360° VR Panoramas of Kings Canyon, Sequoia and the Southern Sierra
Lake Isabella and the Lower Kern River
Sequoia National Forest, Kern County, California

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Power House at the mouth of the Kern River Canyon

Power House at the mouth of the Kern River Canyon

The Kern River exits the Sierra through a narrow canyon east of Bakersfield. A series of small diversion dams, aqueducts, and powerhouses harness the energy potential of the river.

Kern River east of Bakersfield, California

Date photographed: October 17, 2015
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Lower Kern River

Lower Kern River

The Kern River in the canyon below Lake Isabella is conspicuously posted with warnings about the danger from sudden releases of water for hydroelectric generation. Between 1968 and 2015 a total of 271 people have drowned on this 25 mile stretch of river.

Sequoia National Forest, California

Date photographed: March 15, 2009
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Lower Kern River Canyon

Lower Kern River Canyon

Live Oak picnic area in the lower Kern River Canyon, with green grass and wildflowers. Summers here are dry and very hot.

Sequoia National Forest, California

Date photographed: March 15, 2009
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Kern River Canyon

Kern River Canyon

Parts of Highway 198 in the Kern River Canyon below Lake Isabella have been upgraded, but the old road remains as a scenic alternative.

Sequoia National Forest, California

Date photographed: March 15, 2009
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Lake Isabella

Lake Isabella

The Walker Pass Highway (CA 198) follows the south shore of Lake Isabella on the Kern River.

Sequoia National Forest, California

Date photographed: March 16, 2009
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Low water in Lake Isabella after four years of drought

Low water in Lake Isabella after four years of drought

Lake isabella on the Kern River was down to 6% of capacity in fall of 2015.

near Patriot Point Campground on Lake Isabella, California

Date photographed: October 16, 2015
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