Driving Distance: 147 Miles
- Take State Route 99 and Interstate 5 South to Fort Tejon State Historic Park at Lebec.
- Just to the south along I-5 are the mountain communities of Lebec and Frazier Park.
- A stop at the Ridge Route Communities Museum is a great way to help you catch up on the region’s story. (3515 Park Drive, Frazier Park; 661-245-7747)
- From here take the half-hour drive up 8,831-foot Mount Pinos.
- Farther west along Mil Potrero Highway, you’ll find the private community of Pine Mountain Club. (19 miles)
- Cerro Norroeste Road dead ends at State Route 33, but this isn’t the end of your trip. A jog to the left takes you to Soda Lake Road and the Carrizo Plain National Monument, where a visitor center (open December-May; 805-475-2131). Turn right and you drop back toward the Central Valley. (34 miles)
- Continue north on State Route 33 to Taft, where you can visit the West Kern Oil Museum (1168 Wood Street; 661-765-6664), The Historic Fort (915 N. 10th Street; 661-765-7371) (8 miles) and the Oilworker Monument (400 Kern Street, Taft; 661-765-2165).
- Heading back toward Bakersfield on State Route 119, bear left on Tupman Road en route to the Tule Elk State Reserve (8653 Station Road, Buttonwillow; 661-764-6881). The park is open Friday-Sunday from 9am to sunset. (17 miles)
- From here it’s a short trip north on Morris Road to Stockdale Highway, then east back to the starting point at Bakersfield.
Image and Driving Tour Source: Kern County Board of Trade; VisitKern.com.