Lake Isabella draws boaters from all around the Kern County area. Situated in the high desert, 40 miles northeast of Bakersfield, it's just enough off the beaten track to avoid huge crowds and yet close enough to Los Angeles to be convenient for a weekend outing. Sailors find a steady wind while canoes and kayaks are often seen exploring the many coves and inlets. Water skiers and wakeboarders enjoy the warm water and the lake's wide expanse. All boats must display a valid Lake Isabella boat permit. Boaters should be wary of strong winds that can come up even in the morning.
Lake Isabella has several public boat launch ramps located around the lake. Two marinas, owned by the same company, are situated on the western side of the lake. They offer full services and boat rentals.
All boats must display a valid Lake Isabella boat permit, available at marinas and convenient stores in the area. A 3-Day permit may be purchased as well as the annual permit. Lake Isabella is patrolled by the Kern County Department of Parks & Recreation. Boating is only permitted one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. There is no nighttime boating.
Lake Isabella Boating Information:
Minimum boat length is 11 feet.
Use caution in congested areas such as around the Auxiliary Dam.
Swimming is not allowed beyond 300 feet from shore. This includes use of swimming aids such as tubes and small rafts.
Winds can reach 50 - 60 MPH on the lake.
Changing water levels create unseen hazards below the surface such as fences, rocks, and snags. Use extra caution along shorelines and in the South Fork area.
At times of low water watch out for the Borel Canal, a concrete-lined channel beneath the surface that runs across the western waters of Lake Isabella.
Personal Watercraft should not travel up the Kern River Channel.
Observe the 5 MPH speed limit in the South Fork Wildlife Area.
Address: 4875 Ponderosa Drive, Lake Isabella, CA CA-178 E, 5 mi NW
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