About 3 hours away from Los Angeles as you drive toward Kern River Valley and Sequoia National Forest, you will come across a beautiful lake called Lake Isabella. This lake is a great one to visit in the summer. You can swim, fish and rent boats on this large man made lake and sun tan on its shoreline as you listen to the birds and dragonflies flying by. We first discovered this lake a couple years back and have since visited it numerous times. We sometimes stop and fish on our way to Kern Valley and sometimes we have camped right across from it at nicely set Pioneer Point campground. Pioneer Point is located off Highway 155; it has 78 tent spaces, restrooms and fish cleaning areas. It is an ideal spot if you want to spend a nice weekend on this lake.
The lake itself is surrounded by beautiful large boulders and rock platforms that make perfect spots for throwing in a fishing line or jumping in for a splash. You can fish for Large-mouth Bass, Crappie, Bluegill and Catfish to name a few of the species that we have caught and mostly released back in this lake. There is supposed to be trout in the lake as well but I think they were too smart to get caught when we fished.
The lake also has nice little coves and private areas with fine sand where you can relax during the day or even come there at night and stargaze. What we have done in the past is combine Lake Isabella and Kern River in one camping trip. This way we can enjoy a beautiful lake and river in the same getaway. The lake has a nice and small Marina (French Gulch Marina) where you can rent all different types of boats, buy fish bait, get refreshments and snacks for your day at the lake. During summer weekends, you will find the lake occasionally very busy but most of the time it has been just right. It’s a great place to come spend a weekend to grill some nice freshly caught fish and veggies on the campfire at Pioneer Point and swim in the lake during the day. It does tend to get strong winds at times in the early fall so best time to go is early to mid-summers. Make sure you bring bug spray, the weather tends to get hot, dry and the campground has a lot of crawling and flying little visitors. This campground does not have any drinking water available so bring extra water for washing, cooking and drinking.