Lake Isabella is located in the Sequoia National Forest in Kern County, California. It’s a reservoir created by the Isabella Dam, formed when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed the lower Kern River at its two forks. Lake Isabella is one of the larger reservoirs in southern California as it sits at 11,000 acres. This large reservoir is known for its abundant fishing, boating, water sports, Camping, and picnicking opportunities.
With close access to Los Angeles, it’s the perfect weekend trip. Many locals find Lake Isabella a popular windsurfing location, thanks to reliable afternoon winds. So the opportunities are endless, whether you’re R.V. Camping or boondocking around Lake Isabella.
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- R.V. Camping Lake Isabella
How to Get to R.V. Camping Lake Isabella
Lake Isabella is located on the southern tip of the Sierra Mountains, and it will take about three hours to reach Los Angeles. You can take several different routes, but following the fastest way on your GPS is recommended. California State Route 178 goes right through the town of Lake Isabella and around the lake itself.
When to Visit R.V. Camping Lake Isabella
The summer season is the most popular time to visit Lake Isabella, with water sports drawing the most visitors to the reservoir. Temperatures can soar into the 90s in July, with most days experiencing bright sunshine. Winters are typically cool and in the 50s, but it makes for excellent fishing weather if you enjoy sitting in a quiet boat. Spring and Fall both have varying temperatures, but visitors will love taking advantage of this time to kayak, canoe on warmer days, and explore the lake’s surrounding area.
R.V. Camping Lake Isabella
Hungry Gulch Campground
It is located on a beautiful pine-covered hillside and is only three miles from Lake Isabella. Eighty campsites are nonspecific to tents or R.V.s. You’ll find picnic tables and campfire rings with flush toilets and drinking water at each site. Several of the campsites have views of Lake Isabella at a distance. Unfortunately, the campground does not offer any hookups.
Lake Isabella/Kern River Koa
The Kern River Koa backs up to the Kern River Preserve and provides easy access to whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Kern River. The ideal location for all river activities, you’ll be able to bring your jet skis, paddle boards, and more to this fantastic R.V. campground. The Kern River Koa offers hookups, an outdoor pool, wifi, a dog park, and more.
Paradise Cove Campground
Paradise Cove Campground is located near Lake Isabella and is divided into two sections. The upper section is for back-in campsites, and the lower area is for side-by-side parking. All the campsites at Paradise Cove Campground have a view of Lake Isabella. While the campsites are standard nonelectric, the campground includes drinking water, a dump station, and flush toilets. Campsites are limited to 6 individuals.
Pioneer Point Campground
Pioneer Point Campground is a 73-site campground right across the street from Lake Isabella and is open year-round. While some sites offer beautiful lake views, there is a playground for children to enjoy. Although no R.V. hookups are available, amenities include flush toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, and fire pits. The town of Lake Isabella is a 2-mile drive away and makes for a convenient day trip.
The Rivernook Campground is a privately owned campground along the Kern River, with creeks stretching throughout the park. The campground offers a variety of campsites ranging from Full Hookup R.V.s to Partial R.V. sites and tent campsites. Rivernook Campground is open year-round with varying activities each season, including fishing, kayaking, and more. Amenities include weddings and event rental, hot showers, pet-friendly accommodations, military discounts, and a general store.
Sandy Flat Campground
Sandy Flat Campground is near the Lower Kern River at an altitude of 2,300 feet, close to the town of Lake Isabella. All campsites are a short walk from the river, making it possible to have endless recreational opportunities. Scattered about the campground, you’ll find large Ice Age boulders. This campground is set in a loop with large, open sites. Amenities include drinking water, picnic areas, and vault toilets.
Tillie Creek Campground
The Tillie Creek Campground is located on the shores of Lake Isabella and is open year-round. Large enough to accommodate family reunions and other large parties, this is the ideal location for your next event. The Tillie Creek Campground also hosts 60 individual campsites. The campground also hosts a marina, boat ramps, amphitheater, and fish cleaning station.
Lake Isabella Recreational Activities
Lake Isabella is most well known for its largemouth bass fishing, as Florida-strain largemouths stocked it in 1972, and by the mid-89s, the lake was consistently known for trophy bass. Largemouth bass thrive in Lake Isabella thanks to the diverse forage, and Spring is the best time to fish for them. Lake Isabella is also known for being one of the best Crappie lakes in California, so make sure to fish for them in early to mid-March.
Lake Isabella is close to the Sierra Mountains and offers several trails nearby for guests to enjoy. The Whiskey Flat Trail is a popular trail nearby that is one of the easiest and most accessible trails around Lake Isabella that is popular with hikers in the summer. Another popular trail that offers a 360 viewpoint of Lake Isabella is called the Isabella Peak – Coso Mine Loop Trail.
Lake Isabella and the surrounding area are an excellent stop for a vacation outside Los Angeles. Whether you are interested in fishing, hiking, or love watersports, there is much to do here for every visitor! With so many campgrounds to choose from, you’ll have no problem picking one that fits your exact style. When planning your next vacation, don’t miss out on the beauty of Lake Isabella in Sequoia National Forest.
Tony is an avid camper and RV traveler. He fell in love with camping on his first RV trip with his wife over 25 years ago. Tony loves sharing lessons learned and tips about RV maintenance and safe traveling.