The below blogpost is in regard to the closure of Highway 178 between Lake Isabella and Bakersfield. An update to the road is posted below.
Yesterday, on May 27, Highway 178 developed a large crack in its westbound lane. Shortly after the DOT closed traffic in both directions. Below are alternate routes to arrive at the Kern River and our Rafting Center. At this time, Google Maps is accurate, re-routing traffic around the closure. For most of our guests, your drive time will not be significantly impacted.
6/4/23 update: One lane has been opened
Caltrans has opened one-lane traffic through Highway 178. We suggest budgeting extra time to account for this. Both lanes are not expected to open for months.
Coming from Los Angeles to the Kern River
Take I-5 North and then in Santa Clarita, CA-14 toward Palmdale/Lancaster. You’ll then make a left onto Highway 178 and from here, can follow the highway to the Kern River. This is the same length as the original route, at just under 3 hours without traffic. Link to Google Map directions.
Coming from Santa Barbara to the Kern River
I suggest taking a similar route to LA, listed above, by taking CA-14 toward Palmdale/Lancaster. Please note that Google Maps may list a different route via I-5 North and then the 223 through Arvin. The Arvin route is less mileage, however, that route is very windy and can be slow with traffic which is why it’s not my first choice. Link to the CA-14 route. Google Map directions for SB to the Kern River.
Coming from Bakersfield to the Kern River
You will need to take the Lions Trail route. This road is windy and can get congested so I suggest building a buffer into your travel plans. Link to Google Map directions for Bakersfield to the Kern River.
Coming from north of Bakersfield (Bay Area etc) to the Kern River
You will need to take the Lions Trail route, the same as the Bakersfield option. This road is windy and can get congested so I suggest building a buffer into your travel plans. Link to Google Map directions for Bakersfield to the Kern River.
Coming from San Diego to the Kern River
Your route is not impacted. As usual, take the 395 to Highway 178. Link to Google Map directions.