,318
1944
United States presidential election, 1944
The United States presidential election of 1944 took place while the United States was preoccupied with fighting World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been in office longer than any other president, but remained popular. Unlike 1940, there was little doubt that Roosevelt would run for...

55.6% 26,205 0.5% 226
1940
United States presidential election, 1940
The United States presidential election of 1940 was fought in the shadow of World War II as the United States was emerging from the Great Depression. Incumbent President Franklin D. Roosevelt , a Democrat, broke with tradition and ran for a third term, which became a major issue...

61.8% 32,202 0.9% 479
1936
United States presidential election, 1936
The United States presidential election of 1936 was the most lopsided presidential election in the history of the United States in terms of electoral votes. In terms of the popular vote, it was the third biggest victory since the election of 1820, which was not seriously contested.The election took...

74.6% 25,726 1.2% 408
1932
United States presidential election, 1932
The United States presidential election of 1932 took place as the effects of the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, the Revenue Act of 1932, and the Great Depression were being felt intensely across the country. President Herbert Hoover's popularity was falling as...

70.3% 19,634 4.6% 1,275
1928
United States presidential election, 1928
The United States presidential election of 1928 pitted Republican Herbert Hoover against Democrat Al Smith. The Republicans were identified with the booming economy of the 1920s, whereas Smith, a Roman Catholic, suffered politically from Anti-Catholic prejudice, his anti-prohibitionist stance, and...

36.4% 8,541 0.9% 212
1924
United States presidential election, 1924
The United States presidential election of 1924 was won by incumbent President Calvin Coolidge, the Republican candidate.Coolidge was vice-president under Warren G. Harding and became president in 1923 when Harding died in office. Coolidge was given credit for a booming economy at home and no...

16.8% 3,159 37.1% 6,958
1920
United States presidential election, 1920
The United States presidential election of 1920 was dominated by the aftermath of World War I and a hostile response to certain policies of Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic president. The wartime economic boom had collapsed. Politicians were arguing over peace treaties and the question of America's...

42.2% 6,095 8.8% 1,270


Kern is a strongly Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 county in Presidential
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 and congressional
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 elections. The last Democratic candidate for President to win a majority in the county was Lyndon Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 in 1964
United States presidential election, 1964
The United States presidential election of 1964 was held on November 3, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Johnson, who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy's...

.

Kern is part of California's 20th
California's 20th congressional district
California's 20th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California that covers parts of Fresno and Kern counties and all of Kings county. It contains most of the city of Fresno....

 and 22nd
California's 22nd congressional district
California's 22nd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California that covers parts of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and Los Angeles counties. The district is anchored in Bakersfield and takes in most of San Luis Obispo County....

 congressional districts, which are held by Democrat Jim Costa
Jim Costa
James Manuel "Jim" Costa is the U.S. Representative for , serving since his initial election in 2004. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district takes in large and predominantly Latino portions of Fresno and Bakersfield in the Central Valley.-Early life and education:Born in Fresno,...

 and Republican Kevin McCarthy, respectively.

State


In the State Assembly
California State Assembly
The California State Assembly is the lower house of the California State Legislature. There are 80 members in the Assembly, representing an approximately equal number of constituents, with each district having a population of at least 420,000...

, Kern is part of the 30th, 32nd, 34th and 37th districts. The 30th, 32nd, and 34th districts are held by Republicans David Valadao
David Valadao
David Valadao is an American politician currently serving his first term in the California State Assembly. He is a Republican representing the 30th district, encompassing Kings County and parts of Fresno, Kern, and Tulare counties. He won his first term in 2010, defeating Shafter Mayor Fran Florez...

, Shannon Grove
Shannon Grove
Shannon Grove is an American politician currently serving in the California State Assembly. She is a Republican representing the 32nd district, encompassing parts of Kern and San Bernardino counties...

 and Connie Conway
Connie Conway
Connie Conway is a Republican politician from California. She is currently in the California State Assembly and is the Assemblymember from the 34th district which takes in many parts of California's Central Valley and High Desert areas. Prior to serving in the Assembly, Conway served as a Tulare...

. respectively. In the State Senate
California State Senate
The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature. There are 40 state senators. The state legislature meets in the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate and may break a tied vote...

, Kern is part of the 16th and 18th districts, which are held by Democrat Michael Rubio and Republican Jean Fuller
Jean Fuller
Jean Fuller is a U.S. politician who serves in the California State Senate. A Republican, she was previously a member of the California Assembly and the Superintendent of Schools for the Bakersfield City School District....

, respectively.

On Nov. 4, 2008 Kern County voted 75.5% in favor of Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages.

County


Kern County is governed by a five-member board of supervisors. As of 2011, they are:
  • 1st District, Jon McQuiston.

  • 2nd District, Zack Scrivner.

  • 3rd District, Mike Maggard.

  • 4th District, Ray Watson.

  • 5th District, Karen Goh.

General


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 8161.42 square miles (21,138 km²), of which 8140.96 square miles (21,085 km²) (or 99.75%) is land and 20.46 square miles (53 km²) (or 0.25%) is water.

Kern County is in the southern California Central Valley
California Central Valley
California's Central Valley is a large, flat valley that dominates the central portion of California. It is home to California's most productive agricultural efforts. The valley stretches approximately from northwest to southeast inland and parallel to the Pacific Ocean coast. Its northern half is...

. With an area nearly the size of New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

. It extends:
  • East beyond the southern slope of the eastern Sierra Nevada range into the Mojave Desert
    Mojave Desert
    The Mojave Desert occupies a significant portion of southeastern California and smaller parts of central California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona, in the United States...

     and includes parts of the Indian Wells Valley and the Antelope Valley
    Antelope Valley
    The Antelope Valley in California, United States, is located in northern Los Angeles County and the southeastern portion of Kern County, California, and constitutes the western tip of the Mojave Desert...

    .

  • West from the Sierra across the floor of the San Joaquin Valley
    San Joaquin Valley
    The San Joaquin Valley is the area of the Central Valley of California that lies south of the Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta in Stockton...

     to the eastern edge of the Temblor Range
    Temblor Range
    The Temblor Range is a mountain range within the California Coast Ranges, at the southwestern extremity of the San Joaquin Valley in California in the United States. It runs in a northwest-southeasterly direction along the borders of Kern County and San Luis Obispo County. The name of the range is...

    , which is a part of the Coastal Ranges.

  • South over the ridge of the Tehachapi Mountains
    Tehachapi Mountains
    The Tehachapi Mountains , regionally also called The Tehachapis, are a mountain range in the Transverse Ranges system of California in the Western United States...

    .


Walker Pass
Walker Pass
Walker Pass is a mountain pass by Lake Isabella in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. It is located in northeastern Kern County, approximately 53 mi ENE of Bakersfield and 10 mi WNW of Ridgecrest...

, first traversed in 1834, is an important pass across the Sierra Nevada because it is one of the few east-west passes not closed by winter snows.

County seat


The county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 is Bakersfield (since 1874), with the original county seat being the former mining town of Havilah
Havilah, California
Havilah is an unincorporated community in Kern County, California. It is located south-southeast of Miracle Hot Springs, at an elevation of 3136 feet ....

 in the mountains between Bakersfield and Tehachapi.

Cities over 10,000


  • Arvin
    Arvin, California
    Arvin is a city in Kern County, in the United States. Arvin is located southeast of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 449 feet . As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,304, up from 12,956 at the 2000 census....

  • McFarland
    McFarland, California
    McFarland is a city in the San Joaquin Valley, in Kern County, California, United States. McFarland is located south of Delano, at an elevation of 354 feet . The population was 12,707 at the 2010 census, up from 9,618 at the 2000 census.-History:The first post office opened in 1908. McFarland...

  • Ridgecrest
    Ridgecrest, California
    Ridgecrest, formerly known as Crumville, was incorporated as a city in 1913. It is located in the Indian Wells Valley in northeastern Kern County, California, adjacent to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake . Ridgecrest is the only incorporated city along US 395 in Kern County...

  • Shafter
    Shafter, California
    Shafter is a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is located west-northwest of Bakersfield. The population was 16,988 at the 2010 census, up from 12,736 at the 2000 census. Wired telephone numbers in Shafter follow the format 746-xxxx and the ZIP Code is 93263.The city is located...

  • Tehachapi
    Tehachapi, California
    Tehachapi is a city incorporated in 1909 located in the Tehachapi Mountains between Bakersfield and Mojave in Kern County, California. Tehachapi is located east-southeast of Bakersfield, at an elevation of...

  • Wasco
    Wasco, California
    Wasco is a city in the San Joaquin Valley, in Kern County, California, United States. Wasco is located northwest of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 328 feet...



Cities under 10,000

  • California City
    California City, California
    -2000:According to the census of 2000, there were 8,385 people, 3,067 households, and 2,257 families residing in the city. As of 2006 the city's population grew 8.9% from 12,106 to 13,219. California City outpaced rivals Palmdale and Lancaster, making the city the 12th fastest growing city in...

  • Maricopa
    Maricopa, California
    Maricopa is a city in Kern County, California, United States. Maricopa is located south-southeast of Taft, at an elevation of 883 feet . The population was 1,154 at the 2010 census, up from 1,111 at the 2000 census. Maricopa lies at the junction of Route 166 and Route 33...

  • Taft
    Taft, California
    Taft is a city in the foothills at the extreme southwestern edge of the San Joaquin Valley, in Kern County, California. Taft is located west-southwest of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 955 feet . The population was 9,327 at the 2010 census...


Census-designated places


The following are census-designated place
Census-designated place
A census-designated place is a concentration of population identified by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes. CDPs are delineated for each decennial census as the statistical counterparts of incorporated places such as cities, towns and villages...

s (CDPs) within Kern County:

CDPs over 10,000
  • Oildale
    Oildale, California
    Oildale is a census-designated place in Kern County, California, United States. Oildale is located north-northwest of downtown Bakersfield, at an elevation of 469 feet . The population was 32,684 at the 2010 census, up from 27,885 at the 2000 census...

  • Lamont
    Lamont, California
    Lamont is a census-designated place in Kern County, California, United States. Lamont is located south-southeast of downtown Bakersfield, at an elevation of 404 feet...

  • Rosamond
    Rosamond, California
    Rosamond is a census-designated place in Kern County, California, USA, north of Palmdale, in the Antelope Valley, the westernmost desert valley of the Mojave Desert. Rosamond is also south of Mojave, , and north of Lancaster at an elevation of 2342 feet...



CDPs over 1,000
CDPs under 1,000

Adjacent counties



National protected areas



General


The county has a large agricultural base and is a significant producer of oil, natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

, hydro-electric power
Hydroelectricity
Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy...

, wind turbine
Wind turbine
A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy. If the mechanical energy is used to produce electricity, the device may be called a wind generator or wind charger. If the mechanical energy is used to drive machinery, such as for grinding grain or...

 power and geothermal power
Geothermal power
Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. Thermal energy is the energy that determines the temperature of matter. Earth's geothermal energy originates from the original formation of the planet and from radioactive decay of minerals...

.The county accounts for one-tenth of overall U.S. oil production, and three of the five largest U.S. oil field
Oil field
An oil field is a region with an abundance of oil wells extracting petroleum from below ground. Because the oil reservoirs typically extend over a large area, possibly several hundred kilometres across, full exploitation entails multiple wells scattered across the area...

s are in Kern County. Kern is also noted for its mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

 wealth, including gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, borate
Borate
Borates are chemical compounds which contain oxoanions of boron in oxidation state +3. The simplest borate ion, BO33−, has a trigonal planar structure. Other borates are made up of trigonal BO3 or tetrahedral BO4 structural units, sharing oxygen atoms...

, and kernite
Kernite
Kernite, also known as rasorite is a hydrated sodium borate hydroxide mineral with formula Na2B4O62·3H2O. It is a colorless to white mineral crystallizing in the monoclinic crystal system typically occurring as prismatic to acicular crystals or granular masses. It is relatively soft with Mohs...

. The largest open pit
Open-pit mining
Open-pit mining or opencast mining refers to a method of extracting rock or minerals from the earth by their removal from an open pit or borrow....

 mine in California, which mines borax
Borax
Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. It is usually a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.Borax has a wide variety of uses...

, is at Boron
Boron, California
Boron is a census-designated place in Kern County, California, United States. Boron is located east-southeast of Castle Butte, at an elevation of 2467 feet . The population was 2,253 at the 2010 census, up from 2,025 at the 2000 census...

 in Kern County.

Petroleum


, Kern is California's top oil-producing county, with 81% of the state's 52,144 active oil well
Oil well
An oil well is a general term for any boring through the earth's surface that is designed to find and acquire petroleum oil hydrocarbons. Usually some natural gas is produced along with the oil. A well that is designed to produce mainly or only gas may be termed a gas well.-History:The earliest...

s. p. 66

Discovery and development


Oil development began with the 1894 discovery of the Midway-Sunset Oil Field
Midway-Sunset Oil Field
The Midway-Sunset Oil Field is a large oil field in Kern County, San Joaquin Valley, California in the United States. Discovered in 1894, and having a cumulative production of close to of oil at the end of 2006, it is the largest oil field in California and the third largest in the United States....

, now the third-largest in the United States, in the southwestern portion of Kern County near Maricopa. Yet it was an 1899 discovery along the Kern River, today part of the giant Kern River Oil Field
Kern River Oil Field
The Kern River Oil Field is a large oil field in Kern County in the San Joaquin Valley of California, north-northeast of Bakersfield in the lower Sierra foothills...

, that was the breakthrough in Kern's oil production. Oil was refined here even before the establishment of the county. The Buena Vista Petroleum Company was organized and incorporated in 1864. Soon thereafter a refinery was built that operated until April 1867 when work ceased because of high freight charges.

It was in the Midway-Sunset Oil Field that well drillers brought about the 1910 Lakeview Gusher
Lakeview Gusher
Lakeview Gusher Number One was an immense out-of-control pressurized oil well in the Midway-Sunset Oil Field in Kern County, California, resulting in what is the largest single oil spill in history, lasting 18 months and releasing of crude oil. In what was one of the largest oil reserves in...

, the largest recorded oil strike in U.S. history. The well spewed approximately nine million barrels for a 18 months onto the adjacent terrain before workers finally were able to cap it.

Other big oil fields in southwestern Kern County discovered early in the 20th century include the Buena Vista
Buena Vista Oil Field
The Buena Vista Oil Field, formerly the Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 is a large oil field in Kern County, San Joaquin Valley, California in the United States. Discovered in 1909, and having a cumulative production of approximately , it is the tenth-largest oil field in California...

, the South Belridge
South Belridge Oil Field
The South Belridge Oil Field is a large oil field in northwestern Kern County, San Joaquin Valley, California, about forty miles west of Bakersfield...

 and the Cymric
Cymric Oil Field
The Cymric Oil Field is a large oil field in Kern County, California in the United States. While only the 14th-largest oil field in California in total size, in terms of total remaining reserves it ranks fifth, with the equivalent of over still in the ground...

 fields. The latter is the fastest-growing field in California in terms of barrels produced per year.
Later large fields include the Kern River Oil Field
Kern River Oil Field
The Kern River Oil Field is a large oil field in Kern County in the San Joaquin Valley of California, north-northeast of Bakersfield in the lower Sierra foothills...

, the fifth-largest in the U.S., the adjacent Kern Front Oil Field
Kern Front Oil Field
The Kern Front Oil Field is a large oil and gas field in the lower Sierra Nevada foothills in Kern County, California. Discovered in 1912, and with a cumulative production of around of oil, it ranks 29th in size in the state, and is believed to retain approximately ten percent of its original oil...

, the Mount Poso Oil Field
Mount Poso Oil Field
The Mount Poso Oil Field is a large oil and gas field in the lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Kern County, California. Discovered in 1926, and relatively close to exhaustion with less than three percent of its original oil remaining, it is the 21st largest field in California by...

 in the lower foothills of the Sierra north-northeast of Bakersfield and the Fruitvale Oil Field
Fruitvale Oil Field
The Fruitvale Oil Field is a large oil and gas field in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California, within and just northwest of the city of Bakersfield, along and north of the Kern River. It is one of the few oil fields in the California Central Valley which is mostly surrounded by a heavily...

, which underlies much of the city of Bakersfield, along and north of the Kern River.

On July 22, 2009, Occidental Petroleum
Occidental Petroleum
Occidental Petroleum Corporation is a California-based oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, the Middle East, North Africa, and South America...

 announced it had discovered the equivalent of 150 million to 250 million barrels of oil in Kern County, which the company called the largest oil discovery in California in 35 years. The find added about 10 percent to California's known reserves. Occidental's Ray Irani said it is likely that more oil would be found in the areas outside the initial six wells that tapped the discovery. Occidental has not revealed the exact location of the find, two-thirds of which is natural gas. BNET, an industry web publication, said the find would add to the company's 708 million barrels of proven reserves in California. Occidental owns 80 percent of the Kern County lease where the find was made, with California-based Chevron holding the remaining 20 percent. Industry insiders said that oil discovered on the company's Kern lease would cost just $10 a barrel to produce.

Petroleum today


The county today contributes more than three-quarters of all the oil produced onshore in California.

Some of the large oil fields in Kern County which are still active include:

  • Buena Vista Oil Field
    Buena Vista Oil Field
    The Buena Vista Oil Field, formerly the Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 2 is a large oil field in Kern County, San Joaquin Valley, California in the United States. Discovered in 1909, and having a cumulative production of approximately , it is the tenth-largest oil field in California...

  • Cymric Oil Field
    Cymric Oil Field
    The Cymric Oil Field is a large oil field in Kern County, California in the United States. While only the 14th-largest oil field in California in total size, in terms of total remaining reserves it ranks fifth, with the equivalent of over still in the ground...

  • Edison Oil Field
    Edison Oil Field
    The Edison Oil Field is a large oil field in Kern County, California, in the United States, in the southeastern part of the San Joaquin Valley and adjacent foothills east-southeast of Bakersfield...

  • Elk Hills Oil Field
    Elk Hills Oil Field
    The Elk Hills Oil Field is a large oil field in northwestern Kern County, in the Elk Hills of the San Joaquin Valley, California in the United States, about twenty miles west of Bakersfield...

  • Fruitvale Oil Field
    Fruitvale Oil Field
    The Fruitvale Oil Field is a large oil and gas field in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California, within and just northwest of the city of Bakersfield, along and north of the Kern River. It is one of the few oil fields in the California Central Valley which is mostly surrounded by a heavily...

  • Kern Front Oil Field
    Kern Front Oil Field
    The Kern Front Oil Field is a large oil and gas field in the lower Sierra Nevada foothills in Kern County, California. Discovered in 1912, and with a cumulative production of around of oil, it ranks 29th in size in the state, and is believed to retain approximately ten percent of its original oil...

  • Kern River Oil Field
    Kern River Oil Field
    The Kern River Oil Field is a large oil field in Kern County in the San Joaquin Valley of California, north-northeast of Bakersfield in the lower Sierra foothills...

  • Lost Hills Oil Field
    Lost Hills Oil Field
    The Lost Hills Oil Field is a large oil field in the Lost Hills Range, north of the town of Lost Hills in western Kern County, California, in the United States.-Production:...

  • McKittrick Oil Field
    McKittrick Oil Field
    The McKittrick Oil Field is a large oil and gas field in western Kern County, California. The town of McKittrick overlies the northeastern portion of the oil field...

  • Midway-Sunset Oil Field
    Midway-Sunset Oil Field
    The Midway-Sunset Oil Field is a large oil field in Kern County, San Joaquin Valley, California in the United States. Discovered in 1894, and having a cumulative production of close to of oil at the end of 2006, it is the largest oil field in California and the third largest in the United States....

  • Mountain View Oil Field
    Mountain View Oil Field
    The Mountain View Oil Field is a large, mature, but still-productive oil field in Kern County, California, in the United States, in the extreme southern part of the San Joaquin Valley southeast of Bakersfield. It underlies the town of Arvin, as well as some smaller agricultural communities...

  • Mount Poso Oil Field
    Mount Poso Oil Field
    The Mount Poso Oil Field is a large oil and gas field in the lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Kern County, California. Discovered in 1926, and relatively close to exhaustion with less than three percent of its original oil remaining, it is the 21st largest field in California by...

  • North Belridge Oil Field
    North Belridge Oil Field
    The North Belridge Oil Field is a large oil field along California State Route 33 in the northwestern portion of Kern County, California, about 45 miles west of Bakersfield. It is contiguous with the larger South Belridge Oil Field to the southeast, in a region of highly productive and mature fields...

  • Round Mountain Oil Field
    Round Mountain Oil Field
    The Round Mountain Oil Field is a large oil and gas field in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, about ten miles northeast of Bakersfield, California. It is east of the giant Kern River Oil Field, one of the largest in the United States, and also close to the Mount Poso Oil Field and...

  • South Belridge Oil Field
    South Belridge Oil Field
    The South Belridge Oil Field is a large oil field in northwestern Kern County, San Joaquin Valley, California, about forty miles west of Bakersfield...



Aviation and space


Department of Defense facilities include Edwards Air Force Base and China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. As home to Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base
Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, California, in the Antelope Valley. It is southwest of the central business district of North Edwards, California and due east of Rosamond.It is named in...

 the Air Force's main flight test facility, Kern has been the site of many milestones, including the first supersonic flight
Bell X-1
The Bell X-1, originally designated XS-1, was a joint NACA-U.S. Army/US Air Force supersonic research project built by Bell Aircraft. Conceived in 1944 and designed and built over 1945, it eventually reached nearly 1,000 mph in 1948...

 and the first landing of the Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

. The base has brought prosperity to the railroad towns of Mojave
Mojave, California
Mojave is a census-designated place in Kern County, California, United States. Mojave is located east of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 2762 feet...

 and Rosamond
Rosamond, California
Rosamond is a census-designated place in Kern County, California, USA, north of Palmdale, in the Antelope Valley, the westernmost desert valley of the Mojave Desert. Rosamond is also south of Mojave, , and north of Lancaster at an elevation of 2342 feet...

. Kern County is also the home of the first inland spaceport in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the Mojave Spaceport
Mojave Spaceport
thumb|right|235px|A retired [[Boeing 767-200]] that flew for [[Ansett Australia]] being cut open for scrap at Mojave AirportThe Mojave Air and Space Port , also known as the Civilian Aerospace Test Center, is located in Mojave, California, at an elevation of...

. It is also home to the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station at Ridgecrest.

Air pollution


Kern County suffers from severe air pollution. Particulates cause poor visibility, especially in the winter. Western Kern County lies in the San Joaquin Valley
San Joaquin Valley
The San Joaquin Valley is the area of the Central Valley of California that lies south of the Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta in Stockton...

 and the topography traps pollutants. Although the topography is not as unfavorable in eastern Kern County, eastern Kern County is a non-attainment area
Non-Attainment Area
In United States environmental law, a nonattainment area is an area considered to have air quality worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards as defined in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970 . Nonattainment areas must have and implement a plan to meet the standard, or risk losing some...

 for particulates.

Population


See also List of populated places in Kern County, California

According to the 2000 census, Kern County's population was 661,645. It was the fifth-largest county by population in California. The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of California is located in Kern County, in the town of Buttonwillow
Buttonwillow, California
Buttonwillow is a census-designated place in the San Joaquin Valley, in Kern County, California, United States. Buttonwilliow is located west of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 269 feet . The population was 1,508 at the 2010 census, up from 1,266 at the 2000 census...

 http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cenpop/statecenters.txt.

2010


The 2010 United States Census reported that Kern County had a population of 839,631. The racial makeup of Kern County was 499,766 (59.5%) White, 48,921 (5.8%) African American, 12,676 (1.5%) Native American, 34,846 (4.2%) Asian (1.9% Filipino, 1.0% Indian, 0.3% Chinese, 0.2% Korean, 0.2% Vietnamese, 0.1% Japanese), 1,252 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 204,314 (24.3%) from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 37,856 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 413,033 persons (49.2%); 43.4% of Kern County is Mexican, 1.0% Salvadoran, 0.5% Puerto Rican, and 0.4% Guatemalan.

2000


According to the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 661,645 people, 208,652 households, and 156,489 families residing in the county. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 81 people per square mile (31/km²). There were 231,564 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 61.60% White
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 6.02% Black
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

 or African American
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 3.37% Asian
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 1.51% Native American
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 0.15% Pacific Islander
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, 23.22% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 4.14% from two or more races. 38.39% of the population were Hispanic
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

 or Latino
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

 of any race. 8.4% were of German, 7.2% American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and 5.7% Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 ancestry according to Census 2000. 66.8% spoke English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, 29.1% Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 and 1.0% Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

 as their first language.

There were 208,652 households out of which 42.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.50.

In the county the population was spread out with 31.9% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 105.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.3 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,446, and the median income for a family was $39,403. Males had a median income of $38,097 versus $25,876 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the county was $15,760. About 16.8% of families and 20.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.8% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.

Racial and ethnic identity


  • White Non-Hispanic (49.5%)
  • Hispanic (38.4%)
  • Other race (23.2%)
  • Black (6.0%)
  • Two or more races (4.1%)
  • American Indian (2.6%)
  • Filipino (1.6%)
  • Asian Indian (0.7%)

(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics may be counted in any race.)

Major highways



  • Interstate 5
    Interstate 5 in California
    Interstate 5 is a major north–south route of the Interstate Highway System in the U.S. state of California. It begins at the Mexico – United States border at the San Ysidro crossing, goes north across the length of California and crosses into Oregon south of the Medford-Ashland metropolitan...

  • U.S. Route 395
    U.S. Route 395 in California
    In the U.S. state of California, U.S. Route 395 is a route which traverses from Interstate 15 near the southern city limits of Hesperia, north to the Oregon state line in Modoc County near Goose Lake...

  • State Route 14
    California State Route 14
    State Route 14 is a north–south state highway in the U.S. state of California, largely in the Mojave Desert. The southern portion of the highway is signed as the Antelope Valley Freeway. The route connects Interstate 5, or Golden State Freeway, near Santa Clarita and with U.S. Route 395 near...

  • State Route 33
    California State Route 33
    State Route 33 is a north–south state highway in the U.S. state of California. SR 33 replaced part of U.S. Route 399 in 1964 during the "great renumbering" of routes. In the unincorporated sections of Kern County it is known as the West Side Highway...

  • State Route 43
    California State Route 43
    State Route 43 is a north–south state highway in the U.S. State of California, routed along the southern San Joaquin Valley connecting the towns of Shafter, Wasco, Hanford, and Selma, running roughly parallel to SR 99...

  • State Route 46
    California State Route 46
    State Route 46 is an east–west state highway in the U.S. state of California. It is a major crossing of the Coast Ranges, connecting SR 1 on the Central Coast near Cambria and US 101 in Paso Robles with SR 99 at Famoso in the San Joaquin Valley. East of Paso Robles, where it carried U.S...

  • State Route 58
    California State Route 58
    State Route 58 is an east-west highway across the California Coast Ranges, the southern San Joaquin Valley, the Tehachapi Mountains, which border the southern Sierra Nevada, and the Mojave Desert. It runs between its western terminus near Santa Margarita and its eastern terminus at Barstow...

  • State Route 65
    California State Route 65
    State Route 65 , commonly known as Highway 65, is a north–south state highway in the U.S. state of California composed of two segments connecting Bakersfield to Exeter and Roseville to Olivehurst...


  • State Route 99
    California State Route 99
    California State Route 99 , commonly known as Highway 99 or, simply, as 99 , is a north–south state highway in the U.S. state of California, stretching almost the entire length of the Central Valley...

  • State Route 119
    California State Route 119
    State Route 119 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that runs in an east–west direction from State Route 33 in Taft to State Route 99 just south of Bakersfield. SR 119 is part of the former U.S. Route 399, which ran along SR 33 and State Route 166 before ending at SR 99...

  • State Route 155
    California State Route 155
    State Route 155 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California connecting State Route 99 and State Route 178, going through the southern part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. This highway runs from east to west. Its west terminus is in Delano and its east terminus is in the small town of...

  • State Route 166
    California State Route 166
    State Route 166 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California. It connects the Central Coast to the southern San Joaquin Valley....

  • State Route 178
    California State Route 178
    State Route 178 is a route that exists in two constructed segments. The gap in between segments is connected by various local roads and State Route 190 through Death Valley National Park....

  • State Route 184
    California State Route 184
    State Route 184 is a state route in Kern County, California, locally known as “Weedpatch Highway.” It is mainly a 2-lane conventional highway, expanding to four lanes in Bakersfield, and Lamont. It connects the local agricultural land south of Bakersfield, and east of SR 99/I-5, to a major...

  • State Route 204
    California State Route 204
    State Route 204 is a short state highway in the Bakersfield, California, United States area. It connects SR 99 and SR 58 with downtown. It also connects Bakersfield's three major freeways together . Only the north 1.4 miles has been built to freeway standards; the rest is a six-lane arterial...

  • State Route 223
    California State Route 223
    State Route 223 is a state route in Kern County, California, and is locally known as Bear Mountain Boulevard. It is a truck route, connecting the agricultural land south of Bakersfield and east of SR 99/I-5, and the city of Arvin, to three major transportation corridors without having to drive...



Public transportation

  • Golden Empire Transit
    Golden Empire Transit
    Golden Empire Transit is the operator of mass transportation in Bakersfield, California. There are 18 routes serving Greater Bakersfield, which includes both the City of Bakersfield and adjacent unincorporated communities. It, however, does not serve Rio Bravo. Although apart of the city, the area...

     is the local bus operator in and near Bakersfield.
  • Kern Regional Transit
    Kern Regional Transit
    Kern Regional Transit is the operator of mass transportation in Kern County, California. Primarily, it provides inter-regional transportation, connecting outlying regions with the City of Bakersfield...

     provides countywide intercity bus service.
  • Kern County is also served by Greyhound
    Greyhound Lines
    Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

     and Orange Belt Stages
    Orange Belt Stages
    Orange Belt Stages is a bus company based in Visalia, California. OBS was incorporated on November 30, 1935, and offers charters anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, as well as scheduled runs in California and to Las Vegas, Nevada.-History:...

     buses and Amtrak
    Amtrak
    The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

     trains.

Airports

  • California City Municipal Airport
    California City Municipal Airport
    California City Municipal Airport is located two miles northwest of the central business district of California City, in the Fremont Valley of Kern County, California, USA...

    , California City. (FAA: L71)
  • Delano Municipal Airport
    Delano Municipal Airport
    Delano Municipal Airport is a public airport located two miles southeast of the central business district of Delano, a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is owned by the City of Delano.Although most U.S...

    , Delano. (IATA: DLO)
  • Inyokern Airport
    Inyokern Airport
    Inyokern Airport is a public airport located in Inyokern, California, United States, serving the Indian Wells Valley area of Kern County. It is owned by the Indian Wells Valley Airport District...

    , Inyokern. (IATA: IYK)
  • Kern Valley Airport
    Kern Valley Airport
    Kern Valley Airport is a public airport located three miles south of Kernville, serving Kern County, California, USA. The airport is mostly used for general aviation.- Facilities :Kern Valley Airport covers and has one runway:...

    , Kernville. (FAA: L05)
  • Lost Hills Airport
    Lost Hills Airport
    Lost Hills Airport , also known as Lost Hills-Kern County Airport, is a public airport located one mile northeast of the central business district of Lost Hills, in Kern County, California, USA. The airport is mostly used for general aviation....

    , Lost Hills. (FAA: L84)
  • Meadows Field, Bakersfield, an international and general aviation airport. (IATA: BFL)
  • Mojave Airport, Mojave. (IATA: MHV)
  • Shafter Airport
    Shafter Airport
    Shafter Airport , also known as Minter Field, is a public use airport located four nautical miles east of the central business district of Shafter, in Kern County, California, United States. It is owned by the Minter Field Airport District....

     (Minter Field), Shafter. (IATA: MIT)
  • Taft Airport
    Taft Airport
    Taft Airport , also known as Taft-Kern County Airport, is a public airport located one mile east of Taft, serving Kern County, California, USA. This general aviation airport covers and has one runway....

    , Taft. (FAA: L17)
  • Tehachapi Municipal Airport
    Tehachapi Municipal Airport
    Tehachapi Municipal Airport is a public airport located in Tehachapi, serving Kern County, California, USA. This general aviation airport covers and has one runway....

    , Tehachapi. (IATA: TSP)
  • Wasco Airport
    Wasco Airport
    Wasco Airport , also known as Wasco-Kern County Airport, is a public airport located two miles northwest of Wasco, serving Kern County, California, USA. This general aviation airport covers and has one runway....

    , Wasco. (FAA: L19)

Vegetation


Chaparral
Chaparral
Chaparral is a shrubland or heathland plant community found primarily in the U.S. state of California and in the northern portion of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico...

 comprises a considerable portion of the natural area within Kern County; the species diversity within these chaparral habitats, however, is considerably less than in many other regions of California. California Whitethorn is a prominent example of chaparral species on the rocky slopes of the Sierra Nevada as well as the Inner Coastal Ranges. California Buckeye is a notable tree found in both chaparral and forests and whose southern range terminates in Kern County.

Recreation


Among the outdoor recreational activities are horseback riding, water skiing (Lake Buena Vista, Lake Ming, and private ski ranches), off-road biking and dune buggies (Jawbone Canyon
Jawbone Canyon
Jawbone Canyon is a geographic feature in the Mojave Desert and a Bureau of Land Management area located in Kern County, California. Located 20 miles north of Mojave on CA 14, the area is a popular destination for hikers and off road vehicle enthusiasts....

, California City and Randsburg), auto racing (Willow Springs, Buttonwillow, Bakersfield Speedway, Famoso, and an unnamed half-mile speedway under construction), hunting, paint-ball courses, white-water rafting, kayaking, snow skiing (Shirley Meadows and Mount Pinos
Mount Pinos
Mount Pinos is a mountain located in the Los Padres National Forest on the boundary between Ventura and Kern counties in California. The summit is the highest point in Ventura County.- Geography :...

), shooting ranges (5 Dogs Creek Range), hiking, biking (trails, paths, and roads), camping and fishing.

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See also


External links